#15 | Matthew Johnson | Freedom and Conscience

Submission 15
Matthew Johnson
The Unitarian Universalist Church (Rockford, IL) 3414

What is your suggestion or idea?

Congregational freedom and the individual’s right of conscience are central to our Unitarian Universalist heritage and practice. 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?

This minor addition makes clear that freedom and conscience are not just about our past, but about our present.

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

I shared this with a few other colleagues, who endorsed it as an obvious and necessary addition.


Hurray. Some UU leaders look at our heritage as a system of white supremacy that needs to be dismantled, so saying that freedom is part of our practice clarifies that we still put freedom into action.


I agree, Matthew! This is an important addition to the “Freedom of Belief” section. Thank you for proposing it!


I totally agree. Thanks for suggesting it.


I like your addition of “and practice.” I would also add back in “individual’s freedom of belief” instead of merely having the weaker “individual’s right of conscience.”

Maybe mostly re-stating of our current “Freedom of Belief” section, as I believe Jay Siskal suggested in another amendment idea on this topic, is the way to go.


I like right of conscience, & the addition of practice.


Freedom of belief and right of conscience are not the same, but should both be included.

Congregational freedom and the individual’s **freedom of belief and **right of conscience are central to our Unitarian Universalist heritage and practice.


Because amendments need to be single section, and delegates can only do one, someone else will need to submit this as an amendment if it is desired. Any takers?