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Taking It Home, Session 11: Rules, Rules, Rules

In "Amazing Grace," a Tapestry of Faith program

Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are. 

— Franklin D. Roosevelt

IN TODAY’S SESSION… We talked about the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments and saw art related to it. We thought about whether art sometimes makes us feel spiritual, and then about some unwritten rules in our lives. Our central story was “Two Monks.” The story led to a discussion about what to do when rules disagree with each other. We did Ethics Play, and ended by deciding how to oppose or support some rules that affect us.


  • What Franklin D. Roosevelt meant in the above quote. Which are most important for UUs—rules (like laws) or the UU Principles; or are they equal?
  • Rules at home. Does everybody think the family rules are good ones? Do any of them ever conflict? What if a kid stays out too late in order to help a friend?
  • Our unwritten rules. Do we ever follow rules at home that visitors would not know about? Do we know each other so well that we know when to support each other and when to leave each other alone, in ways that a visitor would not understand?


  • Looking for a rule your family could help oppose or support. It might be in your community, your school, your state, or your country.
  • Watching for rules that bump into each other. Do family members sometimes have disagreements because they think they should be following different rules?
  • Talking about unwritten rules. Do you sometimes think you have to behave in a certain way, even though nobody ever says so? What is it? Talk about it.


Take some personal quiet time and meditate. Think about the rules in your life. Where do they come from? When you think a rule might be bad, can your faith help you know what to do? If you are journaling, write down some of your ideas.


Talk each day about the right and wrong you have experienced. Did you each do something good you want to share? Is there somebody in the family you want to thank for a virtuous act? Is there something you wish you had not done that you need to talk about? How can you make tomorrow a better day?


Make up silly rules for the family. That might help you see what your real rules are, even the unwritten ones. Then you can talk about them and see if they all make sense. 


Find stories about following unwritten rules. Watch for this in television programs and in newspapers. 

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Last updated on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.

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