#368 | Guy Loftman | Replacement for Values and Covenant

Submission 368
Guy Loftman
UU Church of Bloomington, Indiana (Bloomington, IN) 3433

What is your suggestion or idea?

Delete proposed C-2.2. Substitute the following:

Bylaw Section C-2.2. Principles.

Principles: These
principles are widely shared by Unitarian Universalists and by the member congregations
of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Each is a manifestation of our core principle
of love.

The worth of every person.

Justice, equity and compassion in human

Acceptance of one another and encouragement to
spiritual and intellectual growth.

A free and responsible search for truth and
meaning that respects diversity and the right of conscience.

· Democracy within our
congregations, our Association and in society at large.

The goal of world community with peace, liberty and
justice for all.

Respect for the interdependent web of existence,
of which we are a part.

· Liberation
through a diverse multicultural Beloved Community that dismantles racism and
other oppressions in ourselves, our congregations, our Association, and society
at large. The proposed graphic would be amended to surround the central word ““Love”” with the 8 words in bold from the above principles: Worth, Justice, Acceptance, Search, Democracy, Community, Interdependent, Liberation.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

This proposal keeps mostly intact the existing Principles, with minor updates followed by a slightly modified version of the 8th Principle. That modification adds ““liberation”” to the 8th Principle text. That word is added because the Charge says it should be included, and this seems its natural place to place.

The seven current principles are beloved, clear and simple. The proposed substitute is longer and fuzzier.

Of course, the existing principles are not numbered, but shown as bullet points. I don’t see any benefit from reshuffling them, though we had an interesting discussion within our congregation on this subject. A wise woman suggested they are mostly reversed: The Interdependent Web should be first. But I’m not going there.

On a more general note I want to state my great appreciation for the Commission and its proposal. It is most unfortunate that its work coincided with the COVID epidemic. Both times that our congregation met to discuss it in person were wonderful. People influenced each other, and in particular, me, in a way that virtual meetings and shared drafts can’t. I think a year’s extension of the first vote would allow more in person discussion at the interpersonal, congregational, district and national level. A ““no”” majority at GA 2023 or less than a 2/3 majority at GA 202 would end the fruitful discussion the commission’s efforts have begun, and prohibit it’s renewal for years. That would be unfortunate, to say the least.

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

I helped organize, with our Denominational Affairs Committee and Director of Religious Education, two in person meetings on the proposal, each with attendance around 50 people, both in person and online. I have had discussions with many who attended them, and various drafts have been circulated. I have also sought to participate in the input process directly with the Commission following being a remote GA Delegate in 2021 and 2022, but received no substantive responses. I made several online suggestions, and one detailed proposal to UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray.

Glad that you want to keep the 7 principles intact. But your proposed 8th principle is out-of-character with others: very wordy, action oriented (more like a mission or goal) rather than like an aspirational principle, with some very ambiguous terms like “dismantle” and “oppression” that would seem to be already implicit in the 7 principles, etc