#386 | Karyn Marsh | Change "discipline" to "practice"

Submission 386
Karyn Marsh
Towson Unitarian Universalist Church (Lutherville, MD) 4123

What is your suggestion or idea?

Section C-2.2 states at the end: ““We are accountable to one another for doing the work of living our
shared values through the spiritual discipline of Love.””

Delete ““discipline”” and replace with ““practice””.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

I understand the intent but the word ““discipline”” has a taint of force or compulsion to it. I note that several evangelical Christian churches use the phrase ““discipline of love.”” Sometimes they use it generally and sometimes more specifically in reference to marital relations and to parental practices. See for instance, https://disciplenations.org/resources/the-discipline-of-love/.

I further note that rock musician, Robert Palmer, came out with a song, entitled ““Discipline of Love”” in the 1980s, which has a very slight reference to sadomasochism. While I’m not knocking S&M, per se, I’m not certain the UUA should be using language in the Bylaws that could be misconstrued.

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

Yes, I discussed with the other delegates from my congregation. They agreed with the change.


I agree. “Spiritual discipline” sounds creepy and cult-like to my ears. “Spiritual practice” is much better