#158 | Antony Van der Mude | Add a Seventh Value

Submission 158
Antony Van der Mude
First Parish in Bedford (Bedford, MA) 4212

What is your suggestion or idea?

Honesty. We strive to express ourselves with integrity.
We covenant to learn from one another in our free and responsible search for truth and meaning. We challenge our false notions and validate our understanding through experience.

We covenant to learn from one another in our free and responsible search for truth and meaning.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

The phrase ““free and responsible search for truth and meaning”” has been slipped in under the concept of Plurality. But this concept is too important not to be a fundamental value.

In this day and age of ““alternative facts””, conspiracy theories and disinformation through social media, it is vital that we Unitarian Universalists proclaim that we hold the search for truth as our response to the pervasive mendacity of this era.

No one has the Ultimate Truth, no matter how hard we try. So stating Truth or even a search for Truth as a value is problematical. I prefer to use the word Honesty since this is a personal commitment to the search, even if we fail in that attempt. Honesty both acknowledges that we are trying and that we admit our failures when they occur.

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

On February 12, there was a discussion group in the afternoon where a dozen or so church members went over the Article II Study Report and proposed revisions. I mentioned this proposed change. There was verbal agreement from some of the attendees that this change was reasonable.


“Honesty” seems like a great UU value!

I don’t think “Honesty” is one I would support, because I think you’re actually getting at a few other things that Honesty doesn’t quite capture. Integrity is one of those, Truth is another, Accountability is a third, and Communication and Covenantal relationships is a 4th. I would probably go with “Covenant” instead, because that includes respectful communication, truth, and accountability.

Thank you for this proposal. The emergence of “alternative facts,” as you cite, is a troubling trend that necessitates our clear articulation of the value we place on that “responsible search for truth and meaning.”