Section C-2.3. Inspirations. As Unitarian Universalists, we use, and are inspired by, sacred and secular understandings that help us to live into our values. We respect the histories, contexts and cultures in which they were created and are currently practiced. These sources ground us and sustain us in ordinary, difficult, and joyous times. Grateful for the religious ancestries we inherit and the diversity which enriches our faith, we are called to ever deepen and expand our wisdom.
Section C-2.3. Sources of Inspirations.
The living tradition which we share draws from many sources:
Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
Words and deeds of prophetic people which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion and the transforming power of love;
Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
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;
Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature…
Unfortunately, the Article II Study Commission has eliminated the enumerated list of Sources. The 2009 Article II Commission also replaced the list of Sources with narrative paragraphs and met with strong disapproval. Unitarian Universalism is home to a wide diversity of beliefs. Our Sources are a public statement of those beliefs. Our Sources support our Principles. The breath of our Sources from Jewish, Christian, humanist, earth-centered, and other teachings demonstrate our acceptance of one another and our encouragement of spiritual growth regardless of one’s underlying belief system. The A2SC urges change citing that UUism is a living tradition. UUism is a living tradition. Our 1961 Principles, at the time of consolidation, did not contain any Sources. The current outline of our Principles and Sources was adopted in 1985 by an initiative sponsored by the UU Women’s Federation (UUWF). A sixth source (Earth-centered teachings) was added in 1995. In 2018, the wording of the second source was adjusted, replacing “men and women” with “people” to reflect a more refined understanding of gender-neutral language. The A2SC is aware of the value that UUs place on our list of Sources. In their report, they stated, “With Inspirations, we are aware that many value the current list of Sources.” Nonetheless, our Sources are to be represented by an unclear articulation of UU inspirations described as “sacred and secular understandings.” Our Sources are public statements to a wider world of people seeking a spiritual home free of dogma. It is unclear what value we achieve by eliminating the clarity of our Sources and substituting the ambiguity of a term such as “sacred and secular understandings.” The 2023 delegates are urged to reject the elimination of our Sources.
I have had many, many discussions with fellow UUs. I follow a very active discussion group on the website Save the Seven Principles (https://savethe7principles.wordpress.com ). My congregation’s Men’s Group discussed Article II at our weekend Retreat. My congregation will be holding a congregation-wide discussion on June 3. BTW: Much of the discussion on Article II has not been supportive of changes. There is generally a lack of awareness of this rewrite. Those who are aware do not understand the rationale for making such substantial changes to the Seven Principles.