In an address at the New York Society for Ethical Culture in 2009, Howard Radest asked “Must Humanists Be Polite?” He concluded that it was essential. Indeed, if one held humanist values, it is the only way—not only the only effective way, but the only way—to engage in discourse. American political and social life has become even more frayed and nasty since Radest spoke, but I believe his message–which is our message–holds true. Ethical Culture offers a useful guide for successfully navigating the great divides in American life.
Bio: Dr. Michael S. Franch is an Ethical Culture Leader and an active member of the National Leaders Council of the American Ethical Union. He served as Leader of the Baltimore Ethical Society from 1975-1984 and is currently affiliate minister at the First Unitarian Church, Baltimore. A historian by training, Mike spent most of his career working in health policy for the Maryland Medicaid program. He is now a retired old guy, enjoying playing his concertina, singing, and now, in the waning days of the pandemic, getting back to English country dancing.
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Watch on YouTube: Radical Respect in a Time of Fractured Discourse