Anti-Authoritarian Code of Conduct

This code of conduct was developed by Rachel Barney, a professor of classics and philosophy at the University of Toronto and then refined for clergy and religious leaders by Rev. Mark Caggiano, the minister at First Unitarian Church in Chestnut Hill.

Anti-Authoritarian Code of Conduct for Religious Leaders

I will not aid in the registering, rounding up, or internment of members from my community or in the wider society on the basis of their religious beliefs. I will do all that I can within my power and in keeping with my conscience to resist such efforts.

I will not aid in the marginalization, exclusion, detention, or deportation of undocumented immigrants or those targeted because of their citizenship status. I will do all that I can within my power and in keeping with my conscience to resist such efforts.

I will, as my capacities allow, discourage and defend against the bullying, harassment, or singling out by law enforcement of others targeted for aspects of their identity (such as race, ethnicity, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender expression, etc.).

I will not aid the government or law enforcement in activities which violate the U.S. Constitution or other applicable law.

I will not aid in government surveillance. I will not inform on others. I will not breach confidences made to me as a member of the clergy or in other leadership roles (except as required by law to protect against the abuse or neglect of children, elders, and the disabled.

As a leader in a community, I will not be bought or intimidated. I will present the message of my faith honestly and prophetically, whether or not it is what the government or other groups want to hear. And as a community leader, I will challenge others when they lie.

I will not be shy about my commitment to my core religious and spiritual values: love without boundaries, a world without hate, and service to and concern for others without discrimination. And I will resist those who would undermine such values.

As a religious leader I will defend those at risk for merely being who they are. In my community and in the wider society, I will not allow or accept the expulsion, firing, disciplining, harassment, marginalization, mistreatment, or criminalization of individuals targeted for being members of disfavored groups or for expressing unfavorable opinions.

I will speak up for intellectual, political, and religious freedom.
I will be in solidarity with my colleagues in other congregations, from of all faiths, and defend their rights and freedoms as well as those they serve. I will not, however, support the imposition of religious dictates of one group, faith, or religious tradition upon those of differing beliefs, whether through the government or its schools.

I will be fair and compassionate in all my dealings with others, including those who disagree with me intellectually, politically or religiously. But I will not be silent.