#33 | Poppy Rees | Replace "pluralist"

Submission 33
Poppy Rees
Champlain Valley UU Society (Middlebury, VT) 7937

What is your suggestion or idea?

Change the word ““pluralist”” to a word that is known by more people. Many people, including the adult UUs I talked to, didn’t know what this word meant.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

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


My Fellowship feels the same way and suggested “diversity”. We also think that equity and transformation are too elitist and need simpler words.

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I agree strongly that the word “Pluralism” should be removed as a header and not used at all in the new Article II. It should either be replaced by a more widely understood word like “Diversity”, or more ideally a phrase that better captures what is being discussed.
It is not so much that we come from different backgrounds that is important, than that we understand Faith is a Journey that can take many different paths, and that we are traveling together and learning from one another.
I would suggest using “Faith is a Journey” as a header for this section.


diversity is so overused! and most DEI* programs don’t actually make change


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Faith does not work for me or (at least some of) my humanist/atheist colleagues.

Sally, Do you prefer Pluralism? Or do you have another word to suggest?

I don’t mind pluralism; thinking about it. . . .maybe it should be diversity, there does not really seem to be an equivalent in my computer thesaurus (and plurality is not included as a synonym). Interestingly, the example given for plurality is a plurality of religious traditions, so the form pluralism.

Please see Cheryl Parson’s suggestion, #342, to replace “Pluralism” with “Respect”. I agree that “Respect” would be a better word than “Pluralism”. We should strive to use words that are easily understood and that have deep emotional resonance. As we evaluate our lives, we can ask ourselves, “Did I treat everyone with Respect?” The question, “Did I live my life in a pluralistic way” is not very helpful or inspiring.

Agree with Sally G. In Section C-2.1 Purposes, “to foster lifelong faith formation” is a turn-off for me. I would favor substitute wording such as “to foster spiritual growth.”

So the second sentence Section C-2.1 Purposes would read: Its primary purposes are to assist congregations in their vital ministries, support and train leaders both lay and professional, to foster spiritual growth, and to advance our Unitarian Universalist values in the world."