#108 | Jonathan Tweet | Freedom and Autonomy

Submission 108
Jonathan Tweet
University Unitarian Church (Seattle, WA) 8231

What is your suggestion or idea?

Freedom of belief.
Congregational freedom autonomy and the individual ’s right of conscience freedom of belief are central to our Unitarian Universalist heritage identity.

Congregations may establish statements of purpose, covenants, and bonds of union so long as they do not require that members adhere to a particular creed.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

““Autonomy”” is the term usually used when referring to congregations. ““Freedom of belief”” is in the name of the clause and should be in the text. ““Right of conscience”” rightly belongs with the reference to democracy because it’s an important right for minorities in a system that favors majorities.

It’s not just our past (heritage) that features freedom but more importantly our present (identity).

Have you discussed this idea with your congregation or other UUs?

This suggestion reflects conversations I’ve had with UUs online


strikethrough and bold are missing, so it’s hard for the reader to understand the amendment, this formatting issue seems common

Formatting has been fixed!

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I would definitely support this amendment.

Excellent. This gets at what may see as the main threat of the proposed changes - the effort to undermine congregational autonomy and increase control from Boston.

This would be helpful for my congregation. Although the last statement of the proposed Freedom of Belief states that people cannot be subjected to a creedal test, which I interpret as freedom of belief, a good number of our congregants want to see individual freedom of belief explicitly stated.
I like your use of “autonomy” as it relates to congregations. It references congregational polity more specifically than “freedom” does.

I would like to see right of conscience retained somewhere in Article II and I think it fits well in Freedom of Belief because it suggests that a person would be guided by their conscience in the formation of their beliefs. I see it as potentially problematic as it relates to justice and democracy because right of conscience could extend to, for example, a doctor refusing birth control for a woman who’s not married or a baker refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-gender couple based on the doctor’s or baker’s right of conscience.

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