RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD (JULY 26, 2013):
Principle-Based Social Justice Partnership Guidelines
WHEREAS, we covenant to affirm and promote the seven Unitarian Universalist Principles; and
WHEREAS, we, the members of the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu, pledge our firm belief in these Principles, our belief that our Church itself must effectively and responsibly represent these Principles in our community, and our intention to act whenever a denial of these Principles appears and whenever an opportunity for their strengthening is present (see the Charter of Principles in Social Justice of the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu); and
WHEREAS, our congregational Charter of Principles authorizes and creates the Social Justice Council of the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu (the Council) to carry into effect this Charter, charging the Council to consider action on any matter concerning these Principles; and
WHEREAS, our boldly growing Social Justice Ministry is leading us into social justice partnerships with increasing frequency, including covenanted partnerships, for which we have no policy guidelines to ensure that all such partnerships are consistent with our Principles and Charter of Principles; and
WHEREAS, the Council requests to work with the Board and Minister to help the Congregation establish such policy guidelines as critical for the unified and effective Social Justice Ministry of our Church; and
WHEREAS, the Congregation is currently exploring right relations and a Covenant of Right Relations with the help of our Mission Ministry Team (MMT); therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board charges the Council, Minister, MMT, and Congregation of the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu to engage in an open process to establish guidelines for Social Justice Ministry partnerships, including all covenanted partnerships, to ensure that all such partnerships are fully consistent with our Principles and Charter of Principles; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this open process will involve two Charter of Principles Workshops, TBA, hosted by the Council, facilitated by Dr. Susan Lebo, with MMT participation. Workshop One will produce a clear understanding of the Charter of Principles in Social Justice of the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu and of our Church need for due process and for effective Principle-based policy for Social Justice Ministry partnerships. Workshop Two will produce clear guidelines for Social Justice Ministry partnerships, including especially all covenanted partnerships, and these guidelines will be recorded in the Policy Book for Social Justice Ministry of the Social Justice Council; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council, Minister, and MMT will report to the Board between Workshops, to evaluate the first Workshop and to help ensure that the second Workshop produces these critical guidelines.
RESOLUTIONS REAFFIRMED NOVEMBER 18, 2012
RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT ENERGY POLICY
1. We call upon the Congress of the United States, the Legislature and local governing bodies in the State of Hawaii, immediately to pass legislation which will result in a reduction of the consumption of petroleum in the United States.
2. We call upon the Congress and the President of the United States to formulate and implement a long range Energy Policy for the nation. While maintaining sensitivity to environmental impacts, such a policy shall:
(a) promote the development, production, and use, of renewable, alternate fuels including, but not limited to hydrogen and methane;
(b) promote the development of alternate sources of energy including, but not limited to, solar and wind.
Passed January 20, 1991 Reaffirmed: November 18, 2012
RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT HOUSING FOR THE HOMELESS
RECOGNIZING the inherent worth and dignity of every human being, we hold that access to habitable, affordable, non-transient housing is a fundamental right in a just society.
WHEREAS, hundreds of thousands of people throughout this continent are homeless and living in the streets; and
WHEREAS, current US governmental policies restrict and eliminate programs that have assisted local governments and communities in developing low-cost housing; and
WHEREAS, public and private policies are causing deterioration of the affordable housing supply through withdrawal of funds necessary for maintenance, through “up-scaling” of low-rent dwellings, through exclusionary zoning and other means; and
WHEREAS, making shelter available to all who are in need can best be achieved by combined efforts of the government and the private sector; and
WHEREAS, the search for long-term solutions to homelessness must address the growing scarcity of housing for persons receiving low incomes;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: Than The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu affirms the provision of suitable non-transient housing as a just and achievable goal, and calls upon its members to:
1. Work on the establishment and continuation of programs to assist the homeless on the local, state, provincial and national levels;
2. Participate in community cooperative efforts to identify and support creative approaches in developing housing for persons receiving low incomes;
3. Encourage the development of appropriate community-based housing for chronically mentally ill persons;
4. Work to provide not only emergency short-term shelter such as billeting in our homes and churches, but also intermediate-term communal housing that will assure privacy and dignity for persons in need, as well as long-term housing for individuals and families, recognizing the wide range of personal needs among the homeless;
5. Explore and support preventive approaches to the problems of homelessness among families, the de-institutionalized, the unemployed, the disabled, the elderly, runaways, and victims of abuse; and
6. Advocate legislation at the state, provincial, and national levels which will alleviate the immediate misery of homelessness while also addressing its precipitating and long-term causes.
