What Is a Unitarian Universalist?
What do Unitarian Universalists believe?
- Every individual should be encouraged to develop a personal philosophy of life.
- Everyone is capable of reasoning.
- We do not need any other person, official, or organization to tell us what to believe.
- We should be able to present religious opinions openly, without fear of censure or reprisal.
- All people should be tolerant of the religious ideas of others.
- Truth is not absolute; it changes over time.
- Everyone should continue to search for the truth.
- Everyone has an equal claim to life, liberty, and justice.
- People should govern themselves by democratic processes.
- Ideas should be open to criticism.
- Good works are the natural product of a good faith.
Which values do you hold highest?
We regard the highest values to be integrity, caring, compassion, social justice, truth, personal peace, and harmony. Advancing these values is a major purpose of our congregations.
Does the UUA have a creed?
No. Although the bylaws of the association do contain a section on purposes and principles, it is not a statement of a religious creed.
Do you subscribe to any doctrines?
We have no specific doctrines to which members are expected to subscribe. However, the bylaws of the UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) and member churches and societies do contain a Statement of Purpose and Principles. These are the basis of a solemn agreement that member churches will support the UUA and that the UUA will support the individual churches.
What do you NOT believe?
We do not believe that any religious precept or doctrine must be accepted as true simply because some religious organization, tradition, or authority says it is. Neither do we believe that all UUs should have identical beliefs.
Do some UUs have different beliefs than other UUs?
They certainly do. Since individual freedom of belief is one of our basic principles, it follows that there will be differing beliefs among us. Found in today's churches are humanism, agnosticism, atheism, theism, liberal Christianity, neo-paganism, and earth spiritualism. These beliefs are not mutually exclusive--it's possible to hold more than one. While we are bound by a set of common principles, we leave it to the individual to decide what particular beliefs lead to those principles.
Do you believe in God?
We do not have a defined doctrine of God. Members are free to develop individual concepts of God that are meaningful to them. They are also free to reject the term and concept altogether.
Most of us do not believe in a supernatural, supreme being who can directly intervene in and alter human life or the mechanism of the natural world. Many believe in a spirit of life or a power within themselves, which some choose to call God.
Do you believe in a personal God?
A personal God is one with whom someone feels a one-to-one relationship, a deity who cares specifically for that individual and to whom that person can appeal directly. Few UUs would characterize God in such personal terms.
What role does God play in the Church?
In most services, there are few, if any, mentions of a deity. The emphasis is on issues of human growth, human potential, and personal human issues that we all face in day-to-day living. There is also an emphasis on social, moral, and ethical issues that confront us. Although subjects are presented from the religious perspective of the minister or the speaker, it is never assumed that all present have a common belief in God.
God means different things to different UUs. To some, the term has little or no meaning. Whatever the case may be, we offer an accepting congregation where each person can discover what gives life meaning, purpose and direction.