Talk:Unitarian Universalism/Archive 2

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The first section after the intro and table of contents seems to suggest that humanism and atheism are separate beliefs, and while they certainly can be, it is certainly possible for one to belief in both. IMO, better wording is required for that sentence. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:39, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

This article continues to misstate information from its primary sources regarding the numbers of self-labeled Unitarians who hold specific religious beliefs. It also footnotes secondary sources that inaccurately describe the results of actual surveys of the UU community, ignoring primary sources, in particular the surveys cited indirectly. Months ago I provided several detailed explanations of these errors, but all of my previous comments and contributions to correct this have all been removed from the discussion page, with the errors reintroduced. I gather there is not much the community can do about people who whack articles because of their religious beliefs. Needless to say, the article as currently written is a success mainly for those few who believe in censorship and distortion of the factual record over careful consultation of primary source materials.

It should be noted that encyclopedia's wikipedia included, should be compiled primarily from secondary and tertiary sources and should avoid primary sources as the interpretation of a primary source would almost certainly lead to original research. In other words, wikipedia is better served by referring to published interpretations of poll results rather than attempting to interpret them itself. Charles (Kznf) 05:53, 15 November 2007 (UTC)


There are almost as many variations of this as there are UU churches, but it was originally written by Universalist minister L. Griswold Williams and published in 1933 in the joint Unitarian and Universalist hymnal. It reads:

Love is the doctrine of this church;
The quest of truth is its sacrament;
And service is its prayer.
To dwell together in peace;
To seek knowledge in freedom;
To serve mankind in fellowship;
To the end that all souls shall grow into harmony with the Divine,
Thus do we covenant with each other, and with God.

If we use any variation of this, we should give credit to the original author. But none of the variations can be considered representative or typical of Unitarian Universalism as a whole. This one would probably feel right at home at King's Chapel (with "mankind" changed to "humankind", perhaps) but would get a lot of comments about the "G-word" at our fellowship. If we include a "typical" covenant, it should say so and give it's origin. Shoaler 13:44, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Umm, err, they use the Apostle's Creed at King's Chapel ("Anglican in liturgy, Congregational in polity, Unitarian in theology"); I cannot imagine anything so un-Anglican being used in worship there (last I checked, Griswold's little ditty doesn't appear in the Book of Common Prayer). Yes, the Apostle's *Creed*; member congregations are allowed to use creeds, confessions, affirmations, professions, bonds of union, as they wish, for worship purposes; the UUA bylaws assert (in one of the few requirements imposed on congregations) that they may not be used as creedal *tests* for membership, it is in this sense alone that the UUA is truly non-creedal.Blondlieut 00:40, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Christian beliefs

A recent edit by Shoaler (talk • contribs) changed part of the introduction:

...although Christian beliefs are no longer required for adherents to modern Unitarian Universalism, and most Unitarian Universalists (UUs) do not consider themselves Christian in the conventional or traditional sense of the term.


...although Christian beliefs no longer play a central role in most congregations.

While I have no argument with the change of "required" to "play a central role," I do find it lamentable that an actual, honest-to-goodness fact — that most UUs do not consider themselves Christian — has fallen by the wayside. As much as I like a good NPOV consideration of fuzzy opinions, I find the simple factual statement that most (the figure I've read is 80%+) adherents of a Protestant religion are not Christian fascinating and think it belongs in the intro. But on the other hand, Shoaler labeled the edit with "[c]hanged a few things after talking with the UUA," which makes me wonder if s/he learned that this "fact" was incorrect? Shoaler, any comment? --TreyHarris 00:59, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

You're right. What UUs believe is important information. But UU is not a Protestant religion anymore. It's not even officially a Christian religion in that it no longer belongs to the National Council of Churches. So I didn't think that one statement about Christian non-belief helped the first paragraph. And I thought that the reference to "adherents to modern Unitarian Universalism" could be interpreted that there was an old-fashioned UU also. That probably wasn't what was intended but some people could read it that way. There are still many UU churches which are devoutly Christian and they consider themselves as modern as the rest of them.
So yes, I think there should be a profile of UU member beliefs — how many Christians, how many atheists, how many Buddhists, how many pagans, etc. I just didn't have the data handy. Maybe I'll bother the UUA again. Shoaler 08:50, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

--I, too, would be interested in whether such statistics are availabe regarding the personal beliefs of UUs. But, as a UU myself, I would not be at all surprised to learn that the UUA does not have such statistics. In fact, I might be a little bit uncomfortable with the idea of the UUA conducting surveys of that sort--the reason being that we place such a high value on the "free and independent search for truth and meaning." It would be too short a step from "60 per cent of UUs believe X" to "Unitarian Universalists believe X"--that is, from a statistical statement to a normative one. I believe this is why we tend to shy away from surveys, and even statements, of personal belief. I strongly suspect that a majority of UUs today do not hold beliefs that could reasonably be called "Christian," but, barring the introduction of hard numbers of a sort I have not seen, I think the edit must be considered an improvement.--Craigkbryant 14:12, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

I have found and added a list of the percent of UUs with particular beliefs. I found it on a UUA web page but they did not do the survey. –Shoaler (talk) 13:57, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

I, as a born-and-bred UU, take these statistics to mean something very different from the implications of all the editors above. Time and again, the word "belief" or "beliefs" are used. At best, it seems to me, UUs are being asked not to identify what there "beliefs" are, they are being as to pick a religious path that they identify with, or that they are interest in, or *paths* that they are interested in. There is more than a subtle difference between the two. I mean, when I was a member of the local UU Buddhist Fellowship, and answered "Buddhist," was I really a "Buddhist" in any real way that some other Buddhist would actually recognize? Ditto Natural Theism. Just because I was smudged at a drumming ceremony one Friday night, I'm not sure I became a "Pagan" in a way a real coven would recognize either. What the article fails to make clear is that our costing commitments are to the liberal tradition within Western Humanism, and that tradition itself is not a break with the liberal tradition with Christianity, but in fact flows from it as well. The idea of religious pluralism within UUism doesn't truly "make" us members of those other religions, it merely expresses a fundamental truth of Western Humanism-- that there is something to be learned from all religious traditions to those who wish to take to time to learn about them. But our costing commitments as UUs aren't to Islam or to Buddhism or to Neopaganism-- those are not the commitments that are articulated even within the Principles and Purposes of the UUA, which have biblical resonances (we "covenant" as members congregations ... conventing being a Judeo-Christian religious idea, not a Buddhist or Neopagan one ... and we believe in the inherent diginity of every person (an idea rooted in Judeo-Christian humanism-- that each of us is bearer of the Imago Dei, the image of God. Again, that's not a function of Native American spirtuality, it's not a function of any afternoon learning about the Qu'ran, it's a primordial, costing commitment to both Western Humanism and the liberal traditions within both the Jewish and Christian traditions. UUs live out of these traditions while rejecting the labels, believing themselves to be Post-Christian, or "more than Christian," as the term "Christian" in 2006 is practically co-terminous with war-mongering homophobic right-wing cut-taxes-on-the-rich nut-jobs (rightly or wrongly). But like the Unitarians and Univeralists of 1787, we still think Jesus was a nice guy, and we still teach our kids that. The article seems to miss these points in the rush to present us as the "Church of all things to all people." It's not so much that we have been non-Christians, it's that what constitutes "Christian" has become so narrow, and has moved away from us.Blondlieut 19:53, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