Passed: April 17, 1988 Reaffirmed: November 18, 2012
RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT THE RIGHT TO DIE WITH DIGNITY
WHEREAS, medical knowledge and technology make possible the mechanical prolongation of life; and
WHEREAS, such prolongation may cause unnecessary suffering and/or loss of dignity while providing little or nothing of benefit to the individual; and
WHEREAS, such procedures have an impact upon a health-care system in which services are limited and are inequitably distributed; and
WHEREAS, differences exist among people over religious, moral, and legal implications of administering aid in dying when an individual of sound mind has voluntarily asked for such aid; and
WHEREAS, obstacles exist within our society against providing support for an individual’s declared wish to die; and
WHEREAS, many counselors, clergy, and health-care personnel value prolongation of life regardless of the quality of life or will to live;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu calls upon its congregations and individual Unitarian Universalists to examine attitudes and practices in our society relative to the ending of life, as well as those in other countries and cultures; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu affirms its support for the Advance Health Care Directive under the Uniform Health Care Decisions Act that became effective in Hawaii on July 1, 1999, and seeks assurance that this document will be properly honored; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu advocates the right to self-determination in dying, and the release from civil or criminal penalties of those who, under proper safeguards, act to honor the right of terminally ill patients to select the time of their own deaths; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu advocates safeguards against abuses by those who would hasten death contrary to an individual’s desires; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED: That The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu and its members and friends, acting through its congregation, memorial societies, and appropriate organizations, inform and petition legislators to support legislation that will create legal protection for The Right To Die With Dignity, in accordance with one’s own choice.
Passed: January 19, 2003 Reaffirmed: November 18, 2012
RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT THE RIGHT OF SAME-GENDER MARRIAGES
WHEREAS: The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu covenants to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person as well as his or her right of conscience; and
WHEREAS: The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu (as well as other churches) offers congregational and ministerial support for services uniting couples in marriage without discrimination on the basis of gender, including and without prejudice against same gender couples; and
WHEREAS: the right of a couple (regardless of gender) to live in a state of marriage is a fundamental right of conscience deserving to be honored and celebrated for its profound spiritual and religious significance to the participants; and
WHEREAS: the right of this church to celebrate and participate in honoring such marriages, by authorizing its ministers to conduct, celebrate and officially witness such taking in marriage, is a fundamental religious right; and
WHEREAS: same-gender marriages currently go unrecognized by government, and are actively undermined by such disregard as well as by laws, restrictions and practices that, for example, deny property rights of married couples to same-gender couples, deny rights of mutual responsibility (such as family insurance rights, visitation rights or rights to make medical decisions for same-gender spouses, etc.), and many other rights necessary to sustain a family couple;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the congregation of The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu encourages the state of Hawaii to license and legally recognize marriages without discrimination on the basis of gender, including and without prejudice against same-gender marriages; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that this congregation supports equal recognition and provision of laws, services, privileges, rights, etc. by cities, counties, and the United States Government due all marriages and married couples, without discrimination on the basis of gender.
Passed: June 2, 1991 Reaffirmed: November 18, 2012
RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu reaffirms its support of the separation of Church and State in the United States and urges its members to:
1. Oppose any government taxes to be used to establish, operate of maintain church related schools;
2. Uphold religious neutrality in public education;
3. Oppose government envoys being sent to any church;
4. Oppose exempting from taxes income derived from church-owned unrelated businesses and investments;
5. Urge local governments to be allowed to charge churches for services actually provided to these institutions;
6. Support organizations working to preserve and strengthen the separation of church and state.
Passed: January 22, 1989 Reaffirmed: November 18, 2012
RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT REPRODUCTIVE CHOICE AND INFORMATION
BE IT RESOLVED THAT: The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu opposes all attempts to restrict access to reproductive information and endorses freedom of reproductive choice for all individuals, regardless of age or economic circumstances.
Passed: February 15, 1987 Reaffirmed: November 18, 2012
RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT THE UNITED NATIONS
The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu reaffirms its support of the United Nations Charter and efforts to improve and strengthen the United Nations organization and its agencies and opposes any efforts that undercut such progress.
Passed: January 22, 1989 Reaffirmed: November 18, 2012
RESOLUTION TO OPPOSE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
WHEREAS: Capital punishment is not a solution to crime but an avoidance of needed reform in our criminal justice system, and
WHEREAS: vengeance is not an acceptable basis for criminal law in our society, and
WHEREAS: historical evidence does not support the proposition that the death penalty is a deterrent to murder, and
WHEREAS: those murderers for whom the death penalty is most often proposed — hired killers, political assassins and killers of police officers — are rarely apprehended and more rarely convicted, and
WHEREAS: the uniform application of a death penalty, as required by the U.S. Supreme Court, can cause a jury to be reluctant to return a guilty verdict and can also place the “life or death” decision in the hands of the prosecutor who determines the nature of the criminal charge against an individual, and
WHEREAS: the possibility of error is too high to warrant a penalty that is irrevocable, and
WHEREAS: execution is killing accomplished with premeditation and deliberation and thus has a brutalizing effect on all who participate in it, lowering the moral standard of the whole community,
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that The [First] Unitarian Church of Honolulu opposes the enactment of a death penalty law in any form and under any circumstances in the State of Hawaii.
