The Game is afoot

The feedback collected by the Article II Study Commission from its online form is available at discuss.uua.org. It is difficult to determine how many suggestions have been submitted, but it appears that over 200 submissions have been received.

The site administrator has offered some tips to sort through the submissions. We encourage everyone to review the submissions and comment. To reply to a submission, you must have login credentials to discuss.uua.org. See the Sign-Up option at the top right-hand corner of the webpage.  Your comments will help to build a community around these suggested changes.

The online form will remain open until April 30.

These “feedback suggestions” are NOT official bylaw amendments. More later on that topic.

What Has Been Suggested

The suggested changes reflect the diversity of thinking within Unitarian Universalism.

One grammarian argued that the word “which” should be replaced with “that.” A higher-level suggestion argued that replacing our Six Sources with a paragraph narrative was a bad idea. Several people suggested retaining “serve the needs of its member congregations” as the primary purpose of the Association.  Others argued that the phrase “individual freedom of belief” should appear. There are many rewording suggestions.

One of the most concise suggestions was “Scrap the entire thing.”

I See What You Said

This process of public feedback on the Article II Study Commission’s work is good. It is also the first time in the 2 ½ years since the Commission began its work that UUs have had an opportunity to have direct access to the thinking of other UUs. This sharing is a step forward to engaging more UUs in the discussion, a process that would have had more benefit if it had been adopted earlier. But let’s celebrate that we now have a more open approach.

Bylaw Amendments

In 2009, the last time Article II was up for a vote, delegates complained about the inability to amend the proposed Article II language. Delegates then had only an up-or-down decision on the submitted language. Now amendments will be entertained.

It appears the solicitation of feedback and the public sharing of that feedback has become a conduit for formulating amendments to the proposed Article II language.

One suggestion solicited a reply from Charles Du Mond, a UUA co-moderator. The suggestion (#23 Name the Seven Principles) said, “The bottom line is that, no matter what else they want to include, the Seven Principles must all be there intact as such and not buried in other verbiage.”

The co-moderate wrote.

Dear Mona Lee (#23), Eric Burch (#29), Kenneth Button (#30), Ronald Schaeffer (#42), Diane Conrad (#132), Jerald Ross (#156), and Virginia Nixon (#183):

Your suggestions are all very similar. You all appear to want to add the 7 principles back into Article II. You are encouraged to work together, combine your suggestions into one proposed amendment, and decide who will be the delegate to sponsor it.

There is a lot to unpack in this comment.

The good news, amendments to the proposed language open the process to public debate. The bad news is that the actual language placed on the floor of the General Assembly will emerge only a few days before the vote. Amendments will be discussed at the mini-assembly preceding General Assembly. This amendment process also narrows the number of people involved. Only General Assembly delegates can submit and vote on amendments.

Delegate Accountability

With only delegates offering and voting on amendments and final language, it can be asked just how representative is General Assembly of the will of UUs across the country.

This problem was recognized more than 20 years ago by the Fifth Principle Project Task Force and re-emphasized in the 2020 Widening the Circle of Concern report. General Assembly “is not really democratic in that delegates are neither representative of their congregations other than being members nor are they accountable to them.” (page 31)

When making changes to the core elements of Unitarian Universalism, such as our Principles, Sources, and Freedom of Belief statement, it is essential that no UU be disenfranchised.

What to do?

We recommend that each congregation, during its delegate selection process, ask how the votes of those delegates will reflect the will of the congregation as a whole. It can be appropriately argued that delegates will need some flexibility since the final language of Article II is subject to last-minute changes.

However, macro-level guidance is equally valid. That is, if the will of the congregation is to retain the Seven Principles or to ensure the primary purpose of the Association remains to serve the needs of its member congregations, then delegates can vote in accordance with this general guidance.

A great deal is at stake at the upcoming June General Assembly. Let’s ensure every voice has a vote.

Recommended Videos

Below are two recommended videos hosted on Save the Seven Principles website. These videos can be shared on social media.

The Future of Unitarian Universalism is Threatened

This short video provides a well-argued reason to retain our Seven Principles.

