Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog

A General Resolution against Evil (Satire from 1987 Minister’s Newsletter Column)

We UUs are not above making fun of ourselves.

Indeed, our humility is one of the things that make us great.  (Though yours truly has lots of other qualities that help us UUs tip the scales to “above average”  … at least in our size-category of denominations  … of 1 to 1,050 congregations.)  Anyway, a colleague sent this over the ministers’ chat list.  It’s a bit dated, from 1987, and I don’t think we do General Resolutions anymore.  And, for September, it’s way ahead of our General Assembly season (last week of June every year) but I thought you would enjoy it at any time of the year.

from “Views from the Iceberg,” Rev. Bruce Clary, 1987


Everybody’s getting ready for the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly, our denomination’s annual Spring Prom.

Every year we get together to hear the reports, adopt a budget, eat chicken a la king, frolic at “gala events,” slap backs, kiss cheeks, endure speeches, grind old axes, tell stories, gossip, speak pro or con, hiss the Financial Advisor, cheer the candidates and pay fifty bucks a day for rooms we are rarely in.

And we get together to debate what we call “General Resolutions.” When we come to this point on the agenda the General Assembly becomes something like the proceedings of OPEC or your local town council. Here we can rant and rave, fiddle and finesse and fume to the state where all about there is a glowing ill will hanging heavily in the halls.

This year we have General Resolutions on everything from reforming the United Nations to making “attractive non-alcoholic beverages” available at Unitarian Universalist gatherings, from the GA on down to your local church coffee klatch. And then there is a Business Resolution which, in effect, would do away with General Resolutions altogether. It argues that General Resolutions amount to religious, social and political dogma imposed on our folks and our churches. Thus they infringe on the right to individual freedom of conscience and create controversy and divisiveness.

This Business Resolution promises to be a bombshell at this years GA. It is bound to raise a lot of hackles and stir great debate. No doubt there will be divisiveness over this resolution to end divisiveness.

I have a solution which would satisfy both those who like the idea of General Resolutions and those who get apoplectic over them. I submit my own resolution which would solve every social action problem, please everyone, and create all kinds of harmony.

Since most of our resolutions are drafted to oppose evil in some form – war. pestilence, famine, greed, etc. – mine would ban Evil altogether, in whatever form. All of us are against Evil in general. It is when we get down to specific evils. which ones to stamp out, and how to go about it, that we run into problems. That’s when we start arguing. I say, let’s get to the source. Let’s get at Evil with the big “E.” Then we won’t have to bother with specifics. Let’s just denounce Evil and that will be that.

So my resolution would read:

WHEREAS, Evil has existed in this world ever since God invented the snake,

and has done a number on decent people everywhere practically every day,

AND WHEREAS, at no time has Evil done anyone any good, but keeps causing bad things to happen,

AND WHEREAS, Evil lurks in the hearts of people regardless of race, culture, color or creed, causing controversy and

divisiveness even among those who try to do the right thing always,

AND WHEREAS, no matter how you look at it, Evil is rotten, and has created nasty problems,

THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED that Evil is the root of all little evils; and that all Unitarian Universalists stamp out Evil wherever it is found, so that no one shall hear it, see it, speak it, or do it ever again; and so that only Good shall everywhere prevail.

That’s my resolution, one to end all resolutions. It’s perfect. Let my resolution come first on the agenda so that the delegates will not have to debate any other resolutions. Then they will have time to relax once in a while in their fifty-dollar-a-day rooms. Best of all, if my resolution is passed, we UUs will get credit for doing a world of Good.


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