I see an anon user changed to first paragraph to read "although dogmatic Christian beliefs no longer play a central role in most congregations." I don't know whether the person was implying that all Christian beliefs are dogmatic or that it's only the dogmatic beliefs that don't play a role. Either way, I don't think it adds to the sentence. –Shoaler (talk) 13:57, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
I think that this article should explain the adamence of UUers resisting from being called Christians. Most UUers I have spoken with talk of Christians as dogmatic, hateful bigots etc. The vibe I get is "We're not like them, because we love people" I know that some UU "christians" have stopped capitalizing the c in Christian because they don't want to be associated with Christianity. There are many, many very Christian churches that do not belong to the National Council of Churches, including the Assemblies of God, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Presbyterian Church in America. It would be interesting and revealing if someone would cite in this article the reasons that UU withdrew. MPS 15:43, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

hahahha! I LOVE that. "we aren't BIGOTS, like those nasty christians!" hahahha total double think, great stuff!—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

For the record, at the time the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of American were being considered for membership, they were rejected on theological grounds from the (then titled) Federal Council of Churches. This was back in the 1930's, when both bodies had a decidedly more Christian identity. The rationale of the denominations that voted against membership of the AUA was simple (if not also simplistic)-- the Unitarians failed to teach the divinity of Christ, and hence were not appropriate for member in the Council. The vote was closer for the Universalists (Episcopalians voted for the UCA, the Methodists did not; certainly that would not be the case today, I would guess) on the theory that the Universalist theory of atonement was too far afield from Christian orthodoxy. Both bodies, and the consolidated body, has always maintained observer status before the National Council of Churches. Most recently, the First Parish Church in Quincy (Unitarian) played host to an NCC program on the minimum wage. When the UU ministers were arrest for protesting the "immorality" of the federal budget, it was part of a larger NCC effort.

The article, as written, gives the incorrect and inaccurate impression that UUs at both the continental and local level cooperate most closely and most often with Quakers (or, umm, Friends). Certainly cooperation with Quakers (a member of the NCC, incidentally) occurs; the UUSC was modelled after the American Friends Service Committee (do note the name). But actual cooperation with, say, worship, Sunday School (which Unitarians invented and named, and the article treats as almost "foreign" to UUs and has to be adapted to our strange and bizarre ways, rather than treating it as part of our own heritage-- in fact there is an organization still called the Unitarian Sunday School Society-- do not that Universalist is not in the title) materials, and the like, is hard to undertake with a religious group that is wholly unlike us in terms of history and worship. The UUA and United Church of Christ have cooperated on such efforts (continentally and locally). I remember in Washington, after 9/11, we worshipped with Presbyterians and Swedenborgians, but not the Friends which were as close because ... how would that work? I mean ... they sit in silence in their meetings for worship. When the 1937 Hymnal was written (by the then separate Unitarians and Universalists) it was titled for "Churches of the Free Spirit," on the theory that other liberal congregational (now UCC) churches would be interested in it too In the early consideration of a "Liberal Church of America," a combined body of Universalists, Unitarians and Congregationalists was imagined (obviously, as "liberal" as the Friends are ... no such consideration ever was given) In fact, Universalists almost joined the United Church in preference to joining with the Unitarians (at least some churches did anyway -- which, yes, makes Unitarian Universalism a historic, bureaucractic accident and terrible acronym creation rather than some deep, theological undertaking). Certainly the 1937 hymnal would be used in no Friends meeting houses as ... They don't sing hymns. So the entire section on cooperation with the Friends is not so much wrong as misleading. It is not the Friends, as wonderful as they are, with which are contacts; it is are other progressive churches that have worship patterns vaguely like our own, have ministers like we do, share in our history of congregational polity, and the like. Blondlieut 13:08, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

To the UUs

I'm wondering if I should join the church. They seem better than other religions, but I want some opinions.--HistoricalPisces 17:25, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

We are better than other religions ;) My only advise is (if possible in your location) to try to go to multiple churches and to multiple sermons at those churches. There is a lot more diversity between UU churches in terms of what a service is like compared to other religions (IMO). Also make sure you stay for the coffee hour!  :) Charles (Kznf) 20:28, August 20, 2005 (UTC)

I would hesitate to utter such hubris as "we are better," except in the sense that if UUism sounds better to you, it will probably be better for you. There are probably plenty of people out there who think that UUism is the worst perversion of religion ever -- but that's okay, we can get along without em. ;) And if you aren't of that school of thought... then you would probably benefit from UUism, as it would probably benefit from you.

I don't drink cofee. I drink tea. Is that okay?--HistoricalPisces 18:41, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

Nope. No, I'm afraid coffee is a UU sacrement. (joking) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:45, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, he just meant to be sure to stay after the service and get to know people, 'cause the people are the best part. One thing not everyone can cope with - they won't tell you what to believe. You have to work it out yourself. If that sounds good, you'll like it. --noösfractal 06:51, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

That does sound good. Overtly strong authorities are reasons why I've decided not to the Catholic, Mormon or Scientology Church.--HistoricalPisces 17:08, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

Try it. And let us know what you thought.

Help Needed

Can someone help me upload the Flaming Chalice on my user page at the same size it appears in the article. I tried, but it ended up really big.--HistoricalPisces 18:02, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

Merger Date

The Almanac of American History says the merger was in 1959, while the article says 1960 and I've even heard 1961 suggested. Can someone please set me straight so I can accertain the article's accuracy?--HistoricalPisces 17:49, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

1961 is correct. Work on the merger began in 1959 (or possibly earlier), but the work was scompleted and merger (actually consolidation) was realized in 1961. [1] - UtherSRG (talk) 19:36, September 12, 2005 (UTC)

To be even more precise: "The Syracuse conference in 1959 was decisive for Unitarian-Universalist merger. The plan formulated there was endorsed by Unitarian churches, 555 to 54, and by Universalist churches, 183 to 49. At simultaneous meetings in Boston on May 23, 1960, the proposal was ratified by delegates to the AUA by a vote of 725 to 143; and by delegates to a special General Assembly of the Universalist Church of America, the vote being 365 to 65. The legal steps to consolidate were completed in May, 1961, when the Unitarian Universalist Association was constituted." Conrad Wright, A Stream of Light, Skinner House Books, Boston, 2n ed. 1989, p. 154. --Jdemarcos 22:27, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

Suggested subheading

I think we need one that discusses ministers and related subjects.--HistoricalPisces 17:29, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

Intro Paragraph

I have significant problems with the introductory paragraphs. The section focuses on the christian etymology of the phrase rather than providing a concise and informative synopsis of what the religion is. Instead, it simply terms it as "liberal" which has varied, contextualized meanings. In my opinion, it is inappropriate for use as a broad qualifying statement in a taxonomy of religions. The word suggests an exclusive, dualistic, liberal vs. conservative dichotomy that is combative, not conducive to understanding relative positions and ideologies of any religion, let alone one that is actually "liberal". Furthermore, for pure clarity's sake, the increasing politicization of the terms could have unintended implications or undesired references. From its latin origin, the use of liberal is correct, but I think it is foolish to allow ambiguity to creep into an area where it could be clearer. At the very least, it needs to read "is a theologically liberal religion." The UUA is careful to make this distinction/qualification in its FAQ. [2]

Other statements about what Unitarian Universalists ARE and what we DO value should be made before continuing on to discussion of the name. Free thinking, personal experience cherishing, inclusive, soul growing (other obvious ones are non-dogmatic, non-denominational, but those are sort of contrarian to my point against definition by contrapositive) etc... Furthermore, I do not know that a definition of the terms Unitarian and Unviersalist in the header of U.U. is at all appropriate. Link the two terms for more specific Christian origin information. Unitarian Universalism as I understand it, never had Christian roots, it had Unitarian and Universalist roots, and those two had Christian roots. The introduction falsly implies U.U.ism to be a first-generation derrivative, which it is not. It would be similar to the first few lines of Christianty or Islam saying, "Well we used to be Jewish, but we're not anymore." What it says instead is that it shares the Old Testament which is true, was true, and will be true. Christian ideology has no more present significance than that of any other religion. This all belongs in the history and evolution section, and if any mention of it is made, it should be contained to a statement such as "Many congregations in New England were originally founded as Unitarian or Universalist congregations stemming from Protestantism." On the other side, it depicts U.U.'s negatively by saying they're "not very Chritianly" anymore, but ideas like being kind to one's neighbor, etc are still core values. They're simply viewed in a more humanist fashion. "Christian beliefs" should be "tenets of Orthodox Christianity" or something along those lines. Simply, I dislike the gist of the entire paragraph and am very curious as to why it is there. The "profile" section is a bit more in line, but too long for a brief intro. My concern is if you don't make it to the profile, you don't get any really meaningful information and could leave with a very skewed perspective.

Next, there are style issues such as passive voice. Those are simple but need to change. Also, origin is not a particularly good word for the religion's development. It is for the large number of UUs who are from North America, but those overseas should be recognized and have their own developmental history as well. The chain of Puritan churches evolving into Unitarian and Universalist congregations and then the later merger into the U.U.A. should be clarified as being the course of evolution in one particular place, not as a whole. The UUA is also careful to differentiate this and include the heretical European background.

Please respond with your thoughts comments. If there is agreement, I will rewrite an introduction and post it for consideration/review. (ImagoDei 07:49, 22 September 2005 (UTC))

  • I very much agree and look forward to your edits. Thank you for your thoughtfulness. --noösfractal 08:28, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
  • It's hard to say that UU doesn't have Christian roots since it has Christian leaves and branches and they didn't develop out of thin air. There are many UU churches which are very much Christian and a sprinkling of Christians throughout the denomination. And the Universalist churches, for the most part, were original -- not evolving from Congregationalist like the Unitarians but from heretical Baptists and others. I've just found it really difficult to put UU in a box because it's an association of diverse congregations masquerading as a denomination (although the UUA doesn't like the word "denomination" either). And, of course it's more than that because there are CUC UUs and maybe other non-UUA UUs. Anyway, your points are good ones, so as far as I am concerned go ahead and have a go at it. –Shoaler (talk) 21:43, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
    • Revised the introduction. Its not perfect of course, but I think its much better. I hope others agree. I am happy to modify/revise, etc... ~(ImagoDei 08:52, 23 September 2005 (UTC))

For what it's worth, I do tend to agree that as written UUism has this "out of thin air" quality to it. It is certainly true that Christian orthodoxy has no stronger particular claim in the individual faith life of a Unitarian Univeralist than, say, Buddhism; it's not true that Christianity is as relevant to Unitarian Universalism as Buddhism is, as Unitarian Universalism is not a post-Buddhist religion, it's a post-Christian religion. It's important to recognize UUism's "more than Christian" and "post-Christian" claims, as its history has made it what it is. To comparison of UUs to Christians and Muslims to Jews (or Jews to Christians) is off the mark. Christians had the Christ event to separate them from Jews; Christian supercessionist ideology meant, for Christians, they became the new Israel. For Muslims, on the Night of Power, when the Angel Gabriel recited the Qu'ran to Mohammed, peace be upon him, that new revelation likewise superceded prior revelations, and sealed revelation for humankind. Unitarian Univeralists claim no such break with the liberal wing of the Jewish and Christian traditions; there is no "Night of Power," we are not the new Israel, even Western Humanism's claims are simply that it developed out of biblical humanism, and that there was no break in its intellectual development. The existence of self-indentified Christian congregants and Christian churches in the UUA speaks to the continuity of the tradition-- unlike the definitive break within the Chrisitan and Muslim traditions. At most, UUism is "derived from Christianity," but there is no historical break with it, as we make no supercessionist claims at representing the New Jerusalem ourselves.Blondlieut 21:26, 28 February 2006 (UTC)


I don't think we can have an accurate and complete article on UUism without appropriate mention of the role of postmodernism, but I'm not the right person to write this. Any takes?

