In his January Platform address, Leader Joe Chuman reluctantly gave the following as his Elevator Speech to be used when time is short, or you are being pressed to be as succinct as possible, in answering the question: "What is Ethical Culture?"
"Ethical Culture is a religious and philosophical movement, congregationally organized, that promotes the primacy of ethical values and ideals in all relationships of life, independent of theological foundations."
Here are some other alternatives:Rich Bernstein delivered the following statement in a Platform presentation he made at the Baltimore Ethical Culture Society:
"Ethical Culture is a religion centered on ethics, not theology, whose mission is to create a better world for all and to respect the sacredness of humanity and Nature. Its members are committed to personal ethical development in their relationships with others and in activities involving social action and environmental stewardship. Ethical Societies provide a supportive community to help its members fulfill these ethical commitments."Beth Baker of the Washington Ethical Society (WES) is also collecting Elevator Speeches, and sent this from WES member, Lynne Waymon:
"WES is a community of people who come together to explore ethics as the main religious idea that guides our lives. So rather than worshiping a supreme being, we look for a supreme way of being — especially in these troubled times. We've got lots of the same activities that a church or synagogue might have — social action, ceremonies, a Sunday School for our kids."Copied from a mailing of the Ethical Society for St. Louis:
"We're a community of people and families that come together for support, inspiration and education on how to live a more ethical life. We have a diversity of beliefs about the unanswerable questions of whether or not there's a god or afterlife, but we have a strong shared belief in the potential of human beings to develop our compassion, wisdom and ability to work together to make a kinder, fairer and more sustainable world. This belief can be called Ethical Humanism."Do you have an Elevator Speech you would like to share? Please submit it to dialogue.aeu[at]gmail.com.