#127 | Daniel Paul | Principles Reflected in Values Statement

Submission 127
Daniel Paul
First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego

What is your suggestion or idea?

I really don’t have any changes to suggest, just to say that I am hereing a lot of noise about doing away with the principles. I think the Values statements are well crafted and well thought out. I suppose it might help if it were pointed out where in the values the principles were reflected?

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

If people can see the current principles reflected in the values statements they might feel better about the change.

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

No. I really don’t wish to get into this with those discussing it. Mainly because most of what people are objecting too stems from their unwillingness to let go of principles adopted and informed by white dominant culture.

I agree with you that the current principles reflect aspects of white dominant culture that need to be changed, but I don’t think that’s an argument for substituting values for principles. In #181 Ruth Gibson makes some good arguments for why principles are still needed and valuable. My position is that we should keep the current principles and sources for now, but make a future plan to update them as principles and sources. If/when the values statements are approved by GA, their addition to an Article II that still contains the Principles and Sources will help to define our mission “to advance UU values in the world.” They could also be linked to the mission statement on the UUA website.

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You are correct, the words of our principles are contained in the new values, but they no longer have the same meaning. There is a big difference between a “free and responsible search for truth and meaning” and “we covenant to learn from one another in our free and responsible search for truth and meaning”. The latter puts a condition on the search. It is no longer “free”. We now have to covenant to learn from one another. That’s not a free search.