Along with a couple of other leaders of the UUCF, I went to a networking discussion convened by Gini Courter, UUA Moderator, about the Independent Affiliate question. Also at the meeting were leaders of the UU Buddhist Fellowship, one or more the Humanist organization, a leader of CUUPS, a leader of UU for Jewish Awareness, some from the Psi Symposium and a leader of the newish Mystics group.
While the Board was not meeting to vote on most of our IA statuses, it was pretty clearly telegraphed that they would be denied. And it was made abundantly clear that the meeting did not have the purpose of discussing, defending, justifying, or explaining those pending decisions of the Board. In fact, Gini Courter made it clear that given the demands on her time at GA, just convening this meeting was a powerful act of generosity and graciousness.
I like Gini Courter and think that she is doing a good job. Sometimes doing so requires a significantly greater degree of intentionality than other times, but I do my best.
So, without that discussion, clues as to the actual real motivation behind the decision to cull the herd of IA's were not thick on the ground.
Gini's strong suggestion was that we in that room ought to join ourselves into an umbrella organization and apply as that body as an IA. (Various names for such a group have been suggested by wags and visionaries since: my suggestion was that it would be called, "the amalgamated organization of hyphenated, and therefore, not real, UU's" Excessively snarky, I suppose. Another person, much wiser, suggested calling ourselves "The Council of the Sources" which has some real merit.) Gini seemed to think that this organization of organizations could play a positive role in providing some of the content for lay theological education.
But why cull the herd of IA's if that is the goal? The UUA could fund and encourage IA's developing materials for lay theological education in the current situation if they want to.
Another point was made that many of the IA's do the same kind of work, and so could benefit from consolidation in that it would reduce duplication of effort. A parallel was drawn between the many IA's devoted to political or social causes, which could benefit from "making connections between contradictions" as we used to say, back in the day. But providing specifically Jewish, or Humanist, or Pagan or Christian content is not an interchangeable function, done by the interchangeable people.
And why does the Board care if IA's are duplicating efforts between themselves and not being maximally efficient with our resources? Don't they have enough to do managing the UUA itself?
These supposed benefits of consolidating the theologically based IA's into one body may or may not be true, but I think that it is clear that they are not the Board's underlying motive, which has still not been explained.
The UUCF will survive and thrive no matter what its official status is. I raise this issue, and raise it again and again, because of the lack of honesty and transparency that surrounds this issue. It is a mystery, and there should not be this kind of mystery at all.