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Sunday Meeting: Frederick Clarkson: Religious Freedom is A Progressive Value
Religious freedom is a fundamental value of a democratic society. But after more than 200 years of struggling to extend this value widely in the United States -- it is threatened in our time. We have become complacent. But it is not too late. Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, drafted in 1777 was shepherded through the Virginia legislature in 1786. The Statute’s idea that one’s religious identity should be neither an advantage or a disadvantage under the law, underlies the approach to religion and government taken by the Framers of the Constitution and the First Amendment. But the challenges we face are real and we need to consider a 21st century approach that protects the rights of conscience of everyone in our time.. Frederick Clarkson is Senior Research Analyst at Political Research Associates, a progressive think tank in Somerville, Massachusetts. He has been writing about religion and politics for more than three decades. His work has appeared in a wide range of publications from Mother Jones, Church & State, and Ms. Magazine, to The Christian Science Monitor, and Religion Dispatches. He has worked as an investigative editor at Planned Parenthood Federation of America; as Communications Director at the Institute for Democracy Studies; and co-founded the group blog, Talk to Action. He is the author, co-author or editor of several books including Dispatches from the Religious Left: The Future of Faith and Politics in America, and Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy. He has been called on by the media for expert analysis for his entire career. He has been quoted in major newspapers including The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times. His radio and television appearances include National Public Radio, Democracy Now, Al Jazeera, the BBC, and the CBS Evening News. Follow Frederick on Twitter @FredClarkson Shared charity: Shriners Hospital for Children, Springfield, MA The New York Society for Ethical Culture is a humanist community dedicated to ethical relationships, social justice, and environmental stewardship. Entry to our 100-year-old building and meeting rooms is available for most wheelchair users with prior arrangements. Please call ahead (212-874-5210 x 107) for setup of our portable system and plan to arrive one hour before start time.

New York Society for Ethical Culture

2 West 64th Street (At Central Park West) · New York, NY

What we're about

Public Group

Ethical Culture is a movement centered on ethics, not theology, whose mission is to encourage respect for humanity and nature and to create a better world. Members are committed to personal ethical development in their relationships with others and in activities involving social justice and environmental stewardship.

What We Believe

We believe all individuals have inherent worth and dignity, the potential to grow and change, a responsibility to strive for ethical growth, and a responsibility to create a better world.

As an Ethical Community we are all part of something that transcends the individual experience and are enriched through our relationships with others. As such, we have responsibilities to each other, to the Society, and to the community.

The New York Society for Ethical Culture offers a full schedule of events and activities for everyone including social gatherings, Sunday platforms, weekend and evening lectures, classes, outings, charitable volunteer opportunities, teen leadership programs, and a (non-theistic) Sunday school. Join us at one of our events such as our Foundations of Ethical Culture course, Ethics in Film, Ethics and the Theater, Advocacy Forum, or Socrates Cafe.

When considering Ethical New York Meetup events, please keep in mind that many of our members attend the posted events without RSVP-ing on Meetup, so attendence is typically much higher then indicated by the Meetup RSVPs alone.

For more information, visit our website at

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