Unitarian Universalists covenant to affirm and promote:Unitarian Universalists will recognize the Seven Priniciples, taken from the UUA By-Laws and the front of the hymnal. The By-Laws read, "the Member Congregations covenant to affirm and promote….," but Starr King says individual UUs, a very different thing. I have seen the exact same re-wording elsewhere, including the bulletin board of my own home congregation.
The inherent worth and dignity of every person
Justice, equity and compassion in human relations
Acceptance of one another and encouragement to …..
In the context of the By-Laws, these are just some principles for which an association of congregations is formed. But minus the "congregations affirm" wording, this starts to look like creeping creedalism.
And there is zero mention of the Sources, as if Unitarian Universalism sprung fully formed from the brow of Zeus. In 1961, the Sources came first; in 1986 they moved to second place; now they apparently don't rate a mention on the seminary's web page.
I have even had a discussion (with a member of UUA officialdom, no less) who asked, "you do believe in the Seven Principles, don't you?" Well, actually, I never considered them as an article for "belief," and if that is what they are there for, they're pretty thin beer. However, that's a discussion for another blog, and others have done a better critique of the Principles than I am likely to produce.
So ignoring the critique - is there anyone else who is bothered by the transformation of the Seven Principles from an enumeration of plausible points of agreement in organizational by-laws into articles of belief? (And I'm not interested in subtle word games on the difference between "affirm" and "belief.")