Genealogy of the Seven UU Principles

We present a video by Rev. Richard Trudeau entitled the Genealogy of the Seven UU Principles as part of a Fifth Principle Project continuing campaign to educate UUs on our Seven Principles.

At the June 2023 UUA General Assembly, the UUA Board of Trustees will submit new Article II language. Article II contains our Seven Principles, Six Sources, and other statements defining the nature of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Given this pending vote, we feel that all UUs must deeply understand the historic nature of our Seven Principles. Rev. Trudeau’s excellent scholarship provides that historical context. The video link may be shared, posted on social media, and used in study groups. Download a PDF version of Rev. Trudeau’s script.

We also recommend another video by Rev. Craig Moro entitled Comments on the Eighth Principle.

We urge all Fifth Principle Project members to take an active interest in the upcoming 2023 General Assembly and volunteer to be voting delegates.

One More Thing

Although expanding awareness regarding the proposed changes to our Seven Principles is vital, attention is also needed on how the next UUA president has been identified. Contrary to the Association’s bylaws and a vote by the 2021 General Assembly delegates to have an opportunity to vote on at least two candidates, the UUA’s Presidential Search Committee announced only a single candidate.

To learn more, read the last Discussion post, Rigged at Every Level.

 

Two Important Things

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Join the Fifth Principle Project. It’s free. The Fifth Principle Project is an organic grassroots initiative to gather into community Unitarian Universalists who want to reinvigorate the right of conscience and renew the democratic process in the governing of our denomination.

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Douglas Rodgers
Douglas Rodgers
2 months ago

Great video! Good history all the way back to each U by itself. (I ran video at 1.5 times normal, he is not a fast speaker)

larry lunt
larry lunt
2 months ago

My sense is the adoption of the 8th Principle is a foregone conclusion UU wide. Succeeding in reversing that would cause as much damage as putting it up has, (if it has Idk). Is that the consensus?

Steve Myles
Steve Myles
2 months ago
Reply to  larry lunt

The 8th Principle is a Trojan Horse. We let it in the gates thinking it would show support for anti-racist actions. “How could we not vote for it?” said its main author to our congregation. Yet, everything in it is covered in our existing Seven Principles. But now that it’s in our midst, it is being used as the bridge to get to a new UU “community of communities” and a reason to discard the existing Seven Principles. We’ve been duped.

John Shea
John Shea
2 months ago

I have a basic question about the 8th principle: what difference does it make if we add an 8th principle, if the proposed article II revision gets rid of the existing seven principles? Is the language of the proposed 8th principle also embedded in the proposed article II revision? Even if it is, it would no longer be considered as a “principle”, since the revised article II has no language about “principles”.

John
John
2 months ago
Reply to  John Shea

I know this is a strange question. But why isn’t UUA being more democratic? What happened?

John
John
2 months ago

Richard’s history of our UU principles is a truly wonderful shortcut to 6 semesters at one of our two theological schools. Grateful to Richard. Tough trying to figure out things by yourself. Helps immensely in being more relevant, effective and poised in the present turmoil.

Barb
Barb
2 months ago

I found Rev. Trudeau’s presentation very interesting but was disappointed in his conclusion area where he alludes to UUA actions in opposition to several principles. I believe that the use of allusion to support an opinion or position very weakening. Either describe the exact actions or don’t mention it at all. Not all of us may be aware of the actions to which he alludes. This does not bring new people into the circle of knowledge, making it elitist and exclusionary.

Jazzing up his visuals and use of greater vocal inflection would also help keep an audience’s attention.

Paul D De Moor
Paul D De Moor
2 months ago

The word “democracy” does not appear in the new Article II document. Interesting…

John Wunderlin
John Wunderlin
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul D De Moor

I’d call it “telling”

Shaun Allen
Shaun Allen
11 days ago

Thank you for posting this. Trudeau’s description of the historical roots of Unitarianism is quite interesting. Typically UUs like to say that the Unitarians were characterized by disbelief in the trinity, but Trudeau says this (quoting from the PDF that is linked above):

“their central concern was to deny Predestination … They summarized this line of thought in the slogan, salvation by character. Not, God is one. Salvation by character.”

Last edited 11 days ago by Shaun Allen
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