Comments on Proposed 8th Principle

In a debate on June 1, 2021, Rev. Craig Moro shared his thoughts on the Unitarian Universalist Association’s proposed 8th principle.  The debate was sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Multi-cultural Unity Action Council (UUMUAC).  You can view the full debate at this link.

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Sasha Kwapinski
Sasha Kwapinski
13 days ago

Brings up important questions that need to be answered:
Accountable — to whom? and by what standards?

Who defines racism? What constitutes proof or evidence of racism?

Passionate — about what?

As one who is actively pro life, I would also ask: Does the concept of human worth and dignity (or the “interconnectedness” or “interdependence” of all things) also include the unborn?
Would freedom of conscience also include the refusal to perform an elective abortion or officiate in a same sex marriage? Would UUA ministers, or the UUA itself, defend peoples’ freedom of conscience in those regards?

Sasha Kwapinski
Sasha Kwapinski
13 days ago

A good reminder of why I left the UUA some decades ago. Even then, I could see the political “creed” coming.

John Robinson
John Robinson
13 days ago

I applaud Craigs statement. As an old UU and a birth one, I think back to a class given at Meadville by Professor John Godby. HIs contention was that creeds, and statements of faith, and I would add Principles and Purposes are summaries of where a religious body has been and bind it to that past and history. When I was ordained a Unitarian Minister the Principles and Purposes as we have them today did not exist. When they were adopted they enshrined the values of the 1970s. In my view the bind us to the past, hold us back… Read more »

Craig Moro
Craig Moro
12 days ago
Reply to  John Robinson

Thanks so much for your reflections, John. I don’t believe that Article 2 (Principles, Sources, Purposes) need to be maintained exactly as written, “every jot and tittle” for all the days to come! I have been part of a concerted effort to change the language of the 4th Source statement (on Jewish and Christian teachings) to explicitly include Islam. Members of a working group from All Peoples UU Church and the Salaam Network in Louisville, KY submitted hundreds of pages of documentation to support this change. You can see a summary in this video that showed at the 2021 GA:… Read more »

Donald Wilson
Donald Wilson
11 days ago
Reply to  John Robinson

I haven’t seen a single congregation, and more importantly no GROUP of congregations, propose a Vision for the association in my lifetime.

Congregations, and their shallow understanding and use of the Cambridge platform, are solely to blame for any failings surrounding the fifth principle, and the stagnation of faith you suggest has happened.

Suzanne
Suzanne
12 days ago

I think your proposal of embedding the 8th Principle in Article 2 makes the most sense if everything was to be only minimally changed. I don’t sense this is the direction of the UUA.
Paula Cole Jones promotes the 8th Principle by saying you can support the principles and never deal with racism. If we put the anti-racism/accountability principle in we should add other concerns like disability rights, fat liberation, LGBTQIA liberation etc.. Spell it out very clear what our intentions are as a religion. If the mission is supposed to liberation for all state it plainly.

Lee
Lee
5 days ago
Reply to  Suzanne

“… dismantle racism and other oppressions …”

Jim
Jim
11 days ago

Rev. Craig Moro’s statement makes a great deal of sense. That is why I’m fairly sure it will be ignored by the powers that be in UUism that are intent upon steering the organization into schismatic dissolution based upon dogma that makes no sense at all.

Terry Anderson
Terry Anderson
3 days ago

For an update on how the Canadian Unitarian Congress (CUC) is handling the Woke teaching in preparation for a vote on our 8th Principle in Nov. see the announcements here. Note that members can speak at the educational events prior to the General Meeting but ONLY if you have watched the series of 5 videos. As I watched them, I realized why I will not attend these sessions. I may be in my last few days of being an active UU – after over 50 years of membership.

Frank Casper
Frank Casper
3 days ago
Reply to  Terry Anderson

I’m listening now to the Responsibility Covenant video. It is a version of accountability that is deeply steeped in what used to be known as EST. I doubt the participants know that. But it is clearly recognizable to those of us who remember a time when the whole idea of relationships was to break down personal boundaries. Here it is being weaponized to dissolve one’s capacity for critical thinking, which is apparently here regarded as the new barrier to “the really real” between whites and POC.

Tim Bartik
3 days ago
Reply to  Frank Casper

Watched 8 minutes of it. Maybe, to be fair, I should watch the whole thing. But the first 8 minutes is EXTREMELY spacy and incoherent. I don’t have much faith that the remaining 29 minutes will change that verdict.

I would be curious who this appeals to, because I think many people will find this extremely off-putting.

If someone has watched the entire thing, does it ever get closer to making a substantive point? Are there some substantive arguments that they make, and when do they get to them?

Frank Casper
Frank Casper
3 days ago
Reply to  Tim Bartik

I’ve so far watched more than half the longest one and may 5 minutes or more of each of the others. To me, the bottom line is that you must first watch these videos because they are tellingly everyone that they are not to bring their critical questioning selves to the forums, that is, white people cannot. You must first commit to accepting and embracing that you, or we, are indeed a racist and if you bring your critical self you may not see this truth of this. Your rational question self is the privileged white supremacist self.

Frank Casper
Frank Casper
3 days ago
Reply to  Frank Casper

Sorry for the typos. It’s late.

Jim
Jim
2 days ago
Reply to  Frank Casper

So, I watched all the videos. I stuck it out because I was hoping I would be able to discern some cogent argument they were making. But I continued to be puzzled by the incoherence and wandering lack of substance. I kept thinking I was watching some kind of cult intro put on by True Believers. (And this perspective, I am sure, would be seen as my own failure to develop enough self-awareness to overcome my internal “resistance” to the validity and coherence of the views presented.)  Apparently, the problem with those of us who disagree with this approach is… Read more »

Tim Bartik
3 days ago

I have watched Craig Moro’s statement, which is good. He particularly emphasizes the “accountability” language, which is IMO the most problematic part of the 8th principle. “Accountability” language is quite powerful. I am accountable to my employer, in the sense that they can fire me if I don’t do my work in an acceptable way. We are in RELATIONSHIP with our fellow congregants and fellow human beings, which is not the same thing as being “accountable” to them. The “accountability” language, in addition to being POWERFUL, is, as Rev. Moro points out, quite vague — who are we accountable to,… Read more »

Tim Bartik
3 days ago
Reply to  Tim Bartik

One other point — a political point, about Rev. Moro’s suggestion to instead of adopting the 8th Principle, to put it into the Purposes section. I understand the argument that this would do less damage than making this language part of UU principles. The 8th principle is more of a purpose or mission statement than a principle, and in theory the next clause about “nothing herein” infringing on freedom of belief helps allevaiate concerns about what “accountability” means. And the political argument here is: this way one can say that you are willing to address problems with racism, but in… Read more »

Stephen Caldwell
2 days ago

Rev. Moro’s comments were part of a larger debate where pro and con arguments are presented.

https://youtu.be/O6jy1PWSYBI

Frank Casper
Frank Casper
2 days ago

Yes, there a link in the OP to the full event.

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