#205 | Lisa Fuller | Keep Current Principles + All Beings + 8th

Submission 205
Lisa Fuller
Berrien UU Fellowship (Saint Joseph, MI) 5423

What is your suggestion or idea?

We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote

  • The inherent worth and dignity of all beings every person;

  • Justice, equity, inclusion and compassion in human relations;

  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;

  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;

  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;

  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all;

  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

Keep current Principles, changing ‘every person’ to ‘all beings’ to include non-human lives.
Add ‘inclusion’ to address the 8th Principle intent. Inclusion is needed because acknowledging worth and dignity does not necessarily extend to including those not already present.

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

Yes. Some agree, but many in our congregation feel the current 1st Principle is sufficient.

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Keep Current Principles + Reflect 8th + Clarify UUA Role

Continuing the discussion from #205 | Lisa Fuller | Keep Current Principles + All Beings + 8th:

I would go back to the current Principles and make modest changes to reflect the 8th principle and clarify the UUA role.

So, omit the lead-in on love along with the Values paragraphs and the Flower of Values graphic.

Retitle Section C-2.2 as Principles and Covenant.

We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote**, within our congregations and in our shared work with the Association**:

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • Justice, equity, and compassion and reconciliation in human relations;
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning**, in gratitude for our shared desire to learn from each other and to find joy in our beloved community**;
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all;
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Note: In adding the word reconciliation to the 2nd principle, I hope to reflect the 8th principle in a way that (a) puts us to our proof, so to speak, and (b) respects how hard it is to talk about white supremacy and racism among many, many oppressions in the world today.

For context, I am a white woman, coming from a position of privilege. Also a child of the 60s, if that helps to place me.

I keep coming back to notions of truth and reconciliation as something our communities very much need. Our country, and the world generally, also very much the case, but amazing if we can think about and work on this here and now.

Katherine Hyde
Unitarian Society of Ridgewood (NJ)

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Many have made suggestions like this. It is unrealistic. Let me stipulate a problem: If you have an infestation of “beings” (rats, mice, roaches, ants, bedbugs, fleas, lice, viruses, infections, etc – just to name a few), do we really want to "respect them, and allow them to remain in your home, your cars, body, your life? If they live somewhere other than where I live, fine. But I’m not going to tolerate them living in my space, and I’m going do everything I can to rid myself of them. This includes killing them.

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Yes, I understand your line of thinking. It’s similar, I think, to questioning the inherent worth and dignity of Adolf Hitler.