At the Annual Meeting on May 19, 2019, perspectives were shared about the proposed 8th Principle. The large majority of those who spoke were in favor of USG adopting it in support of the denomination adopting it. People spoke about our 7 Principles as not having been enough to support, inspire, ensure, a commitment to fight racism and other oppressions. One person likened the 8th Principle vis a vis the 7 Principles to the Black Lives Matter vis a vis All Lives Matter conversation. Of course we all agree that All Lives Matter, but we haven’t behaved that way in this country since before it was founded, so by embracing Black Lives Matter, we are renewing our commitment to justice and equity for Black people. Two people said that in spite of years of anti-racist commitment, they both had committed hurtful micro-aggressions in the last week and that the 8th would be helpful to them to be even more mindful. The dissenting voices spoke to a conviction that the 7 Principles address the spirit of the 8th and we need to instead focus on fully living the 7. They also expressed a concern that the 8th might dilute the power of the current 7.
Rev. Kent likened the adoption of the 8th as akin to signing on to a bill in support of its passage through the larger legislative body. He is hoping USG will adopt it in advance of the UU General Assembly which begins June 19. For more information on the 8th Principle, visit: https://usguu.org/members-online/the-8th-principle/