Passed: June 10, 1976 Reaffirmed: November 18, 2012
RESOLUTION TO OPPOSE GOVERNMENT CENSORSHIP
The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu reaffirms its opposition to government censorship in all areas of communication except where true national security could be compromised. In these areas of classified information, the classification should neither be abused as to deny access to any citizens, nor such classification be used for a duration longer than is absolutely necessary. The right to receive written and verbal communication, including foreign and domestic films, speeches, rallies, electronic airwaves and any other forms of communication, should be available to all citizens of the United States at all times. Furthermore, “propaganda” should not be used by the government to sway public opinion, nor shall “propaganda” from other sources, external or internal, be denied to any of its citizens.
Passed: January 22, 1989 Reaffirmed: November 18, 2012
PREVIOUSLY APPROVED RESOLUTIONS
Expired on December 2, 2012 when NOT Reaffirmed November 18, 2012
RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT MILITARY BASE CONVERSION
RESOLVED: That The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu advocates that the Hawaii State government, in conjunction with the federal government, create a plan to facilitate the conversion of military bases and allied industries to civilian activities.
Passed: January 20, 1991 Reaffirmed: December 2, 2007
RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT URGENT AND SIMULTANEOUS TASKS FOR RE-CREATING A HEALTHFUL WORLD
A Resolution for The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu.
BECAUSE: We, The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu, believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person; and
BECAUSE: We believe in justice and compassion in human relations; and
BECAUSE: We believe in the goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all; and
BECAUSE: We respect the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part; and
BECAUSE: We have, in the past, supported related issues on energy, environment, reproductive choice, women’s rights, poverty, homelessness, peace, gun control and other issues relating to economic, political and environmental concerns; and
BECAUSE: Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and critical resources; and
BECAUSE: Many of our current practices put at serious risk the future we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdom; and
WHEREAS: A group of scientists, through a petition circulated by the Union of Concerned Scientists, concur that there is no more than one or a few decades to reverse trends toward vast human misery and mutilation of the earth.
WHEREAS: The petition statement recommends simultaneous action to reverse the degradation of the earth and its people in five areas of economic, political and environmental concern and which are interrelated and intertwined in the web of our mutual existence.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu supports the concept of this petition of the Union of Concerned Scientists and recommends study, development of ideas and programs, as well as the taking of positive actions toward re-creating a healthful world for humanity in each of the following areas:
Address environmentally damaging activities to restore and protect the integrity of the earth’s systems we depend on by:
a. reducing production and use of mineral resources;
b. controlling pollution of our land, air and waters
c. preventing deforestation;
d. establishing good farming practices;
e. reducing loss of plant and animal species;
f. reducing violence and warfare;
Manage resources crucial to human welfare more effectively:
a. increase reliance on renewable, non-polluting resources;
b. more efficient use of energy, water and other materials;
c. expansion of conservation and recycling;
a. improve social and economic conditions;
b. adopt effective, voluntary family planning;
Reduce and eventually eliminate poverty;
Ensure sexual equality and guarantee women control over their own reproductive decisions.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED: that The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu urge all governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as individuals, to act in ways that will be compatible with, and in harmony with, the natural world.
Passed: March 28, 1993 Reaffirmed: December 2, 2007
RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT A NUCLEAR WEAPONS TEST BAN
RESOLVED: That The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu advocates support by the United States Government for a total world-wide ban on nuclear weapons testing.
Passed: January 20, 1991 Reaffirmed: December 2, 2007
RESOLUTION TO OPPOSE MANIPULATED, PREEMPTIVE WAR
WHEREAS The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu affirms the need for peace, liberty and justice for all, while condemning tyranny and injustice, and-
WHEREAS, We honor and respect he dedication, courage and ongoing sacrifices by our Service personnel along with their families in the “Global War on Terrorism”, and-
WHEREAS, It is clear those at the highest levels of government willfully and callously disregarded professional concerns of military and intelligence experts, thus supporting a flawed and dangerous preemptive war policy which endangers our Troops and many civilians the longer we stay,
THEREFORE, Be it Resolved, We declare our condemnation of policies rushing us to war, and any and all attempts to manipulate intelligence and the media to support such irresponsible misadventures, and-
THEREFORE, Be it Further Resolved, We seek to add our voices to those who seek an expeditious end to the conflict, thereby reducing the perils our military must face and hasten their return from the Middle East, and-
THEREFORE, Be it Further Resolved, We call upon the United States House of Representatives and the Senate to confront the administration to end the Iraqi conflict as soon as possible.
Passed: June 4, 2006
RESOLUTION TO OPPOSE THE STRATEGIC DEFENSE INITIATIVE (SDI)
BE IT RESOLVED THAT: The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu opposes any funding of the Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars).