If they made Mr. C. king of the universe…

Dan, my stupid alter ego, is on the train to General Assembly. Time for Mr. Crankypants to tell you what’s what….

Mr. Crankypants’s denomination, the Unitarian Universalist Association, is currently facing up to the fact that the denominational bylaws require us to review Article 2, the principles and purposes — that in fact we’re five years overdue in making such a review.

The current principles and purposes were drafted in the mid-1980’s, and they now sound selfish and narcisisstic principles — a true product of their time. Pity that Mr. C. isn’t King of the Universe (yet), for if he were, the principles and purposes would already be rewritten. Of course you want to see Mr. C.’s version of the principles and purposes. Read on, fair reader….

Knowing that no words shall ever be used as a creed among us, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association do enter into covenant together to uphold these religious principles:

That every person is worthy of love; and therefore we shall treat each other, and all human beings, with justice tempered by love and compassion;

That we shall remain religious seekers all our lives, acknowledging that as individuals we are finite beings with limited understanding; and therefore we acknowledge that we must remain responsive to the insights of other human beings, particularly those within our covenanted religious community;

That we shall depend on love, reason, and liberty in the day-to-day and year-to-year running of our religious communities, making them an example to the world of the best in human communities;

That we shall promote openness, fairness, and honesty in in our own communities and in all human interactions, living out the highest democratic principles to the end that we shall resist authoritarianism wherever it springs up;

That we shall extend morality and our love to all living beings and Earth’s entire biosphere.

Ongoing revelation continually opens new insights to humanity. We acknowledge the beauty and insights present in all great world religious traditions; we recognize that as a religious movement we are rooted in the Western religious traditions, though individuals among us may be rooted in other traditions; and we recognize our responsibility to re-interpret Western religious traditions in light of the lives we live in the present.

As free, but mutually interdependent, congregations we enter into this covenant; we promise to one another our mutual trust and support; and should we break this covenant with other congregations, we shall accept the guidance of, and appropriate discipline by, other congregations within this covenant.

Nit-pick if you will, but you have to admit these are far better, and far truer to our deep religious core, than the nasty principles and purposes currently in our bylaws.

Too bad Mr. Crankypants isn’t king of the universe.

Later note: As of September 4, 2008, the new draft version of Article II has been released… and Mr. Crankypants has graded it as if it is a term paper. Let’s just say it does not get a high grade. If only Mr. C. was King of the Universe this all could have been avoided….

11 thoughts on “If they made Mr. C. king of the universe…

  1. Craig

    Well, I wouldn’t vote for him to be King of the Universe, but Mr. Crankypants’s purposes and principles would get my whole hearted vote.

    Maybe he should give ’em to Dan and see what he can do with them.

  2. ms michelle


    very good. would be better to make a motion on your words than spend the years and $$$ that are about to be spent…if only Mr. C…If only…

  3. Bill Baar

    finite: are you sure? is that in accord with the latest physics and cosmology?

    why earthbound? What happens when the aliens come? They’re out? no options for them?

  4. Jamie Goodwin

    I love your words.. its just that there are so many of them! If we are going to change the P&P I hope it is to something simpler and shorter, not longer and more complicated

  5. fausto

    Maybe not King of the Universe, but Mr. C is the best candidate for Unitarian Pope since cranky old Andrews Norton!

    Great rewrite! Love it! It has built-in defenses against creedal misuse and admonitions to practical application, both of which the current version lacks.

  6. Donna

    I agree with Jamie; it’s too wordy. However, it’s a whole sight better than the Principles as stated by the UUA, which sounds like a legal document, rather than something that could inspire the soul.

  7. Jeff Wilson

    Dan, I posted this in a thread over at Peacebang’s site, but now that I’m not doing a million things at once it occurs to me that that was a dumb place to put it. Obviously, I should’ve responded here, since it continues your thought.

    Anyway, I appreciate your getting the ball rolling on a rewrite of the P&P. I figured I’d try my hand at massaging your words a little bit, to see if I could help bring out their spirit in somewhat fewer words. Here’s my initial attempt:

    Knowing that no words shall ever be used as a creed among us, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association do covenant together to uphold these religious principles:

    Every person is worthy of love; thus we seek that all be treated with justice, dignity, and compassion.

    The religious journey is as old as humanity, as fresh as each new birth, and lasts an entire lifetime; thus we remain always open to the wisdom of one another.

    Love, reason, and liberty are the lifeblood of liberal religion; thus we manage our communities by them so that we may be a light upon the hill for others.

    Openness, fairness, and honesty are our guiding ideals; thus we promote them amongst ourselves and stand firm against authoritarianism in every realm.

    Our love embraces all life and the whole Earth; thus we approach all living things with humility, reverence, and awareness of their worth.

    Revelation is ever-flowing; we receive its grace from many sources. Gratefully we remember that our denomination was founded upon the rock of liberal Christianity, and joyfully we believe that we are each free to swim in the ocean of humanity’s spiritual richness. As interdependent congregations we freely enter into this covenant; we pledge to one another our mutual trust and support.

  8. Jeff Wilson

    Well, Mr. Crankypants, if you’re gonna scold me like my mother, you oughta use my FULL name: “Jeffrey Townsend Wilson, you are in the doghouse young man!” Yes, Mom. . .

  9. Administrator

    (((Psst… Hey, Jeff, just ignore Mr. C. and he will go away… reply to him, and you’re sunk. Just sayin.)))

  10. Mr. Crankypants

    Jeffrey, Jeffrey, Jeffrey — Mr. Crankypants is so displeased that you addressed your reply to Dan. Dan did not get the ball rolling on the rewrite of the “principles and purposes,” Mr. Crankypants did. You are now in Mr. Crankypants’s doghouse, which means you will be called “Jeffrey” instead of “Jeff.”

    Bill, Bill, Bill — of course Mr. Crankypants is sure about “finite,” he is sure about everything. As for the aliens, when they come, they will be in Earth’s biosphere. It’s really so simple.

  11. Ann Schranz

    Dear Mr. Crankypants, way to go! I am just coming out of post-GA stupor,
    so I am behind the times in reading blogs.

    I truly appreciate your contribution, a major improvement.

    Ann in Aptos, interim minister this year and next year

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