My friend suggested recently that if I knew a little more about Jesus, I might be a Christian, she quickly apologized. But it got me thinking about my own spiritual beliefs and if I had failed to explain myself thoroughly to others. So I asked Daddy what he thought about my identifying as a Unitarian Universalist and he gently inquired “What the hell is that?” I guess I got some explaining to do.
What do UU’s believe in?
Nothing and Everything. Basically we believe that no person, official or organization can tell us what to believe in. We believe that truth is not absolute but an ongoing search. We believe that everyone has equal claim to life, liberty and justice. And we believe in the almighty potluck.
Do you believe in a personal God?
Personally, if I was going to believe in a deity it would be a Goddess but in general, UU’s do not have a defined doctrine of God.
Do you believe in miracles?
No. Although, I believe that Robert Redford will run away with me when I win the lottery.
Do you believe in Jesus?
Yes, as one of the several important moral and ethical teachers who have shown humans to live a life of love. But we do not believe his Mama was a virgin.
Do you believe in life after death?
I believe that on days that I am feeling anxious, my mama perches herself on the tip of my mailbox post in the form of a bluejay and wishes me well on my journey. Because most UU’s believe mortality manifests itself in the lives of those we affect and the legacy we leave behind.
Are UU’s Christians?
I have heard there are some that walk among us, but I have not met them.
How do you differ from Christians?
Most UU’s reject a literal interpretation of accepted Christian beliefs. But we are down with the golden rule.
What kind of freaks are ya’ll?
UU’s are typically well-educated, moderately affluent and professionally employed. I am the exception to this rule.
Is Unitarian Universalist a religion?
Ours is a non-creedal, non- doctrinal religion which affirms an individual’s freedom of belief. It is more of a way of being religious but without a religious doctrine. For us religion is an ongoing search for meaning, value and depth in one’s life. Most UU’s do not believe a single universal religion is right for everyone.
Do you believe in sin?
We believe that people are punished by their sins, not for them. Although I have committed many chocolate related sins.
How do you explain evil?
Oh my. UU’s cannot explain evil but we can try not to give in to it. We are active social justice activists that cannot explain why people suffer but can try to help them when they do.
Can UU’s go to heaven or hell?
I have told a lot of people to go to hell in my lifetime. UU’s do not believe that they will go to a physical destination but I certainly hope so.
Can UU’s be saved?
Okay, listen up, woman in the parking lot of Food Lion and her kind. UU’s do not believe that people are born in to a state of sin, we do not believe in an eternity of suffering in hell, we do not believe in original sin. SAVE YOURSELF!
If you do not fear God or hell, how do you know how to be a morally decent human being?
Because my mama raised me right. UU’s don’t need to feel fear to live moral and ethical lives because we do so out of a sense of responsibility to ourselves and others. We want world peace and to pass on a loving world to future generations.
What is the history of Unitarian Universalist?
Both the Unitarians and the Universalists grew out of the left-wing of the Protestant Reformation in Europe during the 16th century. Both religions originated in protest against two Calvinist doctrines: Original Sin and Predestination. Both groups came over to America in the 18th century and established themselves as liberal Christian alternatives to harsh forms of Christianity at that time. Eventually they moved away from Christianity toward a religion based on individual freedom of belief. Nowadays, a congregation might include humanists, theists, atheists, agnostics, pagans, etc.
Do you celebrate Christmas and Easter?
In my house we often find ourselves on the good list. But one year I did get a gift of men’s hiking socks and one of us was moved to the naughty list for 11 months. UU’s center these holidays around the winter solstice and spring equinox. UU’s reject the doctrine of atonement but feel comfortable with chocolate bunnies.
On what social justice issues has the church taken a position?
Marriage equality, immigration, abortion, gun control, racism, homelessness, economic justice and healthcare. UU’s most likely have a bumper sticker for Obama, although I did read one today that said “I like Big Mutts and I cannot lie”.
What does a typical Sunday service look like?
Well, we show up late so the hymns have already started. Then there is a meditation, singing by the choir, a sermon and a chalice lighting where people share their joys and sorrows and the Sunday offering.
How actively do you recruit?
We don’t recruit. Sadly our numbers are dwindling because we would never interfere with a person’s religious journey. But maybe now that you know more about us you might want to join us one Sunday! Service starts at 11:00, we UU’s believe in the power of sleep.