#480 | Virginia Folsom | Values are nebulous

Submission 480
Virginia Folsom
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockville (Rockville, MD) 4115

What is your suggestion or idea?

My comments relate to section 2.2.

I strongly prefer the direct statements embodied in our existing principles. As an expression of values, they directly state what we covenant to affirm and promote (two words of action). I find the new ““values”” nebulous, and the explanations that are intended to illuminate them are not very helpful to me. The language is very touchy-feely and it is hard for me to find what it means to me to be a Unitarian Universalist in these words.

I do think love is important in human relationships, but I am uncomfortable with the repeated use of a capital L, and I am uncomfortable with the idea of love as the spiritual discipline that defines us.

I want to speak directly to the current 7th principle and the value of ““interdependence.”” The 7th principle, ““We covenant to affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part,”” is a strong statement that speaks to an understanding of interdependence of life forms. It does not matter if we ““honor”” the interdependent web - phytoplankton, hosts of microbial life forms, and many other organisms upon which life ultimately depends are not interested in our attempts to create and nurture relationships of care and respect with them. The language used here speaks to me of a lack of humility, placing human interests above respect for the interdependent web, and showing a lack of understanding of the complexity of systems of life, and our ultimate dependence upon a healthy earth. You have lost the strong simple statement of respect and made it about human relationships. I see this as a significant loss and a weakening of our faith.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

""The living tradition which we share draws from many sources:
Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in allcultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to theforces which create and uphold life…
Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and

the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.“”

What happened to these sources? To me, they are interconnected and support a respect for the interconnected web of life. They speak of transcending wonder, reason and the teachings of science. They form the core of my faith, are central to my values, and are essential to my understanding of myself as a Unitarian Universalist.

I feel left out of the new vision of Unitarian Universalism presented in the Section 2 proposal.

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

I have discussed my concerns with a few members on my congregation. In general, people have understood my concerns.

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