UU Trivia Question of the Day #13

Time to tackle Actions of Immediate Witness. These are resolutions (in fact, they were called Resolutions of Immediate Witness until 1997) that are issued from the General Assembly each year, typically condemning some sort of social injustice, environmental catastrophe, or other phenomenon that is objected to by political liberals in the United States.

Actions of Immediate Witness are voted on by participants at GA and, if passed, they take the form of a proclamation stating why the UUA objects to (or, less often, supports) the issue at hand and what actions it recommends to deal with the issue. They are not binding on the UUA (that is, they don’t set actual policies, such as determining budgets, etc), nor are they binding on UU congregations; they certainly aren’t binding on the targets of the Actions (Congress, the U.S. President, the U.S. military, Appalachian coal mining companies, etc). Rather, they are symbolic in nature and serve to bring congregational attention to issues, as well as lending UUA clout to organizations or individuals pursuing such issues. They also ritually express UU righteousness over pressing social issues, connecting to the prophetic spirit valued in liberal religious history.

These Actions of Immediate Witness have greatly increased in popularity in recent years, to the point where they’ve been officially capped at no more than six per General Assembly. So here’s today’s question:

In what year was the first Action/Resolution of Immediate Witness issued by the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association?

Extra bonus question: what was the issue under discussion, and what side did the UUA take?

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Filed under Liberal Religious History, Unitarian-Universalism

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