13 Taking a Position

Does the church take a position on public issues?

Each year at the General Assembly of the UUA, the 2,500 delegates vote on three or four resolutions relevant to current social, economic or environmental concerns. While the vote on these resolutions is not intended to represent every church member's opinion, it does give a broad view of UU opinion and serves to urge individual UUs to educate themselves on such matters and become involved at the local level.

Both individual ministers and lay persons often take a position as UUs on controversial public policies. Two noteworthy examples are the Vietnam War and the draft.

Even though we make collective statements and urge specific action, it is the individual who must ultimately decide his or her position on every issue.

On what public issues has the church taken a position?

Recent issues include: clean sources of energy, fossil fuels, energy conservation, pollution, abortion, gun control, immigration, hunger, the homeless, racism, nuclear arms proliferation, and health care.

How active are UUs on social issues?

While it's true that those most vulnerable to injustice in our society -- the poor and the minorities -- are not found in great numbers in the our ranks, many individual UUs are at the forefront of social justice issues. In addition, most churches regularly give their institutional support to many social justice causes.

Although we could hardly be considered a religion of the oppressed, we cannot be fairly criticized as George Templeton Strong said of many 19th century Unitarians, most of them members of New England's privileged class: "They are sensible, plausible, candid, subtle and original in discussing any social evil or abuse. But somehow they don't get at it!"

Today, we do get at it.

Despite government harassment, what controversial book did the UUA publish in the early 1970s?

In 1971, the UUA was the only organization to publish the entire four volumes of The Pentagon Papers.

What is the church's view on abortion?

As an institution, we are strongly pro-choice, as are most individual UUs.

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