UUA politics: Article II revision, pt. 2

Once again, I’ll say that I’m critical of the present Article II, and since at least 2005 I’ve been advocating revision. And while I criticized the current draft revision in a previous post, I think the revision is headed in the right direction — towards a complete rewrite.


In a conversation on Mastodon, Peter Bowden said something that made sense to me: This is not the time to revise Article II.

All the UU congregations that I know are still reeling from the effects of the pandemic. We are in survival mode. (As an aside, I’m predicting that in the next few years, as many as a third of all UU congregations are going to go under.)

And for many UU congregations, the old “Principles and Purposes” are woven throughout their congregational life. Many, maybe most, UU congregations have the old “Principles and Purposes” posted somewhere in their buildings, maybe as a framed poster, sometimes even painted right on the walls. UU congregations have incorporated the old “Principles and Purposes” into their bylaws, on their websites, in their Sunday school curriculums, in their worship services, everywhere. When congregations are still reeling from the pandemic, we’re asking a lot of them to remove this central part of their identity.

Does Article II need to be revised? Heck yeah.

Is now the time to revise Article II? Mm, no.

In that Mastodon conversation, Peter Bowden suggested maybe by 2030. At first I thought he was exaggerating, but as I thought about my current congregation I think that might be a realistic time frame for when we will have the bandwidth to take this on.