Development of the 7 Principles and 6 Sources

The first major revision was in the mid 1980s. It is striking to read the original 6. They reflect their time. The language is male-centered and Judeo-Christian is the only religious tradition.

The members of the UU Women’s Federation [UUWF] took issue. There was a multi-year/meeting/draft effort that culminated in the 7 which had ‘religious integrity, intellectual coherence, and literary quality.’ In addition to the work of the UUWF, there were two cultural/philosophical/political groundswells: religious traditions other than Judeo-Christian were important to us and Global Warming was critical to our place in the world.

The result was the 7 principles. The 6 sources were added as a compromise. The issue was the inclusion of a deity and the Judeo- Christian tradition. The inclusion of a deity and the Judeo- Christian tradition in the original 6 had almost derailed the formation of the UUA. When they started the review, that same issue was raised. In a stroke of genius, someone suggested including sources for the principles and everyone was appeased.

The 7 have remained almost unchanged for the past 35 years. In my next article I will write about events during those 35 years and the development of #8.