Theological Underpinnings

Unitarian Universalists (UUs) affirm and promote seven principles:

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

When you engage with a UU who is working for justice, you will find these principles expressed in both word and action.  That is who we are. 

This topic serves as a one of many places on this site where we speak of our justice work as UUs.  Please join us here.  Read.  Post.  Leave a comment.  Pause to reflect.

Recently Updated
Why I Won't Be Celebrating Thanksgiving This Year Last Updated on 2016-12-01 23:15:58 I feel like a a wet blanket (or maybe, given the weather here, like a wet Northwest winter day) saying what I'm about to say, as all over America people brine their turkeys, greet their out-of-town guests, stock up on beverages and prepare for the great American celebration of food, family, friends, and abundance. I can't do it this year. I just can't. Instead I will spend this Thanksgiving fasting from sunup to sundown. I will spend the day in prayer, remorse, and grief for the 500-year ongoing genocide on this continent, most vividly represented by what is happening just north of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation as I write this. I will also spend the day in gratitude for the immense courage and resilience of the original peoples of this land, some of them camped out right now in the North Dakota winter, protecting the earth for all of us, surrounded by the full... More »
A Time to Engage - A Response to the 2016 Election from UUs for a Just Economic Community Last Updated on 2016-11-23 13:21:40 The Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community (UUJEC) has fought for over 25 years against the dominant root causes of inequality. Our core work is centered on the intersection of economic inequality and our 7 UU Principles. We observe that the escalation of economic inequality over the last 30 years has created widespread insecurity and a fertile breeding ground for racism, sexism and religious/ethnic intolerance. This current distress leads to a nostalgic yearning for an imagined time in history when things were “better.” However, current and many proposed policies result in better only for the already privileged, not for the disenfranchised. The conscience of our nation continues to be compromised and our political process exacerbates this dilemma. What can our progressive religious community do to help heal the soul of America? For the UUJEC, now more... More »
Political Polarization & Religious Experience, published in the Peninsula Daily News, 10-7-16 Last Updated on 2016-10-12 20:09:16   Beyond the divisions there is a field Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right­doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. (Rumi)   This year’s election cycle, even more than previous cycles, is demonstrating just how divided our society is, divisions seen not only between political parties but also between religious institutions. I know, for example, how horrified so many in the congregation I serve will be if the Republican nominee wins the presidency; and I also know that the horror will be equal in other congregations in our community and country if the Democratic nominee wins. But the vocation of religious institutions is – or ought to be – larger than that of being adjuncts to political parties and their candidates, deeper than that of representing the values of one’s tribe or denomination... More »
Reaching Beyond the Divides: Faith, Party, and Privilege Part One, Opening Address for the 6th Annual Northwest UU Justice Summit (October 1, 2016) Last Updated on 2016-10-06 14:51:17 Download this Presentation Introduction The theme for this year’s Northwest UU Justice Summit is titled “Reaching Beyond the Divides: Faith, Party, and Privilege,” which we will begin to approach with back-to-back opening talks by Florence Caplow and me. Reading: “Mending Wall” I begin my part by reading the well-known poem of Robert Frost titled “Mending Wall,” a poem that addresses the subject of division and suggests ways to approach it. “Mending Wall” was written in 1913 while Robert Frost was living in England for three years, trying to establish himself as a writer … written shortly after he had visited Scotland with a friend. There, walking one day with his friend in the village of Kingsbarns, Frost came upon some loosely heaped, unmortared stone walls that reminded him of similar stone walls that had bordered the... More »
Reaching Beyond the Divides: Faith, Party, and Privilege PART TWO, Opening Address for the 6th Annual Northwest UU Justice Summit (October 1, 2016) Last Updated on 2016-10-06 12:11:59 Download this Presentation Good morning! I think the topic of Bridging Divides that the organizers chose for this summit is so important, really critically important, no matter what issues we may be most passionate about – housing, homelessness, indigenous rights, climate change, peace, reproductive justice. The challenges we face these days, many of them, demand that we find common ground wherever we can, because to make the changes we would like to see requires a lot of people, people from across cultures, faiths, and yes, even ideologies, working together. I also think that this topic goes to the heart of our faith as Unitarian Universalists, and also challenges us as Unitarian Universalists. Our very first principle reminds us of the Inherent Worth and Dignity of Every Person, and yet, culturally many of us are from a quite narrow band of race, class, culture, education,... More »