Individual authority in religious matters;
The continuing search for truth;
The right to use reason as well as emotion in the search;
Freedom of belief;
No fixed creed required to be a member of the church community;
Tolerance for all beliefs;
Equal rights for all persons, including women;
Affirmation of the goodness of life and human nature;
Belief in the natural tendency of people to be loving;
Belief in the democratic process and in working for social justice to make the world a better place.
The list is impressively comprehensive, on my view, and largely attends to the seven principles (aside from the striking lack of an international or ecological component). At the same time, I am left wondering: where's God in all of this? By this I am not asking for a one-size-fits-all definition of the divine mystery - rather, I long for a reverent recognition of the transcendent as implicated and involved in the aforementioned commitments. Further, as I gestured in my previous entry on EcoQuestions, I question the transportability of these guiding principles to non-Western (read: non - largely white, middle/upper-class) contexts. What does the affirmation of life's goodness mean for communities ravaged by genocide? What does the natural loving nature of humanity look like in communities exploited by capitalist imperialism? It seems to me that such contexts might demand a more robust expression of sin and redemption.
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