One of the proposed Congregational Study/Action Issues that will be discussed at General Assembly later this month is “Ethical Eating: Food and Environmental Justice.” In the official proposal is a section that describes the issue’s significance to UUism. Here is what it says:
“Unitarian Universalists have a vision of environmental justice. One of our principles acknowledges “the interdependent web.” Others affirm the importance of human rights. Together our principles form one holistic statement that helps to define liberal religion.”
Leaving aside the actual issues of economic justice and environmental degradation that the CSAI is concerned with, let’s just take a look at the language of this proposal. Simply put: does Unitarian Universalism have principles, as this statement claims? The principles being cited here are those of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, which in its bylaws includes a set of principles that acknowledges “the interdependent web” and affirms the importance of human rights. But are these the principles of UUism, or of the UUAoC, a specific organization within UUism? And do these principles enunciated by the UUAoC indeed create a statement that helps define liberal religion?
This is intended as an open question. What do you think? Are the UUAoC principles also the principles of UUism? Why or why not? How do you go about determining the principles of UUism? In what way are UUs responsible for holding to this “holistic statement” and the principles that underlie it?