Accountability will Transform UU: Every Member Should Form an Opinion About the UU Principles Rewrite.

The 55-minute video is well worth watching. It is structured as a two-part video that provides an in-depth review of the “behind the scenes” motivation for actions taken by the UU national leadership.

Two Important Things

Subscribe to Comments

Subscribe to comments to follow the comments from other readers.

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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Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago

I see your spewing is progressing as planned. I see some of your crew is trying to delete mentions of love and inclusivity.

Do you REALLY think anyone is being fooled by your charade.

It seems from the outside that you are horribly offended by the idea that white people not be centered.

Frank Casper
Frank Casper
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

As a famous poet so perceptively said, we don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are. Think about it.

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Casper

Everything is a matter of perspective. As a well paid corporate worker i saw things differently than i do now as essentially rural trailer trash.

Having lived in so many different ways i have an understanding of how ones position in society colors what “Truth” you see.

Peter
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

Spewing? Crew? Charade? You seem very angry.

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter

Hmmm, you don’t say ? That’s really perceptive of you to see a pissed off leftie punk girl as angry !!! I’m seeing a lot of my community being targetted by right wing laws. I’ve been assaulted by police for simply standing on a sidewalk and i have had multiple friends get life changing injuries from cops. ….Probably nothing you have experienced or really understand. Probably. 3 years of being personally targeted by a bigot kind of changed me too. I was a person who wanted to discuss and try to gently change perspectives. Now i am out to do… Read more »

Frank Casper
Frank Casper
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

Sorry to hear about how you’ve been so badly mistreated. Odd that, too, because we hear pretty much the same thing from the MAGA folk, including on this page. We don’t intend to engage in the competition for victim status. But if you coming out here bitching and blaming makes you feel better, have at it.

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Casper

There is a difference. Most of MAGA wants to take away civil rights from MANY groups.

Most MAGA sees people resisting them as them being mistreated. This is classic projection.

I have no desire for any victim status. I just want the anti-gay, ant-trans stuff to STOP. I was much happier before 2015 when people hardly noticed us.

….then MAGA decided that trans people were their scapegoats.

I strike out at liberal sounding anti-trans groups harder than conservative ones because of the hypocrisy.

Frank Casper
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

Actually, there is less difference then you claim. Both sides of this situation seek to undermine the whole Enlightenment legacy of rights. You’ve merely chosen your poison. Moreover, when it comes to hypocrisy, there’s plenty to go around. Consider yourself, for example, coming out here claiming to champion a cause for which you blame the folks here, but doing your virtue signalling anonymously.

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Casper

I am speaking for myself and my loved ones, not championing some abstract thing. There is not that much that is virtuous about a war whether it is a war of words (like here) or a more physical war. I fight for my rights and my autonomy. MAGA assholes and their IDW fellow travellers try to strip those rights. My poison ?? That fucking conservatives leave me the fuck alone and stop trying to legislate my rights out of existance ?? I don’t care if you are conservative or classical liberal but if you start pushing IDW ideas that try… Read more »

Frank Casper
Frank Casper
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

I see. You’re only concerned with you and yours. Well then, you’re wasting your time here. We’re concerned with that “abstract” thing. You know, that thing that makes your right of self determination and expression something everyone can enjoy.

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

Correct me if i am reading you wrong Frank, but what i am getting is that you are saying that MAGA republicans that want to take away LGBTQIA rights and people resisting MAGA trying to take their rights are the same ?

Is that what you are saying ?

Generally if i am left alone i don’t want to strike out but if you want to take my rights away i fight.

Like the plant below. If you don’t messwith it, you don’t get sick.

Aconitum-noveboracense01.jpg
Frank Casper
Frank Casper
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

No, they are not the same. They’ve completely different perspectives on the world and hate one another. But they also both hate the democratic system as we’ve known it, both regarding it as responsible for what they respectively view as the problem needing to be fixed. The right says democracy is a fraud favoritism g minorities and the left says it is a fraud favoring white people. Either way democracy and the whole Enlightenment project has to go.

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Casper

You are saying that advocating for LGBTQIA rights is against democracy.

Sounds like a straw man if i ever saw one.

