Sharing in the New Call to Peacemaking
WHEREAS, delegates of the historic peace churches—Friends, Mennonites, and Brethren—gathered last October for a New Call to Peacemaking Conference and issued a statement of findings;
BE IT RESOLVED: That the 1979 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association expresses its admiration and gratitude to those who participated in this peacemaking effort, and especially supports the following calls to peacemaking:
- Strengthening our local base by:
- Urging a comprehensive program of peace education in our congregations.
- Encouraging local groups to engage in ecumenical and public dialogue on peace issues and promoting the peace witness in their communities.
- Urging the development of support groups within congregations for those individuals who are working at peace issues (such as war tax resistance, simple lifestyles, and nonviolent action).
- Recommending the development of mediation/reconciliation teams who can assist in conflict resolution in families, congregations, the community and beyond.
- Personal Relationships.
The Assembly encourages creative love and respect for the integrity of each person, starting with the members of our families, and urges the speaking of truth in love, and the confronting of personal and structural wrongs, and the demonstration of forgiving love, and the use of cooperation rather than competition.
- Economic Decisions.
The Assembly urges these specific responses:
- Examine our personal and corporate stewardship of money.
- Conserve natural resources.
- Reduce our level of consumption.
- Become more discerning in financial decisions either by taking direct action to influence investments in banks and institutions or by withdrawing investments in banks and institutions which serve militarism, economic exploitation or unjust governments, and investing rather in life-enhancing enterprises.
- The Assembly urges Unitarian Universalists and member societies to:
- Support the United Nations initiatives for disarmament, the United States-Soviet Strategic Arms Limitations Talks, and the use of national debate on these talks.
- Call upon our government to take these initial steps towards disarmament
(thus challenging other governments to do the same):
- Reduce military spending by 10% in the coming year.
- Stop further testing, development, and production of nuclear weapons.
- Halt arms transfers to other countries.
The Assembly asks Unitarian Universalists to support:
- Research and action toward economic conversion to non-military production, with assistance for those who are temporarily unemployed during the process.
- Transfer of tax monies from the military budget to programs meeting human needs.
The Assembly challenges ourselves and our congregations to uphold war tax resisters with spiritual, emotional, legal, and material support. World Peace Fund.
In keeping with our past support of alternative service provisions for conscientious objectors to the draft, the Assembly urges support for congressional enactment of a World Peace Tax Fund as an alternative to compulsory financial support of war and preparation for war. Conscription and Military Recruitment.
In view of possible reinstatement of military conscription and in light of expanding ROTC programs, the Assembly calls upon Unitarian Universalist members and societies to:
- Oppose renewal of draft registration and induction.
- Provide educational and counseling opportunities for draft-eligible youth in our communities.
- Encourage peace registration of our conscientious objectors.
- Encourage peace career programs to counterbalance recruitment into military-sponsored "career" preparation programs.
- Urge action to eliminate ROTC programs in high schools and colleges.
- Continuing the New Call to Peacemaking.
The Assembly urges activities which may include periodic conferences, facilitating the publication of peace materials, promotion and coordination of peace caravans, and the establishment of a peace institute and a National Peace Academy. The Assembly recommends the establishment of a peacemaking fund to provide support for these efforts.
- Sharing the New Call.
The Assembly urges new efforts to share with peoples of all denominations and ecumenical bodies the challenges to thought and actions which have emerged in the New Call to Peace-making Conference.
- Meeting with President Carter.
The Assembly urges that the elected officers and Board of Trustees of the Association join other denominations and send a delegation to meet with President Carter to:
- Command and support the President in his concern for peace and human rights.
- Dialogue with President Carter about the implications of religious beliefs on issues of peace and justice.
- Lay before the President our concerns about military spending, nuclear weapons, arms sales and related matters.