New CUC document

Thanks to Joseph at Radical Hapa for drawing attention to the Canadian Unitarian Council’s proposed revision and domestication of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Principles and Purposes. No need to rehash the P&Ps misuse, but the action draws up two competing thoughts:

  • Why are they doing this thing? It seems to be a bit of a muddle. A lot of effort, but not enough of a change to seem worthwhile. The fact it is a “statement of shared values and aspirations” scans rather weak. Also, it undoes the carefully balanced arm’s-length recognition that some people might believe in God that the Christians fought for — thanks to Harry Hoehler — twenty years ago. Perhaps some of these issues will be worked out in future drafts. Or perhaps not.
  • Weren’t we (the UUA) supposed to get back around and revisit the Principles and Purposes? I thought a fifteen-year review was part of the deal. Part of me thinks that Christianity would suffer under a revision, or that this might reactivate lazy Christians. Also, it might shake up the growing P&P idolatry. But that’s precisely why I don’t see a revision happening.

For a different kind of document, look to the “revised Object of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches.”

Discuss among yourselves.

Statement of Principles Taskforce

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. Frankly, I like the UK version better than the Canadian version. The UK version feels more heartfelt, and more grounded. The Canadian version feels almost secular, and tastes like something a committee cooked up because somebody at the CUC decided they needed a mission and vision statement. Such urges for word smithing (allong with idolatrous obsessions with Carver models of governance) seem to dominate many a UU administrator.

    Interesting observation… The Canadian version seems to draw a contrast between Humanist and spiritual traditions, as if Humanism was something exclusively different removed from spirituality. This Christian doesn’t buy the bunk that Humanism is not a spiritual tradition.

    Also, the Canadian version tends to cast Protestant Christianity in a kind of applied past tense. Or maybe I’m just being paranoid? Somebody tell me if I’m right or wrong on that one.

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