Breaking with UUA Principles

Breaking with UUA Principles January 5, 2016

Children's version of UUA 7 Principles written on stones.
Children’s version of UUA 7 Principles written on stones.

Each of us as CUUPS members have agreed to embrace the seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism.  Yet, if we are honest with our selves and engage in an intense internal process that seeks to really understand our commitment to these statements, we all fall short of the goal of “walking our talk” as UUA members.

Having deeply and completely given myself over to these statements as a guide for daily living, it is often a struggle for me to live up to what they urge me to do in daily life.  When I do engage in thoughts or behaviors that contradict my adopted values I experience a considerable amount of discomfort. In fact, the Principles often call me to examine my own internal motivations and beliefs.

It is these experiences that encourage me to continue on my CUUPS journey. This process has reinforced my belief in the principles and to understand that they are aspirational in nature. Growth, insight and a deeper understanding of what divinity intends for me flow freely from these experiences where I fall short of my beliefs.

When I fall short and speak to someone in a way that does not reflect my belief in “the inherent worth and dignity of every person” I am called by the principles to examine my own reaction, explore what old beliefs or attitudes motivated the behavior and make amends.

Similarly, when I witness an injustice and remain silent the principles remind me of my own obligation to speak up and become an active part of manifesting the kind of world we all wish to live in. The experience leaves me primed to consider how to take action when another situations arises

Deep inside all of us know that living our values is a struggle. Perhaps we can collectively agree to frame engaging our principles as “followers” instead of believers. Yes, I would love to believe that one day that my own personal actions and reactions will 100% reflect the UUA principles; today is not that day. For now, I find it deeply meaningful to just aspire to these worthy goals, learning and evolving into a better human being along the way.

The UUA Principles

1st Principle

The inherent worth and dignity of every person;

2nd Principle:

 Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

3rd Principle

Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;

4th Principle

A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;

5th Principle

The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;

6th Principle

The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;

7th Principle

Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

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