#280 | Gary Gates | Proposed Tweaks and Objectives

Submission 280
Gary Gates
Prairie Unitarian-Universalist Society, Madison, WI

What is your suggestion or idea?

The present Article II is an excellent statement of the basis for Unitarian Universalism. It is elegant and succinct.

While the proposed Article II incorporates most of the principles, it is less elegant. It gives short shrift to the living traditions, which are the foundation for our relationships with each other and the world.The only significant addition are some specific objectives which flow from the principles and the living tradition. Adding such objectives makes sense, but eliminating the principles and the living tradition does not.

It would be better to simply add to the present Article II another section listing the objectives we feel are most important in giving effect to our beliefs.

Some tweaks to the present principles and living tradition language may be appropriate, but I am firmly opposed to their elimination.

Specific tweaks I propose are:

  1. Changing Principle 5 to:
    ““The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large, including efforts to reach consensus before making decisions and respecting the fact that majority decisions should not intrude on individuals’ right to make decisions about their own lives.””

  2. Changing the fourth living tradition to:
    ““Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Indigenous teachings which call us to love our world and our neighbors as ourselves;””

Objectives I would like to see added are:

  1. To mitigate and repair the damage done to our natural environment by global warming, habitat loss, pollution, and the poisoning of our air, water, and lands.

  2. To dismantle racism and all forms of systemic oppression, both in our current society and rising from our heritage from past systemic oppressions.

  3. To oppose the use of violence as a means of settling disagreements among individuals and nations.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

The proposed new article II is not readable nor easily comprehensible and gives no credence to the importance of the Present article II phrasing in giving old and new members a firm and accepted basis for our approach to the world.

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

I have shared it with the whole congregation. I received positive feedback except from members who said they saw no sense to getting into a discussion.Their feeing seemed to be that the people proposing these revisions would not listen anyway. Their attitude seems to be verified by the instruction that all comments must be based on the proposed article II wording with no room for preferring the
present Article II or suggesting alternate modifications to it.

1 Like

I’d like to bring attention to Gary’s proposal. We’ve had some spirited disagreements in our discussion group, but everyone in our group though his proposal was excellent- from both ‘sides’ of this discussion.