It’s time everyone took a closer look at the Unitarian-Universalists, those euphonious UUs, who are more than worthy of our respect and admiration. Anyone shopping for a new religion should pause and consider the principles they live by.
First of all, the Universalist aspect of it would seem a prerequisite to any deserving approach to a spiritual life. If you don’t accept the idea that different religions could lead to God and salvation (whatever you mean by that), then that would mean God doomed untold millions—billions—of people to hell (whatever you mean by that), people who never had a chance to hear about Jesus, or Mohammed, or whoever you’re betting on. The idea of the Chosen People or the Elect is infuriating. Would the Deity really embrace John Calvin as he entered the hereafter in 1564 but doom a South Sea Islander who died that same year but who never had a chance to hear about Jesus, the Trinity, heaven and hell?
The Unitarian side of the hyphen asks us to reject the idea that God exists as three “persons” (the Trinity) and more specifically, that Jesus IS God incarnated into human form. This would certainly be a hard pill to swallow for many Americans steeped in the Christology of their home churches. It makes you wonder, would half of our country disdainfully reject a Unitarian who ran for president as they would an atheist (Gallop Poll June 2012)? No Christ—no White House?
But the most important part of the Unitarian belief is that there is some kind of deity out there, a Spirit, with all the ineffable mystery that word contains, a Spirit that is in all of us, that we need to search out in a spiritual quest. To this end they articulate seven principles, and emphasize six sources of spiritual growth. The sixth, for example, is: “Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.” Those who attend the UU churches include all those who embrace this sacred Spirit of Life: agnostics, atheists, Buddhists, Christians, Muslims—it doesn’t matter, as long as you are open to the quest for the Spirit.
Then there’s this from their website: “personal experience, conscience and reason should be the final authorities in religion.” This is what the Seven Universal Sacraments are all about. Human experience and reason point us in the direction of these seven aspects of life that are truly sacred.