In Rev. Ford’s article, “Embracing a New Universalism,” in the Fall 2014 UU World, he speaks of how we arrived at a new Universalism when we accepted in 1984 the 7th principle which highlights a “we ethic” by professing that we are all connected. Combining this with the individualism of the 1st Principle, he says we find “an ethic for our individual lives..to see how we need to relate to the planet from which we take our being.”
It is time for an even newer universalism. This older universalism, now 30 years in the past, does not take into account the preciousness of individual lives of all species. It says we take care of systems and the earth, but does not indicate that the individuals within this ecosystem matter and have inherent worth and dignity. An ethic of “I” and “We” is not complete until the individualism of the First Principle includes all beings. For that aim, the First Principle Project promotes changing the principles so that we affirm and promote “the inherent worth and dignity of every being.”
This process will be hard, just as it was to change the Principles in 1984. Ironically, Rev. Ford likened the 1984 challenging process by saying “you don’t really want to visit the sausage factory.” Indeed we don’t, and neither do any other members of species.
We are all connected, and we each matter. This is the newer Universalism I believe we are ready to embrace.
Rev. LoraKim Joyner, DVM
First Principle Project Facilitator