Dear Beloved Community,
Transitional Minister J Sylvan and Board President Barbara Brandon here. We are happy to begin the challenge posed by the question “Will BAUUC consider adopting the UUA Eighth Principle by congregational vote?”
In order to have a productive and loving conversation, it’s necessary for us to be informed about what the Eighth Principle is and where it came from. We have compiled some resources below that will answer some of the common questions about the Eighth Principle. For instance, some people have reacted negatively to the fact that it is worded differently from other principles. Others believe that it is redundant, and the spirit of the Eighth Principle is already covered in the Seven Principles. You can find some responses to these questions and more below.
Please explore these resources to inform yourself for discussions we will have as a congregation beginning in January.
J & Barbara
Suggested Self Study…
This link from the Unitarian Universalist Association website that explains the basic background and reasoning behind the principle:
Background — The 8th Principle of Unitarian Universalism (8thprincipleuu.org)
Information on the Article II Study Commission at the UUA:
The Article II Study Commission and the 8th Principle | Article II Study Commission | UUA.org
What is the Eighth Principle: A Short Youtube video
From Unitarian Church in Evanston:
Q&A: Can we change the wording?
We will not be discussing any revisions to the 8th Principle. The established wording of the 8th Principle is: “We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, 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.”
This wording was created by BIPOC and white UUs working in collaboration. The established wording was solidified in 2013 and has been endorsed by BLUU (Black Lives of UU) and DRUUMM (Diverse Revolutionary UU Multicultural Ministries). In an effort to have the 8th Principle be a consistent message across the UU world, UCE will not be discussing any edits to the wording of the 8th Principle.
Our friends at the Unitarian Universalist congregation in Brookfield, WI share these ideas:
“While it is phrased differently from the more vision-focused language of the other 7 Principles, it was specifically worded to express the need for accountable action because the implicit language of dignity, respect, equity and inclusion in the current 7 Principles has not resulted in sustained and significant change towards anti-racism in the UUA or its congregations.
Also, in our journey of understanding white supremacy culture (which includes an emphasis on the perfectibility of the written word) we recommend releasing the desire to tinker with the 8th Principle wording, and simply accept what UUs of color have said is needed, and the way it is being said.”
From the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. This link will take you to a page that includes a pro and con argument for adopting the 8th Principle: