#369 | Cheryl Pittenger | Remove "Accountability"

Submission 369
Cheryl Pittenger
Unitarian Congregation of West Chester (West Chester, PA) 7431

What is your suggestion or idea?

Accountability’ is a Corporate Control Mechanism. Remove ‘Accountability’, ‘Accountable’ sentences and concepts from Article II.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

I am very disturbed by the use of a very corporate
control word and concept, ““Accountability”” in our Article II. While it
sounds like a good thing, in my experience in the corporate and
business world, accountability language was used to set up means of
controlling people, punishing them, and removing them. Also many of the religions that
individual UU’s have rejected and have sent us to UU have hierarchies
and institutions that are very interested in controlling and punishing.
This should not be a concept used within our loving and accepting
and inclusive communities. We are not looking for ways to control and punish our
congregants. We are looking to be more inclusive.

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

I have discussed with many UU’s within my congregation and a few outside my congregation. Although some do not have the negative corporate association with the word, most agree that the word and concept is out of place in our Article II.

Were you aware that the UUA has already formed Accountability Launch Groups? See: https://www.uua.org/files/2022-12/bot_min_10202022.pdf

I too am concerned that this sccountbility language could infringe on our right to follow our individual conscience. Maybe “Love connects us to each other, and it keeps us accountable to our values.” See #245 so that we aren’t accountable to each other or the UUA, but to our own conscience.

Covenant without accountability isn’t covenant. We need to be accountable to one another for our actions and behaviors. It is required for growth and spiritual deepening. We need one another and we need to be invited to act in ways that are life-giving and affirming. This isn’t punitive accountability, but lovingly holding ourselves and each other to a more whole and complete version of ourselves for the betterment of each other, our communities, and the world. I find the notion that some of us don’t believe that we should be accountable to anyone for anything ever to be quite disturbing.