#67 | Dick Burkhart | Inclusion Section Too Wordy

Submission 67
Dick Burkhart
Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Church (Des Moines, WA) 8135

What is your suggestion or idea?

Replace the wording of Section C-2.4. Inclusion,

“We seek
ever-widening circles of mutual respect with all who have felt marginalized due
to ethnic, racial, or class background or to uncommon gender, disability, or
other status.”

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

The current wording is far too wordy while
not even citing ethnicity, race, or class. In addition, this wording seeks to
blame lack of inclusion on power, privilege, and oppression when the true
reasons may vary widely, depending on the circumstances.

These reasons could be as simple as having
a very low fraction of the population of a certain identity in the area of the
congregation, resulting in lack of familiarity and of a support group. And
cultural differences often play a big role, especially ethnic, religious, and
class background. Thus a narrow minded diagnosis is not appropriate. Instead
the wording should encourage UUs to devise their own strategies according to objective
investigations of their own situation.

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

My congregation is aware of this issue and of the need to get a better understanding of the situation in the congregation. Other UU groups I’m contact with also support inclusion, but grounded in reality.


I agree with Dick Burkhart. Open up the commitment to inclusion by eliminating the ascription of exclusion and marginalization to power, privilege, or oppression. Whatever the causes, we want to be inclusive. Also agree that the proposed section C-2-4 is too wordy.


I fully agree with the wording in this proposed Amendment and the reasoning behind it.
Allan Lindrup, delegate, UU Community Church, Park Forest, IL

1 Like

I like this wording because, in naming ethnicity, race, class, uncommon gender, and disability, it allows people to form a clearer (and somewhat more concrete) picture in their minds of the types of things this section is talking about, without limited it to the example areas cited. It also avoids the sticky wording of welcoming only those who share our beliefs.

The causes are important. Pointing out the marginalized shifts the focus away from the root cause. “unawareness” and a lack of compassion are root causes, however “power” covers it. The young Adults like the way this is worded as is in the Article 2 report.