GA repudiates Doctrine of Discovery
The General Assembly voted overwhelmingly Sunday afternoon to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery. The doctrine is the premise that European Christian explorers who “discovered” other lands had the authority to claim those lands and subdue, even enslave, peoples who lived there simply because they were not Christian.
Local groups that the UUA is working with in Arizona have said that understanding the doctrine is necessary to truly understand the issue of migration.
The resolution calls on the association and its congregations to review their own “contemporary policies, programs, theologies, and structures” for any evidence of the doctrine. In addition it requires the UUA to call on the U.S. government to fully implement the standards of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
In debate on the doctrine a number of congregational representatives advocated unsuccessfully for delay of consideration of the measure, arguing that congregations had not had enough time to consider it.