Monday, January 27, 2014

What do Unitarian Universalists believe?

This post is a sort of answer to Adrian's post, a fellow UU. So you may want to read his before reading mine.

What do Unitarian Universalists believe? Before I started on my path of searching I had never heard of UU. The simple answer lies the 7 principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association; all non/beliefs are welcome. Historically, the two separate parts of UU are part of liberal Christianity. Since the merge in 1961, UUs who express Christianity as their primary belief system are a minority*. Note that there are some Unitarians and Universalists who are separate from Unitarian Universalists.

Adrian says on his blog:
If I could believe in whatever I wanted, I would believe that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God the Father Almighty up in Heaven, that He is my Lord and Savior, and that He came to Earth, suffered, died for my sins, and rose from the dead to offer me eternal sanctuary with Him now and at the end of days. Why would I want to believe these things? Because that's what most of my family believes; and because I don't like conflict, I don't always enjoy being on the outside of the in-group (it gets lonesome here), and life in the United States of America might just be a little less rife with tension if I believed as many others claim to believe.
Amen!! Sometimes I think for a millisecond of trying to be a Jehovah's Witness again. But I can't. I've eaten from the tree of knowledge. I cannot unlearn what I've learn. I believe what I must. If my current beliefs have flaws, then I will change them. I'm sure there are Christian UUs but they accept me and I accept them.

For a time I was reluctant to consider myself a UU. After 30+ years in the JW cult, I was reluctant to identify as part of a group. However, I craved fellowship. UU is the best of both worlds. It is so important for me to retain my own beliefs, to search for God/dess (or not) on my own terms.

Is UUism for you? That depends. If you are looking for instruction from the pulpit, then no, UUism may not be for you. UU caters to the searcher, to the open-minded, to the ones who want to learn. Some folks want to be told what to do; they need clear directions and an instruction manual. Keep in mind that each congregation is autonomous. UUA has ideas for religious education, sermons, dedications, holiday celebrations, etc., but congregations are under no obligation to follow them. Each congregation chooses its own order of service. One of my tweeps wrote that he visited a UU congregation and although everyone was nice, he was turned off by the prayers. My congregation sings hymns, plays secular music, and doesn't do prayers.

Collectively, Unitarian Universalists believe all sorts of things. Maybe that's why I still say I'm Pagan if asked about my religion. It's somewhat easier to explain Paganism than UUism. I'm definitely not embarrassed about being a UU like I was when I was a Jehovah's Witness.

If you are UU, do you identify as such or do you identify as your primary belief system? How would you answer the question, what do UUs believe?

*For the life of me, I can't remember where I read this. If you can help me out or if my statement is incorrect, please let me know.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting in response to my blog! It's always good to hear other people's perspectives.

    To answer the last question in your post, I identify primarily as a Unitarian Universalism. I do, however, describe different aspects of my spirituality in different ways. I have said that my religion is Unitarian Universalist, my theology is panentheist, my practice is pagan, and my beliefs are mystical. So yeah, I use the words that I deem appropriate to the situation - but "Unitarian Universalist" works just fine for me as an umbrella for all the others.

    For more details, see the beginning of my post on my religious profile here: