Church and State (dinner and discussion)

  • August 21, 2014 · 6:30 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

One of the benefits of practical philosophy is to give us a deeper understanding of the delicate balance between rights and freedoms as well as our duties as citizens in matters of church and state.

PLEASE REMEMBER to view at least one of the videos on our Food for Thought page prior to attending this event:

Click here to view the Food for Thought page for this event

Please don't be afraid to sign up for this event since I will cancel it and provide refunds if less than 5 people sign up. If the event is full then please remember to add yourself to the waiting list since I will open up the event to additional tables if I can see that there is enough demand to do so.

What makes this topic so important?

The scope of religious influence on rights and freedoms covers the spectrum from matters of birth (i.e. abortion) to death (i.e. euthanasia), marriage (i.e. same-sex marriage), medical research (i.e. stem cell controversy) and many other issues which affect us all. Even if you believe that your country has a firm separation of church and state we are no longer living in an age where one government's actions have no consequences for other countries. Please note, if your only interest in this topic is to rant about religion (or rant about anything else for that matter) then please do not sign up for this event. This purpose of this event is to have a respectful and engaging discussion focusing on insights and ideas regarding the separation of church and state with respect to both religious and non-religious fellow human beings. Click here to view the format for our events.

The sub-topics in this discussion will include:

National Identity (i.e. the use of religious words and phrases in currency, national anthems, and in public spaces)

Rights and Freedoms (i.e. religion in public schools, oaths involved with swearing in new citizens, religious references in political speeches, etc)

Opportunities for Change (sharing ideas and actions we can take to produce change) for the sake of creating more aware and engaged global citizens and to reaffirm the importance of how one person can make a difference.

As usual, our facilitators will be provided with discussion questions to keep the conversations on topic (at least for the first 90 minutes).


- Can I just show up in person and pay at the door? No, all members must pay on-line via this Meetup page since there are a limited number of physical seats at our events and it has been proven that people who pay online for Meetup events are much more likely to actually show up. You don't need a PayPal account - just follow the RSVP steps and look for the link to pay with your credit card. Click here for more payment FAQs

- Why is there a small fee for these events? Click here to view the 7 reasons why there is a small fee for attending our events

- Do I need to have any formal philosophy experience to be part of these events? No, this is not required. Click here to find out more about the nature of our events

- More questions? Click here to visit our main FAQ page

Facilitator Information

As previously mentioned, our members take turns helping to facilitate our discussions. We require one discussion facilitator for each table of 6 people so please leave a comment below (i.e. "I'll help facilitate") if you're able to help out at this event. No facilitation experience is required.

Click here to view the facilitator notes for this event

Please see our home page for more information:

Join or login to comment.

  • Robert

    Great discussion; Inverted Ehrlichism-a new form of catastrophism. We're doomed from our infertility, not our fecundity.

    August 21

    • Richard B.

      Many people are unaware of how the engine in their car is controlled. They think when they press the gas pedal they make the engine go faster, but that isn't how it works. Without a throttle, the engine would run at its maximum RPM. The purpose of the throttle is to choke off the air supply to the engine, thus causing it to run more slowly. (The word 'throttle' means to choke.) When you press the gas pedal, you just relax the throttle on the engine, letting more air in, and it follows its natural tendency to run faster. Pressing the gas pedal doesn't 'make' the engine run faster, it 'lets' the engine run faster.

      If you don't use any throttle at all, you will eventually be driving so fast that you exceed the capabilities of the car and/or you will exceed your own capability to control it. Bad things will happen. If you over-apply the throttle, the engine will run so slowly that you don't go anywhere, and the car has lost its utility.

      August 22

    • Richard B.

      The trick is to operate somewhere in the middle. Enough speed to be useful, but not so much as to precipitate a crash.

      Both the under-application of the throttle and the over-application of the throttle present problems, and both need to be considered.

      August 22

  • Robert

    Totally cool!

    August 21

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sara, Thank you for your expert work keeping us on track and organized. Having a copy of the questions for each of us was an excellent idea and your research on this topic added an extra dimension.... Thx

    1 · August 21

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you for the stimulating conversation tonight. Never a dull moment with this group... Looking forward to next month.. Shauna

    1 · August 21

  • Sara

    Great topic and very interesting and intriguing discussion. I always enjoy listening to different points of view and being given a chance to express my opinion. Thanks to everyone who makes these discussions happen in a safe and respectful environment.

    August 21

  • Fran

    The dinner and discussion was very enjoyable. Good thoughts and perspectives shared. Thank you Sara for your great facilitating of the discussion!

    1 · August 21

  • Richard B.

    As always, I thoroughly enjoyed my evening. What a wonderful bunch of people to spend the evening with! Sara, kudos to you for keeping us on topic, and Glen thank you for challenging us with thoughtful and interesting topics!

    1 · August 21

  • Sara

    Hi there. I'm not an expert on this subject, but I can facilitate this meetup if no one else wants to. Thanks!

    August 20

    • Glen B.

      Great, thanks Sara! When it comes to practical philosophy that applies to daily living - nobody is an expert. :) Since sharing our insights and perspectives is what we focus on I'm sure you'll do great. Could you please confirm that you're able to print yourself a copy of the notes? Once again, here's the link to the notes and facilitator FAQs: http://www.philosophy...­

      August 20

    • Sara

      Thanks Glen. I printed a copy for myself and 5 copies from the questions for the other attendees. Thank you so much again for providing us with the food for thought.

      August 20

  • Matthew M.

    I would have loved to have this as my first event with this group, as it is among my favorite topics of discussion. Unfortunately I already have other commitments for Thursday.

    August 18

  • Jacob S.

    I'd actually would have gone to this event if I knew that I could pay in person or pay at the door. Too bad online payment is the only way.

    August 14

    • Glen B.

      Members are only able to pay via the Meetup website since this has proven to be the most reliable means of managing the number of attendees, collecting the small fees, and ensuring that members show up at the events. It has been proven that there are a high number of people who do not show up when they do not prepay to attend and we need to maintain our good relations with the restaurant when we make reservations. (i.e. if we say 12 people are coming, they need to show up). See this page for more info on the small fee: http://philosophydinn...­

      August 17

  • Glen B.

    Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend this event in person but I will be coordinating it to run just as smoothly as the events which I'm able to attend in person. Please see this page for more details:

    August 9

6 went

Your organizer's refund policy for Church and State (dinner and discussion)

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled
  • the Meetup is rescheduled

Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Create a Meetup Group and meet new people

Get started Learn more

I started the group because there wasn't any other type of group like this. I've met some great folks in the group who have become close friends and have also met some amazing business owners.

Bill, started New York City Gay Craft Beer Lovers

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy