What Do Unitarian Universalists Believe?

By Rev. David O. Rankin

  • We believe in the freedom of religious expression. All individuals should be encouraged to develop their own personal theology, and to present openly their religious opinions without fear of censure or reprisal.
  • We believe in the toleration of religious ideas. All religions, in every age and culture, possess not only an intrinsic merit, but also a potential value for those who have learned the art of listening.
  • We believe in the authority of reason and conscience. The ultimate arbiter in religion is not a church, or a document, or an official, but the personal choice and decision of the individual.
  • We believe in the never-ending search for Truth. If the mind and heart are truly free and open, the revelations which appear to the human spirit are infinitely numerous, eternally fruitful, and wondrously exciting.
  • We believe in the unity of experience. There is no fundamental conflict between faith and knowledge, religion and the world, the sacred and the secular, since they all have their source in the same reality.
  • We believe in the worth and dignity of each human being. All people on earth have an equal claim to life, liberty and justice-and no idea, ideal or philosophy is superior to a single human life.
  • We believe in the ethical application of religion. Good works are the natural products of a good faith, the evidence of an inner grace that finds completion in social and community involvement.
  • We believe in the motive force of love. The governing principle in human relationships is the principle of love, which always seeks the welfare of others and never seeks to hurt or destroy.
  • We believe in the necessity of the democratic process. Records are open to scrutiny, elections are open to members, and ideas are open to criticism-so that people might govern themselves.
  • We believe in the importance of a religious community. The validation of experience requires the confirmation of peers, who provide a critical platform along with a network of mutual support.

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