Thursday, September 18, 2008

Creeds Part II

Thank you for all the comments. They brought up a lot of interesting points. I have been really pondering what it means to have a creed. I do agree that the seven principles are not a creed. I like how Ogre describes them as "approximations of values which we...share." Additionally, Allogenes describes them as "resolutions to behave a certain way." I can agree with this. I like how they both worded what the principles mean to them, of which I will work into my lexicon. Bill also notes that they are so vague that they just become muddied. Another true point. I guess I have always liked having them. I feel like they are a starting point in describing our faith.

I am, though, still not convinced that it is bad to have a creed. Ogre had made the point that creeds were traditionally used to define people as believers or unbelievers - us and them. I see that. But, I sort of feel that we already do that on an informal level. While we claim to accept people where ever they are on their path - do we really make it easy for someone who is very ideologically different from us feel at home? I sometimes feel that we have an unspoken and not so subtle creed. Why not formalize it so it reflects the best of UU thought? Whether we like it or not, we do give off cues as to whether UU is the right place for a potential congregant. Of course we try to be inclusive as possible, but in reality, it is not the right place for everyone. Why not try to capture its spirit within a creed? Maybe it could be a wonderful unifying document.


Robin Edgar said...

Well AFAIAC both you and Ogre are quite mistaken in believing that the Seven Principles of Unitarian*Universalism are not a creed. I have repeatedly pointed out how they fit the dictionary definition of the word "creed" many times over the years. U*U seminarian Kim Hampton delved into this issue very recently on her 'east of midnight' blog and I have made all but irrefutable arguments that the Seven Principles are a creed in this blog post titled 'If It’s Not A Creed, Don’t Treat It Like One'. You and Ogre, and any other Unitarian*Universalist who still believes that the Seven Principles are not a de facto creed, to say nothing of a being a creed according to most dictionary definitions of the word "creed", are cordially invited to try to refute the very solid arguments that I have made there. Or you could simply throw in the proverbial towel and acknowledge that I am right. ;-)

plaidshoes said...

I think I will have to call a truce!