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Social witness resolutions

Resolutions adopted by the 2009 UUA General Assembly.
By Christopher L. Walton
Fall 2009

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Moderator Gini Courter

Moderator Gini Courter called attention to local news coverage of the UUA’s interfaith rally for immigrant families. (Nancy Pierce)

The 2009 General Assembly adopted several social justice resolutions but postponed action on a Statement of Conscience on peacemaking. (See main story for election results and reporting on the failed attempt to revise the UUA’s Principles and Purposes.)

Debate over the proposed Statement of Conscience revealed no consensus within the UUA about use of military force. The draft document, in development for three years as a “congregational study/action issue,” would have rejected war “as inconsistent with our theological principles and religious values, with the exceptions of self-defense and the use of force for humanitarian purposes.” Some delegates found the statement too permissive and argued that the UUA should never endorse war. Others said that requiring U.N. authorization for humanitarian intervention would make intervention almost impossible. Some argued that the statement still did not express adequate support for UUs who work for the U.S. military.

The Assembly voted to refer the draft back to the Commission on Social Witness (CSW) for refinement. The CSW will invite additional input from congregations this fall before bringing a revised version to the 2010 GA.

Delegates passed six Actions of Immediate Witness, endorsing federal legislation for election reform and protection of wilderness areas in Utah, calling for a commission of inquiry into U.S.-sponsored torture and ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, supporting demands by Bolivian UUs for a truth commission to investigate human rights abuses in Bolivia, and opposing violence against sexual minorities in Iraq.

A responsive resolution urged the UUA to ask the State Department why UU women from Africa were denied visas to attend the International Convocation of UU Women while UU men from Africa were granted visas to attend the General Assembly.

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