Unitarian Universalists want everyone to think the way we do, of course. If we didn’t feel that way, we might not even be able to call ourselves a religion. The funny thing is that we don’t want you to think what we think, as we don’t all hold the same beliefs. It is how we think that matters.
We don’t want you to blindly follow dictates or dogma. We demand that UUs think for themselves; that they think about what they are doing and what effect it has on the rest of the world. We want them to consider the feelings of others and the health of communities and ecosystems. Ultimately, though, they have to make their own choices about how to do that.
We don’t want to tell you what to think, but we demand that you do think.
One of our Principles is the “Free and responsible search for truth and meaning”. You are free to search high and low for meaning in your life and your place in the world. You have to do it in a way that is responsible, though, keeping in mind reality and scientific discovery. We talk about evolution, creation, and other big questions, because they all matter in the search. We never forget that science is always learning something new, always revealing things to us about the universe. We are fascinated by what each of those revelations might add to the conversation.
We long for the day when science and reason are given, if not preference then at least equal standing with superstition. We will not tell you that you must believe in the unbelievable. We will question your belief in the unprovable. No one is expected, much less required, to to believe something based on the personal perspective or revelation of another; not a layman or a minister or the President of the UUA.
We fight for the rights of all people to follow their conscience, without being oppressed by the opinions of any other person. Rights and freedoms must be restricted only by the dictates of facts, evidence, and decency. No one should limit your relationship with the God of your naming, but neither should your relationship be allowed to hinder the lives of others.
We care as much about who you are and what you accomplish as we do what you believe. We want every person to have the chance to be their best and to better their community. We believe that it is what we do for this world, and not a promise for worlds unseen, that provides the reasonable basis for a life well lived. The strangest thing about our religion may be that we care as much about how you make your choices as what those choices ultimately end up being.
As we Unitarian Universalists are fond of saying, “We need not think alike to love alike.”