Unitarian Universalists - a hippy religion
Article taken with permission from John Broken Willow's blog.
This church was formed in 1961 from two other churches, called the Unitarians and the Universalists. Clearly they spent a long time thinking about the new title. Both of these churches were traditionally Christian but nowadays, UU is not about Christianity at all.In fact, these guys are pretty open-minded about their religious beliefs. They don't really have anything solid, you see, just some vague, wishy washy spiritual stuff about following our unique spiritual path in togetherness. And stuff. And they welcome Christians, Buddhists, Atheists and even Pagans into the fold. The aim of the church is to get people together to follow their spirituality in multiple ways,which, lets face it, is great! What a brilliant idea for a church! Way to get as many members as you can. Anyone is welcome as long as they can uphold some basic principles of respect, dignity, democracy and peace.
These people are serious hippies! Amazingly,
- They explicitly state that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered people are completely welcome at all levels within the church;
- They have an active environmental protection campaign known as the UU Ministry for Earth and dozens of their congregations have been accredited as "green sanctuaries";
- They also campaign for the rights of immigrants in the US;
- Their education program for children includes topics such as "Love all around us", "Journeys of the Spirit", "Circle of trees",
- and, the principles of UU draw from, amongst other things, "Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life."
They also clearly recognise that religion does not have all the answers to the mysteries of the Universe, just the same as the fact that Science does not. This is simply amazing stuff!
Some of the language is quite yoghurty, mind, and there are some dubious ideas surrounding the religion. For example, they talk about having "worship" as part of the ceremonies, but it's not clear who or what is being worshipped. Instead, they just tell you what to wear, where to park, and what will happen. I guess they mean for people to worship whatever they feel like worshipping, and listen to the sermon - which is probably good if it's anything like the stuff on the website. There is a UU dating site. Of course they state that it's not a dating site but what else can be implied by "This is not a dating site, but a place for single UUs to meet and discuss life....we prefer to keep this group for adults only although we are an inclusive group."?
|This UU centre in North Los Angeles is specialised for people who worship onions.
One particularly pleasingly yoghurty idea is the Flower communion. This is a religious holiday in early Spring, during which members bring in a flower, usually one that they like in particular which is added to a special bouquet. This bouquet, as well as creating a health and safety nightmare for hayfever sufferers, represents the diversity of the people and the beliefs that come together to make the church. UU's also recognise various Christian, Jewish and other religious holidays, Earth Day, and Martin Luther King day; and readers of my book may remember that they also celebrate the solstices.
Some people argue that UU should not be called a religion at all, since there are no core beliefs, and believe that the UUs only claim to be a religion to benefit from the resultant tax-exemption.This may or may not be true.
John Broken Willow argues that this is the best religion he has ever come across, since it preaches good human ethics without spouting loads of mumbo jumbo bullshit at people to keep them interested.