#240 | Kenji Yano | Replace "accountable" with "covenant"

Submission 240
Kenji Yano
First UU Congregation of Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, MI) 5232

What is your suggestion or idea?

Section C-2.2. Values and Covenant

We are accountable to one another for doing the work of living our
shared values through the spiritual discipline of Love.

Replace ““accountable”” with ““covenant.””

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

I believe that activities potentially resulting from using the word ““accountable”” could actually block us from truly becoming a diverse, multicultural community. From my observations, many people of color including immigrants, especially if they are traditionally religious, tend to have more conservative views on women and LGBTQ issues. Holding them ““accountable”” for their views due to their upbringing, which they didn’t intentionally choose, might contradict the existing UU 1st principle (we don’t believe in original sin). Instead, we should innovate our ways to build relationships with traditional POC communities and work with them so that they become awakened about the rights of women and LGBTQ people. I’m also concerned that no criteria for accountability are mentioned here. This could be abused at someone’s whim to suppress other people in the community.

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

I have shared this idea during multiple meetings to discuss the proposed 8th principle / Article II in my congregation. I have also shared this idea at an inter-congregational forum to discuss Article II. I have received positive feedback.