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Welcome to the Ethical Leaders Network site, a project of the National Leaders Council of the American Ethical Union. Here, you'll find information from Leaders of the Ethical Culture movement about Ethical Culture, Ethical Humanism, both now and through the movement's history. We are just beginning to create the content for this site, so explore what's here and come back later for more.

Becoming Ethical Culture

Ethical Culture is a religious form of humanism rooted in the understanding of the power of the group to transform human community. The initial inspiration for this was provided by ethical (“prophetic”) Judaism mingled with the liberating spirit of American Transcendentalism.

Achieving the Ordinary


Keynote Address, Annual Pride Interfaith Service, Interfaith Fairness Coalition of Maryland, Metropolitan Community Church of Baltimore, June 17, 2012. © 2012 Michael Franch. All rights reserved.

This is a special occasion. I am honored to be part of it. But tonight, I want to talk about things being ordinary. That's our goal. For things to be ordinary. I think that's what we all want. Yet, in order for things to be ordinary, we have to do the extraordinary. This is a time of challenge. And it calls for all of us, however we define ourselves, LGBTI, straight, whatever, to be out—to be public in our support for the great issue of this year: for the right of same-sex couples in Maryland to be ordinary married people.

Jone Johnson Lewis's picture

Nickel and Dimed

Barbara Ehrenreich's book, Nickel and Dimed, is an excellent book discussion resource. Attached to this post is a resource for Ethical Societies which might be using this book for discussion groups around economic justice issues.

Ethical Culture and The International Criminal Court: Questions and Conflicts

Ethical Culture – Peace, Justice and the International Criminal Court
- Joseph Chuman

Since its inception in 1876, Ethical Culture has been a staunch defender of both peace and justice. This dual orientation finds its philosophical ground in a central commitment to the intrinsic worth of the person, and the vision of a society of mutually sustaining individuals, emergent from this commitment. Ethical Culture has held that both injustice as well as violence, especially as expressed through war, violate both human dignity and a harmonious social order necessary for human flourishing. Its history reveals its energetic accomplishments in the fields of both social justice and peace undertaken in progressive fulfillment of its ethical ideals.

The Future of Success: Working and Living in the New Economy

Notes on The Future of Success: Working and Living in the New Economy
by Robert E. Reich, 2000

What is most intriguing about this very accessible work by Robert Reich is his analysis of the forces in the “new economy.” He points out that the increases in communication and technology spurs globalization and brings Americans a greater variety and higher quality of material goods than ever before. These changes are fuelled on our ability to choose what we want with greater ease: what we buy, where we live, where we work. The ability to make these choices decrease the stabilizing forces of consumer loyalty and the idea of the “company man.” Mobility is high. Producers and employers must work harder to keep consumers and employees. This is done, however, not by creating incentive packages (including health care and retirement benefits) to bind employees to a company for life, but rather by offering higher wages to those innovative employees in greatest demand. In all industries, from software to sports, people move from one employer to another constantly. Increasing competition bought us more material options but less stability.

Ethical Movement on the Web

Ethical Words of Wisdom

No religion can long continue to maintain its purity when the church becomes the subservient vassal of the state.