5th UU Principle: The Right of Conscience and the Use of the Democratic Process
Within Our Congregations and in Society at Large
We work for secular values supported by our seven 7 UU principles and the International Declaration of Human Rights. The (small d) democratic values inspire our focus on nonpartisan issues: equal rights for all, health care for all, support for families and workers, protection from violence for all, and care for the environment. We work to make sure that “the arc of the moral universe DOES bend toward justice” in this time when conservative racist and religious forces try to turn back the clock in so many ways!
We partner with the League of Women Voters, WREN, and others. Partnership with the LWV is especially easy because 19 LWV members are UUCS members (25%), and we serve in several leadership positions in the League. As individuals, we may work for candidates, but we keep that work separate from our work as a congregation. We believe in the separation of church and state, a founding principle of our country.
Even in years without national elections, those in our congregation who are also LWV members register voters in schools, libraries, citizenship ceremonies, and at festivals. We join with other UU congregations and like-minded organizations to make our voices heard in the SC legislature. We participate in get out the vote / inform voters campaigns both in SC and around the country, by joining with other citizens to mail postcards/ phone/ text voters. Spring 2023, in partnership with Common Cause, we mailed about 275 postcards to voters in Wisconsin, about the importance of their supreme court election, so they could be informed voters. We’ll be continuing this effort in the off year, as significant elections occur. And, in 2024, we anticipate being as active as we were in 2020!
In May 2022, the congregation jumped on board with the Good Trouble Congregation challenge, starting May 2022, and continuing full tilt ahead until December 2022. And, we are happy to report that we reached our Good Trouble Congregation goal and have received a certificate of recognition from the UUA.
- We had 37% of our membership participate in 1 or more activities (the requirement was 20%),
- We had 15 poll workers and watchers (the requirement was 2),
- We wrote over 5,200 letters and postcards (the requirement was 3800). We had letter and postcard parties, and folks helped create many, many encouraging messages for voters.
- One member printed 10,000 Non-Partisan Get Out the Vote door hangers, and we personally delivered about 1,000. The rest were shared with partner organizations in Spartanburg and around South Carolina.
- had a recognition Sunday in February for a well-deserved pat on the back.
Along the way, we helped host a booth at the Pride Festival, participated in demonstrations for human rights in Columbia and here in Spartanburg (Abortion is Health Care), and will continue that participation as well as with Mothers Against Gun Violence.
We also collaborated with our UUCS Humanist planning group to present several topics of mutual interest at Humanist meetings and offered opportunities to write letters & contribute to the voting justice team’s work. The latest of these is the May Humanist Meeting topic of Gun Violence.