Saturday, September 29, 2007

UUA Statement of Conscience

Just browsing it from the 2007 GA minutes (a pdf doc). Here are some quotes and thoughts,
People often make religious claims about controversial issues such as reproductive rights, steam cell research, the death penalty, and the teaching of evolution. Their efforts to advocate one perspective, to the exclusion of others, are influencing every branch and level of government. Consequently, the United States is moving away from its constitutionally mandated separation of church and state.

It is time for Unitarian Universalists to assert and defend two basic principles underlying the United States Constitution: (1) the basic principle of freedom, the right of all human beings to follow a life of their choosing as long as others are not harmed, and (2) the basic principle of the inherent equal dignity of all human beings, which includes the right of all human beings to equal justice.
The principles are fine. Who's human the question. The Constitution gave a poor start on that one defining African-Americans as only 3/5ths human.

Science speaks clearly to me. Human Life starts at conception. Life's stages after conception are stages of Human development.

That means harvesting Human Embryos for Medical Research and Therapies is morally wrong. Just as harvesting tissue from any human found less developed or under developed is wrong.

Abortion is different. It's a clash of the first principles. The state can't ask a woman to carry a child to term at risk of her own life.

The constitution got us off to a bad start. A fatal flaw America paid a bloody butcher bill for later.

So it would be nice if this Statement of Conscience was clear on it's scope of humanity. Right now it's a gapping hole given the issues the public faces.

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The moral values of Unitarian Universalism correspond profoundly with those embodied in the founding documents of our nation. The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution embody freedom of religion, the right of conscience, and the worth and dignity of every person.

Like the values to which we aspire as Americans, our Unitarian Universalist values are distilled from the hopes, dreams, experiences, and struggles of all who honor them. Our Unitarian Universalist Principles parallel the Ends Principle, the Golden Rule, and the founding documents of this nation. History shows the dire consequences when this core morality is rejected. Although our country has not fully implemented the promises of its founding documents to all of its people, we Unitarian Universalists strive to help this nation fulfill those promises.
This is a remarkable statement. I can't think of any faith that links itself so closely to the organic documents of a State. I think this is true and key reason why I've bleonged to UU Churches: ours is an intimately American Religion.

We really should include a reference to Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address. A President who my historian friend at Church assures me was really a Universalist, and one who invoked the Creator and the United States in a way few Presidents have since,


With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in...
and that work was the work of War.

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Stop United States Sponsored Torture – A Religious Call to Action
Only question here is: what is torture?

The Geneva Convention allows the capture to ask only name, rank, and serial number of the captive. That's it.

When the United States capture a terrorists who fights outside the rules of the Geneva Convention, is the United States allowed to ask more than the Convention allows? May the United States coerce more from a captured terrorist, and if so at point does coercion become torture?

BE IT RESOLVED that the 2007 General Assembly stand in support of the Restoring the Constitution Act, including Legislation to restore habeas corpus;
I'm not too keen on having captured combatants brought before US Criminal Courts and Juries.

Chief Justice Stone wrote of Nuremberg, he was disturbed a court would be....dressed up in the habiliments of the common law and the Constitutional safeguards to those charged with crime to try a combatant as criminal.

If Padilla had been sent to Gitmo instead for the duration, I suspect he would be a free man sooner than what his criminal sentence will allow.

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