The UUA has prepared a
Draft Statement of Conscience on Peacemaking and they need our
feedback on the statement. At least two years and many resources
have gone into the making of this major statement of what we
believe on this important topic of social justice.
You have an opportunity
to offer your comments and feedback on the statement in three
summary was put together by Anne Ward, not the UUA. I hope it
conveys the direction and intent of the document.)
What is our religious response as Unitarian Universalists to the
historic habits of war and the timeless challenges of peace? Do we
reject all violence and war through non-violence, or seek peace
through application of “just war” criteria? Are these our only
options? This statement arises out of our history, theology, and
understanding of human nature for building a peaceful, just, and
sustainable global future.
Covenant lies at the core of our religious belief and aspiration
and is grounded in a commitment to persuasion over coercion. Amid
the harsh realities of war and peace, there are no easy answers.
and Just War
“Just war” itself is a misnomer. No war is just. The operant term
Human violence reflects our evolutionary history. Humans also have
an evolved capacity for cooperative behavior, resulting in our
development of morals, laws and institutions to minimize the use
We need an approach that honors affirmations common to both
pacifist and just war traditions, affirmations of “the inherent
worth and dignity of every person” and of “justice, equity, and
compassion in human relations.” Just Peacemaking is this approach.
Just Peacemaking calls us to understand peace as normative and
violence as aberrant, while evaluating the prospect of violent
conflict by balancing the goal of peace preservation with the
desire for war prevention.
We covenant as an Association, as congregations, and as
individuals to advocate vigorously for policies that move the
toward collaborative leadership in building a peaceful, just, and
sustainable world. Four specific calls to action follow.
We covenant to take up peacemaking as part of our mission through
worship, religious education, and social action by: (Four
congregational practices follow).
As individuals we covenant to: Learn and practice the skills of
compassionate communication; (two additional interpersonal
We covenant to develop spiritual practices that impart internal
In reverence for all life, we covenant to practice peace by
minimizing violence at all levels of human interaction.