Did UUA President Peter Morales See The Deep Dark Shadow Cast By ALL Forms Of UU Clergy Misconduct On Groundhog Day This Year?
Here is the full text of the "electronic communication" that I sent to UUA President Peter Morales on Groundhog Day Tuesday February 2nd, 2020. I hadn't deliberately planned it that way but that is how things worked out. . . I have corrected a few minor typos and may add some (im)pertinent hyperlinks later -
Tuesday, February 2, 2010 11:11 AM
From: "Robin Edgar" firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear President Morales,
I would like to invite you to publicly stand on the side of love for all victims of clergy misconduct committed by Unitarian Universalist ministers on “National Standing on the Side of Love Day" Sunday, February 14th, 2010. Almost a decade ago, at the 2000 UUA GA in Nashville, Tennessee, the UUA officially apologized to victims of clergy sexual misconduct committed by UU ministers. I am not however aware of any official UUA apology ever being delivered to victims of non-sexual forms of clergy misconduct committed by UU ministers. I believe that the UUA owes a long overdue official apology to all victims of non-sexual forms of clergy misconduct, and that the UUA should also deliver individualized personal apologies to each and every victim of any form of clergy misconduct perpetrated by UU ministers, especially those people whose clergy misconduct complaints were negligently and irresponsibly dismissed, or otherwise handled in an unjust, inequitable, and "less than compassionate" manner, by the UUA and MFC over the last few decades.
You are on record as saying that you are "absolutely committed to doing the right thing" when it comes to taking action on clergy sexual misconduct, and that taking action is a "moral imperative." I put it to you that taking responsible action on non-sexual forms of clergy misconduct is equally a moral imperative or moral obligation, and I call upon you to fully commit yourself to doing the right thing in response to all forms of clergy misconduct committed by UU ministers. The fact of the matter is that some of the more serious cases of non-sexual clergy misconduct can be every bit as harmful and damaging to victims and implicated UU congregations as some cases of clergy sexual misconduct.
The tacit or explicit attitude towards non-sexual clergy misconduct that I have seen displayed by too many UUA administrators, and UU clergy more generally, is that if the clergy misconduct complained about is not sexual misconduct it is not worth worrying about, let alone doing anything to responsibly address it in a manner that genuinely honors and upholds the Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism, or indeed the letter and the spirit of the UUMA Guidelines and Code of Professional Practice. This attitude is not acceptable to me nor do I believe that it should be acceptable to any Unitarian Universalist who genuinely cares about UU principles and ideals.
I will not go into the details of my own complaints about non-sexual clergy misconduct that involve being deeply insulted and defamed, and unjustly demonized and marginalized, by verbally and psychologically abusive UU ministers in this letter, but I feel that it is necessary to point out that it is a regrettable fact of life that victims of any form of clergy misconduct often find themselves ostracized, and even additionally demonized and marginalized, by their fellow congregants and coreligionists after they have dared to openly complain about clergy misconduct, regardless of what form of clergy misconduct they complain about. This unacceptable treatment of clergy misconduct "whistleblowers" needs to be responsibly acknowledged and addressed by the UUA in any new official apology that it delivers to victims of clergy misconduct.
I also believe that the UUA needs to responsibly acknowledge at the 2010 UUA GA that it has failed to honor its year 2000 "pledge" to "bend towards justice" and remedy its past failures to respond to clergy misconduct in a manner that lives up to UU principles and ideals, to say nothing of clearly stated UUA bylaws and policies. I dare say that the UUA and MFC seem to be more inclined towards bending justice than bending towards justice. This is certainly true of my own case which involves non-sexual forms of clergy misconduct, but I expect that it is true of other cases of clergy misconduct of all kinds which have occurred since that official UUA apology was delivered at Nashville by UUA Executive Vice President Kay Montgomery.
I and other victims of UU clergy misconduct are still being "left lonely, confused, afraid, angry and betrayed" and definitely capital 'U' Un-ministered to by the UUA, its Ministerial Fellowship Committee, and implicated UU congregations, in the aftermath of that apology. This status quo is not acceptable and must be acknowledged and responsibly remedied by the UUA. It is high time that the UUA finally got around to providing some genuine and tangible restorative justice for ALL victims of UU clergy misconduct, both victims of clergy sexual misconduct and victims of non-sexual forms of clergy misconduct.
After publicly "Standing On The Side of Love" for ALL victims of UU clergy misconduct on "National Standing on the Side of Love Day" this February 14th, I would ask that you to then take steps to ensure that providing genuine restorative justice for ALL victims of UU clergy misconduct is on the agenda of the Ministerial Fellowship Committee meeting in mid-March 2010 and that this MFC meeting leads towards the goal of a new official UUA apology to be delivered to victims of non-sexual forms of clergy misconduct, or indeed all forms of clergy misconduct, at the 2010 UUA GA in Minneapolis Minnesota.
P.S. I will be asking you to initiate a complete review of my own clergy misconduct complaints in a follow-up email.