Personally i advocate that democracy should be in all processes of society including the economy, schools and the workplace. That’s a far wider democracy than voting for a Republican or Democrat every 2 years.

As most modern liberal societies advocate, i do not believe that human rights should be up for a vote though. That’s the rights framework that was slowly built since the enlightenment with parallels in non-western societies.

Frank Casper
Frank Casper
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

No. That is not what I’m saying. I think you are willfully misrepresenting what I’m saying.

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Casper

I re-read what you said. I would agree that minorities and poor people have less representation than the more favored communities. Voter ID laws really hit poor and minority communities harder due to barriers getting id. I have no desire to see the limited democracy we have abolished for some sort of dictatorship. I would like to see it expanded and the distortions of democracy due to inequalities through wealth, race and other categories eliminated. I have lived in a so called totalitarian society (eastern bloc in the 70’s) and even there they had a pretense of voting. In the… Read more »

Frank Casper
Frank Casper
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

There is nothing fraudulent about voting n the US. If there were, than the MAGA crowd would not be spending so much to convince us all that it’s all rigged. And if democracy here were the fraud you claim it to be than there would be no explanation of the real progress we have made in the area if rights since our founding. It is true we can do much, much better. But if we abandon democracy, we’ll have discarded the only form of government, messy though it is, that is at least in principle devoted to that progress.

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Casper

I don’t believe that there is significant fraud in the counting of the votes.

Where the distortion comes is with money in politics that allows peoples to create consent with adds and the like.

The fact that minority communities experience far greater criminalization also distorts democracy in favor of whiter populations.

Also – many places have made it much harder for minority communities to vote. Less polling stations, long waits etc.

In a lot of ways i see Citizens United as the death toll of whatever is left of US Democracy.

Frank Casper
Frank Casper
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

Distortions do not make democracy a fraud.

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Casper

If anything i would say the democracy in the US is a fraud because it does not include the workplace, your school, the place you rent from or effectively most of the appointed judiciary. As the John Birch Society liked to say – the US is a republic, not a democracy. Even within the very very limited democracy of the US – some people’s vote has more sway than others due to distortions built into the very constitution. In the Federalist papers there was an argument that there would be a new aristocracy formed that was confirmed by the vote.… Read more »

Frank Casper
Frank Casper
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

Yes , of course, and Churchill said that democracy is the worst form of government, except with all the others. Democracy is messy.

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Casper

I prefer participatory democracy but even here in a former stronghold of participatory democracy – New England – we see town meetings limited to once a year and then eliminated altogether for representation.

larry lunt
larry lunt
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

Why is accepting the 8th Principle a positive step toward decreasing racial inequity in the U.S.? I’m assuming you support the 8th Principle. I apologize if you don’t.

Thomas
Thomas
1 year ago

Thank you for keeping people informed. It’s difficult to watch a once liberal faith tradition dissolve into camps of the oppressed and the oppressors. If you don’t adhere to Robin D’s white fragility “theory” and endlessly repent – if you question the latest gender ideology being followed, if you question the UUA’s role in all this and their motives at all… you are no longer a UU, you’re MAGA. How sad – I thought “questioning” was a backbone of our tradition.
Keep up the important work of informing people!!

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Thomas

I would more say that this group is more in line with the Intellectual Dark Web than MAGA. I fucking loathe the IDW with it’s calm liberal sounding promotion of bigotry particularly against trans people. IDW stabs us in the back claiming rationalism. At least MAGA is honest about it’s bigotry. I kind of lost it when i saw Frank Casper promoting the Evergreen Story – that is almost the origin story of the IDW. ….except people never say that the Weinsteins quit their jobs to be fulltime IDW grifters wrapping fascist ideas about trans people and “Gender Ideology” in… Read more »

Peter
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

OK, I gotta ask – what is IDW?

Jay Kiskel
Jay Kiskel
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter

Intellectual Dark Web. The intellectual dark web (IDW) is a label which has been applied to some commentators who oppose identity politics, political correctness, and cancel culture in higher education and the news media within Western countries.

