Past Meetup

The Necessity of Secularism (Grand Rapids)

This Meetup is past

5 people went

Every 2nd Wednesday of the month until March 13, 2018

Location image of event venue


Presented by Ronald Lindsay, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Center for Inquiry

In his talk, Dr. Lindsay will address the novel situation in which humanity finds itself. For the first time in human history, a large number of people in many countries no longer believe in God. This is especially true in the developed world. Unless religion collapses completely, or undergoes a remarkable resurgence—and neither scenario is likely—we will have societies with a mix of believers and nonbelievers for some time.

In such a religiously pluralistic society, a robust, thoroughgoing secularism is the only reliable means of preserving public order and freedom for all. Secularism is not just another term for the separation of church and state. Secularism implies not only a secular state but a secular society in which religion remains in the private domain. In particular, religious precepts should have no place in public policy debates. Secularism is not only desirable; it is required if we are to have a democracy that respects the rights of all.

Ronald A. Lindsay, J.D., Ph.D. is president & CEO of the Center for Inquiry. He is by training and experience both a lawyer and a philosopher. An honors graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, he practiced for twenty-six years with the national law firm of Seyfarth Shaw LLP prior to joining the Center for Inquiry, where he has been president and CEO since June 2008. Dr. Lindsay received his Ph.D. from Georgetown University, specializing in bioethics. He has had articles published in peer-reviewed journals such as The Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal (, and The American Journal of Bioethics (

His first book, Future Bioethics: Overcoming Taboos, Myths, and Dogmas, was published by Prometheus Books in June 2008. He is the author of the entry on “Euthanasia” for the prestigious International Encyclopedia of Ethics(Wiley Blackwell 2013). Dr. Lindsay is pleased to announce that Pitchstone Publishing will be publishing his second book, God Can’t Tell Us What To Do, with an expected release date of November 2014.

We host local and national Lecturers to speak on many different topics including: science, religion, philosophy, social issues, politics, atheism, humanism, agnosticism, skepticism, deism, evolution, morality and ethics, secularism, rationalism, psychology, and others.

Meetings are open to the Public

Cost: FREE! $5.00 Suggested Donation

After the meeting, join us at Vitale's Restaurant, 834 Leonard NE, Grand Rapids, MI to socialize.

Contact: Jennifer Beahan,, 616-698-2342

RSVPs are NOT required (but sometimes helpful) for attendance at our events. Average attendance at Lectures is 40-90 people.

Note: This is not the only location where we promote our events. Please visit the CFI Michigan Event Calendar ( and/or our facebook ( page for more information and to sign up for our e-mail list.