The Fred Phelps discussion on the UU theology mailing list has progressed to one about the nature of freedom and who is and who isn't welcome in a UU church.
One guy wrote:
Creed: A formal statement of religious belief
Covenant: A formal agreement between two parties with each assuming
We (UU's) do not have a Creed.
But we do have Covenant's between our congregation's and the UUA and
between our local church's and ourselves.
Slavery would be a violation of my local church's covenant of
membership and of "most" UU churches.
The result would be not a Vatican style "excommunication", but a
democratic boot out of the UU family for being a "promise
To violate the covenant, would be to violate membership at my local
Is this true? Can UU churches do this?
I guess what I'm asking is "when congregational polity fights creedlessnesss, who wins?"
The political view I hold that I think would be most abhorrent to the average UU is that I don't believe in hate crime legislation.
I don't strictly believe in reducing punishments because of motive. (E.g. Jury nullification. If Janie comes home and says "Daddy, the man next door just raped me" and Daddy get his gun and kills the guy, I do think that it is still second degree murder, first degree if Daddy waits awhile. I doubt a jury will agree with me, but I still think so.) That said, this isn't the hill I would choose to die on.
(I do make an exception for insanity or people so mentally retarded that they didn't know what they were doing. There trying to figure out what was in their heads is fair enough.)
But in dealing with someone of normal intelligence and capabilities, I ABSOLUTELY don't believe in adding additional time for hate crimes. I'm sorry, when it is the judge's job to figure out what a person was thinking, then we are effectively giving people additional jail time for what they think. At that idea is pretty disgusting to me as a UU, an American and a child of God.
I don't think any church would collectively find this view so disgusting as to kick me out, but if they did, would I have any recourse?