#318 | Mary and Mark Tuller | Change the Central Circle

Submission 318
Mary and Mark Tuller
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito (Solana Beach, CA) 2521

What is your suggestion or idea?

We applaud the work done behind this proposal. There is a
lot to like and inspire in your work. Thank you. However, we would like to propose
for discussion several amendments to fix omissions and slightly redirect the
Each is submitted separately as requested but they are related for the
reasons below.

This is suggestion number 1 of 4:

Make the central circle “Human dignity and worth” or “Love
and human dignity” or some such.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

We dislike having love (or Love) as the center of UUism. To us
the central essence of UUism is the First Principle—“The inherent worth and
dignity of every person.” Recognizing the dignity of human beings drives everything
else, like justice, democracy, inclusion, and the right of conscience. It even
drives love, if love works for you. Love really doesn’t work for us. Personally,
we cannot love unsympath­­­etic people—like pushy beggars, liars, and people
with repugnant cultural practices—but we can’t express how often we have
reminded ourselves of the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and that
simple, easy-to-remember principle has helped us move forward with generosity.
(We assume Love has something to do with the Christian concept of caritas but
as we said it seems mushy and non-actionable to us.)

We’re not historians of UUism, but our big-picture view is
that the Unitarian tradition includes a strain of hard-headed practical rationalism,
and the Universalist tradition includes a strain of universal love and
inclusion. Those are both very good strains. But we fear the universal-love-and-inclusion
strain has grown at the expense of the hard-headed-rationalism strain, and we
would like to see that balance restored, which we hope our proposals contribute

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

We have shown this to about a dozen friends at UU Fellowship of San Dieguito. Their response has all been positive. We showed it to our minister as well.


Mary & Mark, I also feel we need better balance. We have swung too far away from Humanism, including reason and science. While I understand that Christians may well have felt minimized as Humanism grew in the 20th Century, this proposal also seems to have go too far in the other direction.

Agree on all points; but my hope is that all discussion of specific amendments will become moot. I believe the proposed complete rewrite of Article II should be abandoned, and that we can instead participate in a careful and gradual refinement of the document that we have lived with up to now. Evolution may be called for; revolution is not.