Inquiring Minds Want To Know Exactly What UUA Trustee Rev. Will Saunders Said In His Weird And Questionable Prepared Statement Yesterday. . .
In a blog post titled, '“Weird” statement at first meeting of Morales and Board: a copy?' Rev. Scott Wells says,
"I feel like I’m missing a piece here — the thrust and tone of the episode — not the least because that there’s a reference to Saunders reading the comments."
And goes on to ask,
"Did he bring prepared comments? And are the available?"
"Was anyone else present who can shed some light on this?"
The answer to the first question is Yes, Rev. William Saunders did bring "prepared documents". The UU World blog reports about this controversy make it quite clear that Rev. Will Saunders read from a prepared statement, although this is not clear in the initial report about this incident. A follow-up report on the UU World blog titled 'Trustees start awkwardly, but seek common vision' says the following -
The Rev. Jeanne Pupke, a newly elected trustee-at-large, said she was concerned that a statement read by the Rev. Will Saunders at the start of this morning's meeting had seemed to say to Morales, "sit down and shut up."
Quite evidently Rev. Will Saunders did read from a prepared statement of some kind as this subsequent report in the UU World blog post underlines -
(UUA Moderator) Courter said that she hadn't read Saunders's (sic) statement in advance and "was regretting where it ended up being positioned."
So not only was Rev. Will Saunders' prepared statement written "in advance" of the UUA Trustees' meeting with President Peter Morales but it apparently *could* have been read and ahem *moderated* by UUA Moderator Gini Courter and/or other UUA Trustees. Thankfully it wasn't "moderated" aka censored in advance of Rev. Will Saunders reading it at the very beginning of that meeting so we have a nice example of the "very deep culture" of the UUA Board of Trustees that UUA Moderator Gini Courter acknowledges is not always "evident" aka visible aka *transparent*. . .
Next question please. . .
"And are the (sic) available?"
Well in that Rev. Will Saunders did *read* from a statement that had clearly been prepared "in advance" of President Peter Morales' meeting with UUA Trustees it seems to me that it *should* be available for U*U eyes to see and to read for themselves. Whether or not the UUA and/or its Board of Trustees will actually make the full document of that rather questionable prepared statement available publicly by posting it to the internet as part of a full report on that now quite controversial initial meeting between UUA President Peter Morales and the UUA Board of Trustees is not certain yet. In that aka whereas. . . widely distributed official UUA published tracts (Warning! Big fat U*U PDF file. . .) publicly assert that -
"Records* are open to scrutiny, elections are open to members, and ideas are open to criticism, so that people might govern themselves."
In that aka whereas. . . UUA Principles call for "a free and responsible search for truth and meaning."
And in that aka whereas. . . UUA President Peter Morales is "totally committed" to transparency and accountability, and on public record as believing that "secrets are terrible things."
I believe that the UUA should make the full record of that prepared statement publicly available in a timely manner so that U*Us U*U World-wide can enter into a free and responsible search for the full truth of what Rev. Will Saunders actually said when reading that prepared statement and the full meaning of what that prepared statement actually says or implies. . .
I am not alone in that belief.
In a follow up comment posted to Rev. Scott Wells' blog post someone self-identified as Derek commented -
"YES! In the interest of transparency, I would also like to see the text of Will Saunders’ comments."
I guess that makes two of us but I expect that there are many more U*Us and indeed some ex-U*Us and non-U*Us who would also like to see the full text of Rev. Will Saunders' prepared statement in the interest of transparency.
So I hereby officially *petition* the UUA Board of Trustees and the UUA as an institution to make the prepared statement that the Rev. William Saunders read on behalf of the UUA Board of Trustees at the beginning of yesterday's meeting with newly elected UUA President Peter Morales publicly available on the official UUA website and/or the UU World blog in order that *that* particular record of the UUA Board of Trustees may be open to scrutiny, and Rev. Will Saunders' ideas, which presumably reflect the not always evident "very deep culture" of the UUA Board of Trustees that UUA Moderator Gini Courter has acknowledged, may be open to criticism, so that U*U people U*U World-wide might govern themselves accordingly. . .
* Interestingly enough. . . it would appear that a presumably early/original version of this "classic" UUA produced tract written by freelance writer and U*U minister Rev. David O. Ranking said -
"Church records are open to scrutiny, elections are open to members, and ideas are open to criticism, so that people might govern themselves."