Ex-Evangelical Preacher to Talk Atheism at Ethical Culture Society

Patch's weekly guide to weekend events.

This weekend, Dan Barker, an ex-evangelical preacher of nearly two decades who is now the co-president of The Freedom From Religion Foundation will visit , a humanist community that has been based in Teaneck since 1953.

“Dan Barker is a nationally known minor player in the Atheism wars,” said Ken Karp, a member of the Ethical Culture Society. “Many of our members are interested in that cultural topic.”

Barker has appeared on talk shows with Oprah Winfrey twice, as well as on the Sally Jessy Raphael Show, the Maury Povich Show, “Hannity & Colmes,” and others. He is also the co-host of Freethought Radio and has written books, including his latest, “The Good Atheist: Living a Purpose-Filled Life Without God.”

During his visit on Sunday morning at 11 a.m., Barker will tell his story, from ordained minister to staunch atheist. He is also a musician, and often tells his story by using music.

The Ethical Culture Society considers themselves to be a religious organization, but without the worship. They meet congregationally, hold community events, provide community support, have a Sunday School, and participate in social action activities as well as hold charitable activities.

“We’re a religion in the sense that we do meet weekly and in a congregational format, but we leave out the worship,” said Karp.

More events this weekend:

Friday, April 8

  • A travel lecture entitled “Enchanting Ireland” will be presented at the at 10:30 a.m. for the Friday Morning Group, free and open to all.
  • Teaneck High School varsity softball will host Ridgewood High School at 4:15 p.m. Boys varsity tennis will travel to Ridgewood High School, also at 4:15 p.m.
  • Teaneck High School boys varsity volleyball will play at Harrison High School at 4:30 p.m.
  • Nico Blues will perform at Mexicali Live with HMS Revenge, Fish for Bears, and Front Bottoms, starting at 9 p.m. Nico Blues, a self-described punk influenced alternative rock band, who list their biggest influences as Nirvana, Modest Mouse, Pavement, Huskur Du, and the Grateful Dead, will headline. He band formed in 2009. Dinner seating begins at 6 p.m. and tickets are $10 in advance or $12 on the day of the show and are available online.
  • The Reggie Pittman/Loren Daniels Quartet will perform at their monthly gig at from 7:30 to 11 p.m. They will be accompanied by Mike Richmond on bass and Jonathon Peretz on drums.
  • Trumpeter David Glukh Klezmer and his ensemble will perform, at 8 p.m. at the for a $10 suggested donation.

Saturday, April 9

  • Teaneck High School coed varsity track will compete at Walkill Valley Regional High School at 9 a.m.
  • Teaneck High School varsity softball will play at Fair Lawn High School at 10 a.m.
  • The AmeriCorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors will hold a free stream monitoring training event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the .
  • Teaneck High School varsity baseball will play at Elmwood Park High School at 11 a.m.
  • will be performed in a family event at the , including actors and actresses that are pre-school aged and those that are older than 70. Saturday night’s performance is a gala, complete with food and wine before the show and a discussion after the show. $85 for adults, $45 for those younger than 21. Proceeds benefit the temple.
  • The East River Ensemble Chinese folk music at the Puffin Foundation at 8 p.m.

Sunday, April 10

  • Director of Good Talking People LLC Arlene Rubin will discuss the social thinking model of social skills training and how to use them outside of therapy from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at .
  • Richard Reiter will host a spiritual drum circle workshop at the from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with no experience needed, and open to adults and children who are, as the Puffin website says, "comfortable in an adult environment." $10 per session.


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