#435 | Mary Mullen | Eigth Principle

Submission 435
Mary Mullen
Prairie UU Society (Madison, WI) 8412

What is your suggestion or idea?

My suggestion is for Section C-2.2. Values and Covenant.

First, I prefer in general keeping the current principles and adding an 8th anti-racism/anti-oppression principle:

“8th principle.” We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

To me the principles are more concrete. My take on the proposed values – where they have to be explained
by statements similar to some of our current principles – is that it’s just another layer one has to get through to find out what they really mean. Their meaning is not evident from the value words alone.

When I go to the explanations, it seems
that some values more or less repeat each other while others seem to bear little resemblance to the common meaning of the value word. Without going into any detail, I think I would merge Justice, Equity, and Pluralism and eliminate Generosity.

Equity, and Pluralism are all about respect, learning
from differences, providing nurturing conditions for diverse groups of people, and righting wrongs. I would add to that merged value something about dismantling oppression including racism. I would drop Generosity because it isn’t used in its common sense meaning which is “giving.” Instead, the explanation suggests evangelism, probably an unacceptable word in UU circles.

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

I served on our congregations’ “Widening the Circle of Concern” Committee that met for a year before making recommendations. One of our recommendations to the Board, which has not yet shared them to the congregation, was to adopt the 8th principle. There were 7 members of our committee who agreed unanimously to that recommendation. Commentary by two people in our current discussion of Article 2 on our Views listserv favored adopting the 8th principle. In addition, others mentioned that they share my concern about the more amorphous Values. I discussed my concerns more at length with individual members of my congregation.