The proposed 8th Principle calls on us to: Dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions. I agree with adding such a Principle to the existing 7 and with taking action to implement it.
What I don’t support is the lengthy wording proposed for adoption by our Congregation. That wording is: “We covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”
With the best of intentions, that is not a well worded principle. It’s too hard to read and understand. If approved as written, it will undermine the effectiveness of our UUA Principles (Unitarian Universalist Association). So what?
To me the UUA Principles are the most important words we have in our Faith. They are short. They are relatively simple to understand and communicate. They provide a needed touchstone for a Faith that may not be easy for some to understand. Personally, I look to them to be reminded of what our Church believes in. They are short enough for me to use in an “elevator speech “with someone who has asked “what is Unitarian-Universalism”?
The proposed statement is harder to read and quickly understand than the existing 7 Principles. Having read it several times, I still stumble as I read through it.
I have two suggestions. First, shorten it to read, “Take action to dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”
Second, to promote action to achieve our Principles, let us, as a Congregation, challenge the UUA and member Congregations to define and implement action programs for each Principle, Let’s start with the 8th.
Last, a UUA Article II Study Commission will be looking at UUA Purposes and Principles. Good. I hope the next version of Principles is relatively easy to read and understand. I need a UU touchstone that I can go back to. One that I can easily reflect on and explain to others.