I have been associated with the Unitarians since 1953 but I have often said to my friends that I was born a Unitarian in 1935 and didn’t discover until December 1953 that I was a Unitarian. Exactly what that meant to me was … to always treat people as well as I possibly could, and expect that they were telling me the truth as they saw it. The idea of what the truth was about various subjects is a point that generates considerable conversation; which I enjoyed, and still do. That’s about sixty-six years of daily bull-shit, or as some accused me of, because of my weight and volume of production, elephant-shit.
On a more serious note, after asserting my open-ended and light-hearted approach to creeds and religious dogma, I am approaching the subject of UU belief with hope for bringing it, and religion, and all humanity closer to my conception of what people might choose as guiding principles for how they might approach their personal reality. But first, let me begin with the current general handout that is given out before the more specific Sunday “Fresh-sheet” of information. The following picture of me welcoming people to our church was unplanned, and unexpected by me,
but when one opens the beautifully done brochure the first thing seen is:
We affirm & promote
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person
- Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations
- Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations.
- A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
- The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large
- The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all
- Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
In 1936 the Unitarians published Unitarians Face A New Age – The Report of the Commission of Appraisal to the American Unitarian Association at 25 Beacon Street, Boston, MA. I purchased that eighty-three-year-old book and am reading it because I am planning to go to the UU conference in Spokane, Washington, next month and wanted a background in UU policy. On page 33 of that book I read that Unitarians are “stubborn only in the resolve to resist the temptation to become fixed and final.” The renditions above of our current inclinations are not indifferent, they are clear and concise statements of things to be valued by all people, but the language is different from the ideas presented by them and me in my post “Unitarians Agree” we need sparkle. That links to my rewrite of the 1936 generalized statements of Unitarian aspirations. Here are the current official Seven Principles. Below are my ideas for a current statement.
We affirm and promote
The Unitarian Universalist Principles
- Include the inherent worth, dignity, and need for love of every living being
- We seek compassion in all of our relations with all beings.
- We accept one another and encourage moral growth toward actions which help others.
- We long for meaning based on evidence-based truth and responsible actions.
- We support personal exploration combined with an open discussion with others to find a path to a sustainable future.
- Our goal is a thriving world filled with life, liberty, and opportunities for everyone.
- We choose to shape our lives as a meaningful part of the entire Universe.
I as an individual choose to invite you personally to help create this new statement of goals in a way that would be more acceptable to Unitarian Universalists and all other humans.