The 8th Principle Vote—An Opposition Statement

I'm writing this letter because I won't be present at the meeting to consider an 8th Principle, so I will not be able to speak in opposition to its adoption.

First, allow me to thank all who have worked so hard to bring this issue to us. I know how much effort all of this takes, and I salute your hours of service and your dedication to the UUFP. Your efforts have promoted some deep soul searching.  My sincere thanks.

However, though it breaks my heart to oppose some wonderfully caring people, I cannot vote for the proposed 8th principle.  I've written and re-written this message probably a dozen times or more, with detail after detail why I can't support the 8th principle. I've agonized over how I could “accountably dismantle racism” in myself.  Finally, in the interest of brevity, I've condensed it all down to this.

Racism is an evil. However, is it any more evil than war, or greed, or denying women's reproductive rights, or not providing universal health-care, or political corruption, or suffrage rights, or gun violence, or defiling the environment of all for the personal gains of a few, “etc., etc., etc.”? Racism is one of many human flaws and resistance to it (and all the “other oppressions”) is eloquently addressed in the current seven principles.

If we need this 8th Principle, then don't we need another dozen or so to cover the other of our human issues? If we need an 8th principle shouldn't it be a bit more encompassing than “ourselves and our institutions”?  If we need an 8th principle, shouldn't it be a bit more definitive on the process of accountability? If we need an 8th principle, shouldn't we be voting on the actual wording, not “don't worry about the wording it will soon be re-written”?

I urge you to vote “no” on June 5. I also encourage you to continue your opposition of racism and all the oppressions that humans impose upon other humans.

Thank you for all that you do.

Alan Sheeler

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