Saturday, February 28, 2009

Washington Ethical Society

Washington Ethical Society: A humanistic religious community

Of all the churches along 16th Street, the Washington Ethical Society intrigues me the most. I keep meaning to attend a service to check it out, but haven't been yet. Having taken a class or two in grad school in ethics and social justice, the focus of the WES fascinates me. I don't know whether to think of WES as ironic in a town peopled by an overabundance of politicians, lobbyists, and lawyers who often lack ethics or a sign of hope that the same players can be people of conscience, justice, and ethical behavior. Either way, every time I drive past the WES, I feel glad that there's someone in this town talking about humanistic, ethical ideals.

Mosaic on the side of the WES building
(Click to enlarge)


Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential

13 comments:

marley said...

Love the mosaic.

Brian said...

Now that's a church I could probably go to... Cool mosaic.

Jacob said...

Very nice. When I read the title, I thought, "Boy, that's an oxymoron if I've ever heard one!"

D.C. Confidential said...

Marley: Cool, isn't it?


Brian: Me, too. I once interviewed a grad school candidate who was a Mormon humanist. Really interesting guy. That was my first exposure to humanism and it seems like a good line of thinking to be in.


Jacob: When I drove past the WES the first time, I thought the same thing!

Jacob said...

Well, D.C., you know what they say about great minds...

Heh. Heh.

Maya said...

Doesn't look or sound like any church I've every heard of! The mosaic is very nice.

D.C. Confidential said...

Jacob: It's good to know there are a few like minds out there in this insane city!


Maya: Me neither, which is part of the intrigue.

Maggie said...

I love the irony of an ethical society in DC... the mosaic is just stunning!

Virginia said...

Beautiful mosaic. Long live those with ethics. Just wish there were more of em.

Cele said...

There is some really perticular buildings in DC. I always expect pictures of old historic builds and then you show us something modern and eclectic.

D.C. Confidential said...

Maggie: Me, too!


VJ: I'm glad there are some folks around here with ethics, too. I wonder how many of them are in a position to make a positive influence in this sordid town, though?


Cele: We've got a few modern/contemporary looking buildings around town. Some of the--how shall I say it politely?--more glaring examples are: the FBI Headquarters, the Watergate, the 3rd Church of Christ Scientist, the buildings at L'Enfant Plaza, and the new visitor's center at the U.S. Capitol.

Bob Crowe said...

I particularly like the second picture. It looks so organic, as if the mosaic were growing directly out of the ground. Earth into art.

We have an Ethical Society here, too. I've been in the building, since the STL Camera Club meets there. The architecture is eye-catching and I should shoot it some day. Never attended a service - they seem to make a conscious effort to imitate the rituals of sectarian churches and I can do without that.

D.C. Confidential said...

Bob: I love a good mosaic and this one is what I would call delightful.

It was such a pleasure meeting you this evening! I can't wait to see how the portraits turned out. If I'm ever in Saint Louis, I'll definitely give a holler!