While I do not object to the contents of the current draft Unitarian Universalist Statement of Conscience on Peacemaking, it simply does not go far enough to garner my support as a statement of vision and aspiration. Therefore, I intend to submit my thoughts in the coming weeks, possibly as a prelude to a formal suggestion for amendment at General Assembly. I have drafted language that I might use in these discussions. I share them with you to solicit your feedback, so that I can be as clear and effective as possible. I would appreciate your reactions to the following.
The present draft Unitarian Universalist Statement of Conscience on Peacemaking leaves insufficient room for me as a pacifist to enter in affirmation. The Theological Principles expressed are those of a pacifist. However, the assessment of Where We Stand permits too great a latitude for armed aggression and the self-perpetuating cycle of violence to continue from one generation to the next. I cannot condone the use of military force as a method to inflict the will of one group of peoples over another, regardless of the sincerity of the purpose. Those who live by the sword will always find justification in “humanitarian purposes” and “self-defense.”
The proposed statement represents an admirable first step. However, I need this Statement to clearly express a Unitarian Universalist vision of future human society. In order to open space for me in the document, I respectfully suggest the following words be inserted just before the final sentence of the draft.
Unitarian Universalists envision a future society free of violence and oppression, of unlimited justice and freedom, without which there can be no peace. Humankind took thousands of years to hone its knowledge and fashion its skills and behaviors as war makers; it will take time to fully reclaim our human legacy as peacekeepers. We pray that someday all men and women will live with peace in their hearts and love for each other. Until that time, in reverence for all life, we covenant to practice peace by minimizing violence at all levels of human interaction.