On January 24, 2020, apparently in response to our letter of January 4, 2020, the UUA issued what they titled Call for Reflection on the Fifth Principle Task Force Report. I use the word “apparently” in this context because the UUA did not identify our letter as the reason for their Call for Reflection. As you can see in the first sentence, they merely acknowledged that many congregations had been “contacted about reinvigorating our Associational(sic) conversation about our democratic process and the fifth principle.”
We immediately emailed the COIC (Committee on Institutional Change) thanking them for having heard us and for taking the matter seriously enough to issue their Call. But we went on to ask if they would be making the letter they responded to available for all UU’s to read. We never got a reply to that query.
We want to make it clear to those reading this page that while we welcome the UUA’s acknowledgement of just how important this effort is, we do not intend to let this effort be driven by the UUA, from the top down. First, because the UUA did not do much to remedy a situation they’ve known to prevail for over a decade. That strongly suggests that there is no reason at all to believe that the UUA will reform itself toward a more open and democratic process of electing its members. This clearly must be driven by those the UUA wants to govern while purporting to be serving, the congregations, and their rank and file members.
Our vision is broader. UUism enshrined democracy and the right of conscience into the heart of the faith. We have begun to drift away from that faith, which is why the Fifth Principle Project seeks to inspire our congregations and their membership to more fully engage with the issues pertaining to our faiths direction. That is why we want to see our UUA Board of Trustees elected by the members of the congregations in their respective regions, and to restore local clusters of congregation within regions. That is why we support and seek to insure that the recommendations from the December 2009 Fifth Principle Task Force are implemented. In a democracy, the people are to be served by their governing institutions. We work to insure, in a faith committed to it, that democracy prevails in Unitarian Universalism.
Unitarian Universalism is supposed to be a covenantal, not a creedal faith, but it is increasingly becoming more and more creedal and dogmatic. UUA leadership has become remote from the membership and is increasingly telling us what we can believe and say. Both Unitarianism and Universalism were founded by leaders who dissented from the orthodoxy of their time. Now any dissenting voice is stymied and punished, which is causing an environment of fear and distrust. Their actions are counter to both our belief in a responsible search for truth and meaning and to our democratic tradition. I hope that the… Read more »
From an elderly long time Unitarian (since 1952). My son is, by appearance, clearly African American. He is also a privileged person by virtue of his health, intelligence, parenting, middle class wealth, education, athleticism, appearance, American birth and other factors. Fortunately, he has also had role models and knows that from those to whom much has been granted, much is required. He is no one’s racial victim and despite a Unitarian Universalist upbringing, never will be. When and how did the non-doctrinal UUA succumb to the pernicious victim centered racialist orthodoxy that now roils the denomination? No healthy congregation or… Read more »