#346 | David Fentress | Keep Current 7 Principles as is

Submission 346
David Fentress
Unitarian Universalist Church of Evansville (Evansville, IN) 3512

What is your suggestion or idea?

I would prefer to keep the current Seven Principles as is. I would be open to some minor tweaking.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

What I like about the existing 7 principles is that they declare what we believe in a manner that sticks to the essential meanings with unbiased language. They convey what we believe in a classic manner that is untainted by contemporary secondary associations.

I don’t feel that the same thing can be said of the new proposal. In that way, it is actually less inclusive and less broad. The bottom line should be that each of us searches for truth, which for each of us may or may not overlap with certain contemporary trends.

Also, the new proposal is way too wordy. It reads like a political speech. It’s flowery. For most of the component 7 Values in the new proposal, the first sentence is sufficient to describe it. It reads as if the authors are trying to convince themselves.

Lastly, the graphic should not be part of any statement of belief. If we want to adopt something like that as a ceremonial symbol or marketing tool, that might be OK. But not as part of a basic belief statement. Our beliefs should be conveyable by words alone.

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

Yes. I gave a lay talk about it one Sunday a couple of months ago. In my congregation, there isn’t high interest in following what comes out of Boston. I tried to present the new proposal objectively, but I ended my talk by finally sharing my own view.

Reaction was mixed. There don’t seem to be very intense feelings either way. Some members remarked that the graphic and the plethora of soft language in the new proposal is more marketable and immediately appealing. I say marketing is fine, but that’s a separate thing. This is not about marketing; this is the Constitution of our faith.


The only improvement in Article II that is worth changing it is to add the word “love”.
The rest seems to be change for change sake, and is not an improvement on our principles.
The new Article II as proposed appears to be a mash of words that ends up meaning little.
It lacks power and meaning.
Don’t take away our principles!

1 Like

I’m open to the idea of exploring what could possibly update our principles. But this process for Article 2, hasn’t felt needed, useful, or inclusive. And honestly, it has just felt frustrating, scary, rushed, and stressful. Given the process and the result of article 2, I would rather we kept our 7 principles than rushed ahead with this drastic change.