Had to look that up

John Wunderlin
John Wunderlin
1 year ago
Reply to  Jay Kiskel

I have never heard of this, but where do I sign up? 🙂

Peter
1 year ago
Reply to  Jay Kiskel

Crikey, what a bunch of nonsense!

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Thomas

I don’t understand or recognize all the new sexuality and gender flags out there, but if someone asks to be called by a given pronoun i respect it. We do NOT have to explain or justify ourselves to deserve respect. There is a big difference between questioning beliefs and simply disrespecting someone’s identity you don’t understand. I believe you all call it “the Free AND RESPONSIBLE search for truth”. It’s not responsible to tread all over people’s feelings because you cannot personally see the reason for their identities. Just respect it and move on. (It’s what i do and i… Read more »

Thomas
Thomas
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

look, I didn’t respond to your post for a reason. Don’t appreciate being called a bigot – but it does prove my point… now piss off

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Thomas

Hmmmm…. I did not call you a bigot, at least not directly.

Are you MAGA or a supporter if the IDW ?

Are you anti-trans or “gender critical” ?

If you are MAGA, anti-trans, “gender critical”, anti-gay or IDW i would be happy to confirm that label for you.

Does the shoe fit ?

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

The Fifth Principle Project, Save the 7 Principles, and UUMUAC memberships include LGBT UUs.

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  John

Of course. I know LGBTQIA people all over the political spectrum. Believe it or not i have even bumped into a trans woman who was supporting the nazi side of a rally i was opposing.

In my area there is an ex-trans woman who is a far right christian MAGA supporter though i suspect she has been manipulated by a fundementalist minister.

People often support political causes that are not in their interests. Blaire White is a trans woman who pushes even anti-trans conservative politics. It does not change anything.

Point is i vehemently oppose the anti-trans anti CRT ideology.

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

David, that is not what i said. LBGTQIA people span the political spectrum.

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

I know LGBTQIA people that are far left, some anarchist, some Democrats, Some Republicans.

….and i have met some who are far right and one who is a nazi.

Identity does not map to political beliefs neatly.

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

You sound just like the degenerate MAGA asshole internet debaters you claim to NOT BE.

Prove to me that you are actually the liberal you claim to be rather than some psychopath.

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

This ain’t debate club.

Peter
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

I do not understand why you are being so nasty and insulting. If you have experienced discrimination and hatred in your life, I doubt it was from anyone on this group. And here is news: your feelings and experiences are not the most important thing in the universe.

Frank Casper
Frank Casper
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

This has gone far enough. You will be removed from this page tomorrow. I’m sure that will help boost your beloved status as victim.

John Wunderlin
John Wunderlin
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Casper

Thanks, Frank. I think it’s time- just going in circles here. I hope you keep these comments though, it’s instructive to read the words of the extreme devotees to this new religion

Frank Casper
Frank Casper
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

You can stop responding to whoever irritated was. She has been blocked.

Miles R Fidelman
Miles R Fidelman
1 year ago

I’d definitely go with retaining “serve the needs of its member congregations” as the primary purpose of the Association, and/or “scrap the whole thing.”

Personally, I’d like to go back to the original 1st principle wording:

In accordance with these corporate purposes, the members of the Unitarian Universalist Association, dedicated to the principles of a free faith, unite in seeking:
1. To strengthen one another in a free and disciplined search for truth as the foundation of our religious fellowship;”

Tim Bartik
1 year ago

From reading through the amendments at the UUA discussion site, I agree with poster Erik Guter, who supported Dick Burkhart’s proposed amendments. I think Burkhart’s proposals are the best proposed amendemnt, overall — and I say that even though I proposed a number of amendments, but I think Burkhart’s are more politically feasible than mine, and have the further virtute of being more succinct. If you go to the site, Guter’s post, which simply compile’s Burkhart’s amendment proposals into one, is post number 187.

Tim Bartik
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim Bartik

The advantages of Burkhart’s:

(1) Succinctness
(2) Retain 7 principles
(3) More clearly defines role of UUA
(4) Avoids concepts such as covenant or accountability that can lead to problems
(5) Does address some of the concerns that current Article II does not point to action
(6) Clearly defends freedom of belief.

anyway, I recommend people read Burkhart’s compiled amendment — I can’t figure out how to copy it here.

