On the Purposes and Principles

I’ve been talking about the idea of cultural misappropriation so much that I haven’t talked about what brought the discussion on…..the Purposes and Principles.

I have to be honest……I’ve always thought that the Purposes and Principles are nothing but sentimental claptrap. These revisions don’t change my opinion. It would probably be a better thing if we didn’t have them, as they have become too much like a creed in too many UU churches.

That said, I encourage one and all to participate in giving comments to the Commission on Appraisal and telling them what you think.

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9 thoughts on “On the Purposes and Principles

  1. I think you’ve just hit on why I’m most unhappy with the revision. Instead of revising, it enshrines the language — which makes it more “creedal” than it was. Better to re-articulate, to use new language, so that the underlying ideas can be gotten at and so that the language doesn’t calcify into a de facto creed.

  2. I agree with ogre on this. I do, however, have my own alterations to what the committee came up with on my blog. Oh, and I referenced your blog, along with CC and Rev Hammond in my discussion of cultural misappropriation; thought you should know.

  3. (((I have to be honest……I’ve always thought that the Purposes and Principles are nothing but sentimental claptrap. These revisions don’t change my opinion. It would probably be a better thing if we didn’t have them, as they have become too much like a creed in too many UU churches.))

    Couldn’t agree with you more.

    CC

  4. “Better to re-articulate, to use new language, so that the underlying ideas can be gotten at and so that the language doesn’t calcify into a de facto creed.”

    Too late Ogre. The Seven Principles have been a de facto creed from the day that they were introduced. Any formal statement of religious beliefs, principles, or ideals is a “creed” according to most dictionary definitions of the word “creed”. I have been trying to get U*Us to enter into a free and responsible search for the truth and meaning of the word “creed” for years now. . .

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/creed

  5. I think calling this language a “creed” is a gross over-exaggeration.

    It seems that everyone posting here is confusing a creed with a “covenant” and stretching the definition of “creed” beyond its normal meaning.

    There is nothing in the current or proposed Article II that is a statement of belief — there is no “we believe” statement in either document. Therefore, it’s not a “creed” by definiition.

    If we translated the UU principles into Latin, there would be no use of the word “credo” (Latin for “I believe”) in the document.

    The current and draft Article II ask the UUA member congregations to agree to do certain things — in other words to “covenant.”

    If we call the current or proposed Article II a “creed” we are stretching the word beyond what it means.

    It may be more accurate to call the UU principles a “dogma” which means it’s “a system of principles or tenets, as of a church”:

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dogma

    And the concerns being expressed here may not be that we have a “dogma” or collection of religious principles but rather one of being dogmatic with our current Article II covenant:

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dogmatic

    If we’re becoming doctrinaire or opinionated with our use of the UU Principles, then we’ve crossed the line from having a “dogma” (collection of religious principles) to being “dogmatic” in my opinion.

  6. I have already proven that the Seven Principles are a de facto creed in another thread here and have done so elsewhere on the internet several times over in the past. To save myself the trouble of thoroughly rebutting most of what you have said here I refer you to this thread –

    https://eastofmidnight.wordpress.com/2008/09/17/if-its-not-a-creed-dont-treat-it-like-one/

    I will however rebut the following here and now –

    “There is nothing in the current or proposed Article II that is a statement of belief — there is no “we believe” statement in either document.”

    You are quite mistaken Steve. May I suggest that you enter into a free and responsible search for the truth and meaning of the word “affirm”?

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/affirm

    The word “affirm” is a very strong form of “we believe” statement. Just as a “covenant” is a very strong form of “agreement” or indeed *promise*. . .

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/covenant

    Heck even the word “promote” in the phrase “affirm and promote” tacitly implies belief in the “product” that U*Us are “selling”. . . Who wants to promote aka sell a product they don’t actually believe in Steve? Other than fraud artists of course. . .

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/promote

    :Therefore, it’s not a “creed” by definiition.

    But I have already shown that the Seven *Principles* are in fact a “creed” according to commonly accepted dictionary definitions of the word “creed” Steve.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/creed

    I have been telling U*Us this for years now.

    “If we translated the UU principles into Latin, there would be no use of the word “credo” (Latin for “I believe”) in the document.”

    Oh really Steve? How do you say “affirm” in Latin?

    This online English to Latin dictionary

    http://www.freedict.com/onldict/lat.html

    provides the translation – protestor, protesto

    Sounds like a very strong form of the word “credo” to me. . .

    Another Latin to English online translator –

    http://www.sunsite.ubc.ca/LatinDictionary/

    provides the following translation of the Latin word “protesto” –

    Meaning: declare in public, affirm, bear witness.

    Is it possible that Unitarian*Universalists aka U*Us really *affirm*, *bear witness* to, and unquestionably *declare in public* Seven Principles that they don’t actually believe in?

    In light of my own and other people’s bitter experiences of outrageous U*U hypocrisy perhaps I shouldn’t have asked that question. . .

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hypocrisy

    If U*Us are becoming doctrinaire or opinionated with their abuse of the UU Principles, then U*Us have crossed the line from having a “creed” (collection of religious principles) to being “hypocritical” in my opinion.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hypocritical

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