Article II Amendments Which Will Be Placed on the Final Agenda

In this section, you’ll find submitted amendments which have reached their support threshold (at least 15 UUA member congregations certified in 2023), and will be moved to the final agenda for voting.

To discuss those amendments, please see each amendment’s individual page (in no particular order):

Amendment Title: Equity: Every person is inherently worthy – Wheeler
Contact to support: president@uufp.org

Amendment:
41 Equity. We declare that every person [DELETE: has the right to] [INSERT: is inherently worthy and has the right to] flourish with [DELETE: inherent dignity and
42 worthiness] [INSERT: dignity, love, and compassion].

Clean version:
41 Equity. We declare that every person is inherently worthy and has the right to flourish with
42 dignity, love, and compassion.

Rationale:
First, in response to calls from BLUU and many other UU stakeholders, we needed to remove reference to “inherent worth” from our 7 principles; this phrasing harmed many UUs as it harkened back to the time when African Americans were assigned monetary worth.

Accordingly, this amendment does not use the term ‘worth,’ declaring instead that “every person is inherently worthy…”.

Second, this amendment responds to the Charge to the Article II Study Commission that “love in action, … should be centered in any revision of Article II.” In particular, the co-Moderators “charge[d] this commission to root its work in Love as a principal guide in its work.”

We fulfill that charge by explicitly naming ‘love’ in our amended Equity Value.

Third, still quoting from the Charge to the Commission: “The Board would like to see an Article II that is inspirational, memorable and poetic.” The UUA Board continued,

“We recognize that one steady criticism over decades has been that the language of the principles is not poetic. We encourage the Commission to consider framings of our principles that allows them to be brief and poetic.”

The 2023 wording of the Equity value – “Every person has the right to flourish with inherent dignity and worthiness” – is neither memorable nor poetic. By contrast, our 2024 Equity amendment is much more easily remembered and fluidly shared.

In sum, our amendment avoids the problematic word ‘worth’ and centers ‘love,’ all the while calling us to Equity in inspirational, memorable, and poetic terms. Thus, the 2024 Equity Amendment improves on the 2023 language by fulfilling these multiple Charges to the Article II Study Commission.

Please bring this inspirational, memorable language to our UU Equity Value.

3 Likes

Peace as a UU Value – Goekler
Contact to support: macgoekler@gmail.com

Amendment:
20 Inseparable from one another, [DELETE: these] [INSERT: our] shared values are:

21 The UUA Board and staff will develop procedures for updating the graphic as needed.

44 and inclusive communities.
[INSERT: Peace. We dedicate ourselves to peaceful conflict resolution at all levels.
We covenant to promote a peaceful world community with liberty and human rights for all. Whenever and wherever possible we will support nonviolent means to achieve peace.]

Clean version:
20 Inseparable from one another, our shared values are:

44 and inclusive communities.

Peace. We dedicate ourselves to peaceful conflict resolution at all levels.

We covenant to promote a peaceful world community with liberty and human rights for all. Whenever and wherever possible we will support nonviolent means to achieve peace.

Rationale:
Phrases and terms from six of the current principles appear in the values statements proposed by the A2SC, but the sixth principle’s commitment to peace is not included. Adding Peace as a value with revised language drawn from the sixth principle is critical to avoid the impression that UUs are no longer committed to peaceful conflict resolution at a time of renewed war in Europe and the Middle East. UUs have a distinguished history of international engagement through the UU Service Committee, the Holdeen Project, Partner Church program, UN office and other initiatives. UU Congregations nationwide affirm their commitment to peace in bylaws mission statements and outdoor poles displaying the word “peace” in different languages.

By affirming a commitment to non-violence “whenever and wherever possible” the proposed value statement, like the 2010 UUA Statement of Conscience “Creating Peace,” also applies to conflicts within the nation, our congregations, institutions and personal relationships. In response to increased politically inspired violence such as the January 6 attack on the US capital, UUs should reaffirm their commitment to peacemaking rather than remove that value from Article II.

The proposed value does not commit UUs to pacifism; there will continue to be such gross injustices that a majority favors the last resort use of forceful measures to achieve a remedy. When endorsing military action in the past, UUs have been divided. A renewed commitment to peace will support our defense of conscientious objectors, while equally honoring and respecting our UU military families.
The proposed value commits UUs to work for “human rights” a significant, timely addition to Article II at a time when innocent civilians have become targeted victims of war crimes.

At the 2023, GA time ran out before consideration of this proposal. It deserves adoption in 2024.

2 Likes

Equity calls us to listen, understand, respect, respond - Stebbins
Contact to support: klsteb2@qx.net

Amendment:
41 Equity. We declare that every person has the right to flourish with inherent dignity and
42 worthiness.
43 We covenant to use our time, wisdom, attention, and money to build and sustain fully
44 accessible and inclusive communities. [INSERT: Equity calls us to listen, understand, respect, and respond to one another.]

Clean version:
41 Equity. We declare that every person has the right to flourish with inherent dignity and
42 worthiness.
43 We covenant to use our time, wisdom, attention, and money to build and sustain fully
44 accessible and inclusive communities. Equity calls us to listen, understand, respect, and respond to one another.

Rationale:
This Amendment brings Equity - an important Value containing language from the 1st Principle - into line with the structure of other Values which have three sentences; Equity currently contains only two.

A 3rd sentence parallel to other Values can give a fuller description of how “every person” can be supported to “flourish” (1st sentence) within “communities” (2nd sentence): “Equity calls us to listen, understand, respect, and respond to one another.”

Equity calls us to listen and understand – because how can we hope to treat every person equitably if we don’t know “what size ladder they need in order to see over the wall”?

Equity calls us to respect – because how can every person have the “right to flourish” if their dignity is not respected?

Equity calls us not to ignore the fact that a person “can’t see over the wall,” but rather to respond to them - we may or may not actually be able to respond in a way that meets their need, but we can try to respond compassionately.

Equity calls us to do all of these things within community. So there still may be instances in which we have to ask someone to leave. We are “called,” not “forced” to listen, understand, respect and respond.

I personally believe that the more people are listened to, understood, respected, and responded to, the less divisive the world will become.

“Equity calls us” to do what we can.

This Amendment meets the Commission’s Charge to honor “the historic roots of our liberal, progressive faith” and be “powerful and relevant” moving forward, by ensuring the Equity Value befits the importance of the 1st Principle. It also follows the Commission’s Charge to be “brief” and “inspirational, memorable, and poetic.”

Reason and the Responsible Search for Truth and Meaning - Niell
Contact to support: UULeRae@gmail.com

Amendment:
After Line 44 and inclusive communities

[INSERT: Reason. We search for truth and meaning, informed by reason, evidence, and the results of science, motivated by wonder, curiosity, and compassion.

We covenant to listen to and respect the views of others, and to remain open to new ideas.]

After Line 21 Shared Unitarian Universalist Values
[INSERT: The UUA Board and staff will develop procedures for updating the graphic as needed.]

Clean version:
After Line 44

Reason. We search for truth and meaning, informed by reason, evidence, and the results of science, motivated by wonder, curiosity, and compassion.

We covenant to listen to and respect the views of others, and to remain open to new ideas.

Rationale:
Our UU commitment to a responsible search for truth and meaning sets us apart from other denominations. We are free of dogma. The open-mindedness we espouse in our 4th principle is what drew many of us to become UUs; it has guided youth and members in developing their faith; and it could be a key factor in attracting new members over the coming years. If our values are now to be the public face of our faith, as the principles have been, then our traditional value of reason should be among them.

Page 8 of the report states that the document should be inclusive. We need to be inclusive of our continuing members as well as the new and potential new members we welcome to our widening circle. In addition, page 10 states the Commission should reach out to the numerous stakeholders, which include philosophical and theological groups, such as UU Humanists. Whether or not they identify with one of those groups, members are stakeholders and many of them value reason and the search greatly. The current Proposed Revision to Article II de-emphasizes the role of the search and reason. It does state, in the Pluralism value, “We covenant to learn from one another in our free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” Learning from one another is of great benefit, but it is only one part of a responsible search. We can be more inclusive of our stakeholders by adding the value of Reason which is so important to so many of them.

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