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim Bartik

It all sounds good on the surface, what worries me is that opposition to anti-racism and opposition to LGBTQIA rights and anti-racism is lurking under the term ‘dissent’. I hope this is not so but i have also seen so many posts talking about white people being victimized by anti-racism that i get a little queasy.

In my circles if people find that they have irreconcilable views we part ways. It is considered bad form to fight over the dead husk of an organization.

Tom C
Tom C
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

Love and inclusivity means parting ways when there are irreconcilable views?

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

…also, i think it is disengenuous to insist to be in community with people whose values are in direct opposition to your own on issues of human rights. For example morally i am compelled to oppose people who are organizing to violate the rights of so called illegal immigrants even if it is the name of “following the law”. I will oppose them having a platform to spew their hate and i will oppose them organizing to snitch out immigrants some of whom are truly the wretched of the earth. My moral conviction goes far beyond civil debate on this.… Read more »

Tom C
Tom C
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

I don’t know what your intention is, but your impact is equating those who don’t like “Love” in Article 2 with Nazis.

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom C

Nope. It was not the internal church baseball that drew me here. It was the pushback on anti-racism and the nasty questioning of trans rights and dignity.

My background really does like love. I’m not a cerebral ‘in my head’ type. I see love as the ultimate virtue really.

If y’all dropped the pushback against anti-racism and stopped the stuff that pushes back a bit on trans rights i would go away and let you sort out the minutiae of language.

Tom C
Tom C
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

Are you defining the impact of your statements?

I guess I can define my impact too. None of the statements I made are racist or transphobic.

Now that’s out of the way, I think the Article 2 rewrite sucks and will be detrimental to people of color and the LGBTQIA community.

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom C

Also from your “Sources”:

“1 Corinthians 13 1

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”

I’m not a christian but i like that verse.

Frank Casper
Frank Casper
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

You could try taking your own advice. If your attitude and demeanor are the measure, little wonder there’s so much skepticism about the word love when used by such as yourself. You’re only reason for being here is to accuse the rest of us of being nazi’s and to constantly brag about your virtue. Both are lies.

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Casper

Please don’t lie.

This is NOT what was said.

This kind of bad jacketing only worsens this groups already less than stellar repuation.

I talk about nazis because i spend a lot of time fighting them. I do not think you are nazis or even alt-right.

I think this group is closer to the Intellectual Dark Web which also has many ideas that i consider incredibly vile.

Irr I Tated
Irr I Tated
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Casper

My virtue ?? I’ll chortle in my beer on that one.
I am as mean as a dog who has been kicked one too many times.

As far as me calling you a nazi, i think you might be having some issues understanding the written word. I am sorry about that.

Frank Casper
Frank Casper
1 year ago
Reply to  Irr I Tated

So much much for 1 Corinthians 13. You’re an exquisite example of why the whole love thing you claim to support is such a fraud.

allan foster
allan foster
1 year ago

wow…this has been a startling thread. i am from spokane, wa. and was there at the 2019 ‘kick off’ at the General Assembly. my experience has been one of the ‘who’s on first, what’s on second, and i don’t know is on third…..’ nature. this thread comes across as confusing and clairifying. yet it has helped see more of the whole. still, i a lot of what i am seeing is “good intention run amuck” in the UUA and those supporting it. the “devil is in the details” is what comes out here for me.

Chort LN Beer
Chort LN Beer
1 year ago
Reply to  allan foster

It’s gadflies.

gadfly-of-ox_lg.gif
John Wunderlin
John Wunderlin
1 year ago

It seems they have stopped adding suggestions to the discussion page- there have been no new ones in some time. This is a shame because one of our members made what I consider to be a fantastic suggestion. Our discussion group is made up of members who whole heartedly support the Article 2 rewrite and members who whole heartedly oppose it. We ALL supported his verbiage that I am copying below, from Gary Gates: The present Article II is an excellent statement of the basis for Unitarian Universalism. It is elegant and succinct.  While the proposed Article II does incorporate… Read more »