I have sad news to report today.
I am a member of what once was the Princeton Ethical Humanist Fellowship. Oh, we're still here, albiet fewer in number, but, as of last month, we are no longer affiliated with the American Ethical Union -- that is to say, no longer part of Ethical Culture.
The icing on the cake -- salt in the wound is perhaps a more apporpriate description -- was the line in the "Dear John" letter from the AEU reminding the group to no longer use the word "Ethical" in its name. What sad and silly rubbish.
Over the last few years, a majority of the members of the Princeton Fellowship felt that the AEU had become largely unresponsive, except for demanding it's yearly report and monetary assessment. The AEU's attitude very much seemed to be, "Don't bother us, just send the damned money."
If that all sounds a bit harsh, I had a discussion with one of Ethical Culture's senior leaders some few years back where I asked with the AEU could do for us. Her reply was that the leadership pretty much had made the decision to write off any of the older groups (like Princeton) that were dwindling in size.
So what does/did that make us? ... a bunch of suckers periodically sending money to a parent organization that no longer gives/gave a damn?
Sadder still, when the Priceton Fellowship pushed back against paying the yearly assessment, the AEU made no attempt to reach out to the group, ...to remind us of all the benefits to belonging to the AEU, ...to offer help, ...anything to offset the idea that they were there only to collect the yearly assessment and nothing else.
Nobody from the AEU showed up. No one wrote. Nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada.
So here's my great idea. Anyone else want to join with those of us in the Princeton ------- Humanist Fellowship to start an association of religious nontheists, including practioners of Ethical Culture, nontheist Friends, and UUA humanists? As we grow, we could develop program materials -- on congregation, communion, consensus, and covenant; on working together to do good works; and on celebrating our time together.