#426 | David Culp | Incorporate Sources into Inspirations

Submission 426
David Culp
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax, Virginia

What is your suggestion or idea?

I suggest that the last sentence of the Proposal’s Section C-2.3., Inspirations, be jettisoned, and that some language from the existing ““UU Sources”” be added.

I suggest including a sentence like the following:

These sources include, among other things: Jewish and Christian teachings that call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves; humanist teachings that counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science; and spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions that celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

I make these suggestions because the last sentence of the Proposal section C-2-3 does not itself state an inspiration, but is merely descriptive (and vainly self-congratulatory) about how ecumenical we are.

I generally like the current ““UU
Sources”” description of what UUism has emerged from. UUism is a
religion in a specific time and place and has a very real history that should
be acknowledged. There is no reason not to acknowledge that much of our
tradition has a direct ancestry in various Christian denominations (and that
Christianity is a direct growth of many Jewish traditions). We can
acknowledge these inspirations without saying that we accept all that those
faiths hold true. Listing a specific sort of inspiration as a general
antecedent does not make us beholden to it, and it does not suggest that there
are not also other sources for our present-day life as UUs. I think my
suggested language accomplishes this.

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

My Covenant group has had good discussions about the Proposal. Generally, we all prefer the 7 Principles.

1 Like

There are a few proposed amendments working on this idea in the Inspirations section, including ours, seek link, #147, and a number of others. Hope everyone can get together and discuss!

I agree that how to deal with the Christian and Jewish traditions has been a sticking point with folks on both sides and it seems like we could find language that specifically names our history without suggesting that those sources are our primary inspiration.

This is the language I had in my amendment but ended up removing it after the congregational wide survey because it didnt seem likely to pass in a broader vote. I think just stating “world religions” as a source captures most of what we need and folks will have to google our history to understand where we came form

“Our living tradition is rooted in Christian religious ancestries, but just as the diversity of biological communities is critical to surviving change, the diversity of sacred and secular understandings which enrich our faith is our strength.”