The 8th Principle ≠ an 11th Commandment!

candle with a lighted flame

Are you feeling as if adopting the proposed 8th Principle is like adding an 11th Commandment? Some UUs have that reaction.

Our seven principles express our covenant with other congregations in the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). A vital aspect of our living tradition is that our covenants are not set in stone. We can decide, as a group, to change them.

The UUA Bylaws require a periodic review of Article II—our principles, sources, and the association’s purposes. In 2020, the UUA charged an Article II Study Commission to begin the review process, including considering the proposed 8th Principle.

Why, then, are congregations adopting the 8th Principle independently?

Because the process of review and voting takes a few years. Nationwide, UU congregations recognize the need to commit to the work against racism and other systemic oppressions now.

The grassroots movement for the 8th Principle encourages member congregations to:

  • begin the conversations,
  • examine their own institutional practices, and
  • enable the creation of truly inclusive communities.

As congregations independently adopt the 8th Principle, the support builds for adoption of an anti- oppression principle by the UUA.

As stated in the UUA Charge to the Article II Study Commission: “There is nothing sacred about the number of principles or sources, nor their specific wordings. . . ”

This is an exciting time to be a UU!