#379 | Barry Mahoney | Revise language and keep Seven Principles

Submission 379
Barry Mahoney
First Universalist Church of Denver

What is your suggestion or idea?

Amend the Study Commission’s proposal by adding a section to it that would retain the seven principles as currently contained in Section C-2.1 of the UUA Bylaws, as follows (new [restored] language shown in bold italics): We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote:The inherent worth and dignity of every person.
Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations.
Acceptane of one another and encouragement tqo spiritual growth in our congregations.
A free and responsible search for truth and meaning.

The right of conscience and the use of democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.

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

Respect for the independent web of all existence of which we are a part.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

The current statement of the seven principles has been a bedrock foundation of Unitarian Universalism for nearly four decades. The principles are strong and straightforward statements—guides for how to act in the world—that are at the heart of our faith. The seven principles should be retained in any revision of Article II. This can be done by amending the Commission’s proposal to add a new section (optimally a new Section C-2.2, with other sections re-numbered) that sets forth the principles essentially as they are currently stated. This suggested amendment is identical to the statement of the seven principles contained in the current version of Article II, except that it uses a period instead of a semi-colon at the end of each bulleted principle. In this draft, the principles are set forth in a separate section from Sources, as was also done by drafters of the proposed revision of Article II that was narrowly defeated at the 2010 GA. The proposed 2010 revisions of Article II provided for shortening the length of some of the bulleted principles, an approach which should also be considered with respect to this suggested amendment.

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

The issue of retention of the seven principles has been the subject of extensive discussion in informal groups of members of our UU church and has been the subject of numerous expressions of views at listening sessions organized by church leaders. There is no unanimity on this subject, but there is strong support for retention of the principles in the current Article II and for integrating the principles, in their current form or with very minor revisions, into any major revision of Article II.