What would that role be? Luis Dantas 04:41, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
I did say I'm not the right person to write this, no? Rather than reverse myself, I'll just gently point you to the pomo and UU stance on truth. Alienus 06:00, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

Trouble is, you are not being clear at all. I think that you want someone to criticize whatever amount of support Relativism has on the UU. I do not know of a reason to single out UU on that matter, though. Is it notable in that regard? Do you have any references, or may you perhaps expand a bit on the matter? Luis Dantas 06:13, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

This is a place to neutrally report, not criticize. That's a good reason why I shouldn't be the person to write it; my account would likely sound like a criticism. As for singling out the UUA in this regard, I'm not. Postmodernism and/or relativism do show up in New Age, neo-pagan and "eastern" religions, as well. However, it is notable when these views are strongly endorsed by a church with Christian origins, so we should note it. Perhaps people might want to know that this is a church where you can get booed for saying that truth is independent of belief. As for references, the simplest one is in the principles, where they speak of "truth" without saying "the". No doubt, you could find better references than that. Alienus 14:05, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
I think it might be fairer to say that there are some UU churches where you could get booed for saying that truth is independent of belief. There are some pretty hard-line proponents of rationalism and scientific materialism (or whatever you want to call it) in the UUA along with the "every path is true" contingent. I wouldn't be surprised if the lack of "the" in the phrase "a free and responsible search for truth and meaning" was the result of some compromise in committee. It might be because the denomination was reluctant to claim that it knows what "the truth" is, as that might be seen as a step towards creedalism or dogmatism. In any case, I am not sure that the lack of the definite article takes a stand one way or another on whether or not there is one certain truth. If it said "truths and meanings", that would be a stronger endorsement of relativism, as "the One Truth" would be a stronger endorsement of small-u universalism. As usual in UUism, the elucidation of this principle is left as an exercise to the reader ;) Gwimpey 04:14, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Ok, then whoever writes the section on postmodernism (and, remember, that's not going to be me) should dig a little deeper to get an official statement on postmodernism, if such a thing exists. If that doesn't pan out, they can take it from the unofficial but documented side, finding support for the statement you made about how UU culture allows anyone to believe anything, just so long as they don't point out that if their beliefs are true, conflicting beliefs must be false. Alienus 22:40, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
I did not say "UU culture allows anyone to believe anything, just so long as they don't point out that if their beliefs are true, conflicting beliefs must be false." Although perhaps your statement wasn't directed at me. Here's an interesting quote from an article in the journal "religous humanism" discussing two major strands in modern UUism: "That both [mysticism and secular humanism] vest the individual with authority in matters of belief has been noted. In addition, since mystical belief rests on the experience of oneness, mysticism shares modern rationality's preference for empirically verifiable knowledge." [3] I have certainly read and heard UUs from the mystical and humanist factions debating the validity of each others' beliefs. Is this really pomo? It seems (to me) more a matter of people "agreeing to disagree" for a greater purpose. But I'm no pomo expert. Are there any books or other publications out there discussing pomo and UUism? If not, then a section on pomo would be the dreaded "original research" that doesn't really belong in Wikipedia. Gwimpey 02:05, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

I realize you didn't use that phrase. However, you did acknowledge that there are some churches where people get booed for saying truth is independent of belief. I apologize if I inadvertently inserted my words into your mouth.
The gap between the mystics and (secular) humanists, and its eroding detente, is a well-known aspect of UUism, but it's not directly related to the issue of postmodernism. There are UU mystics who freely admit that there is a fact of the matter, just as those humanists claim. Where they disagree is on what constitutes that fact and what method we should use to discover it.
But there are also UU's, not necessarily theistic or mystic, who take offense at the notion that any belief is true to the exclusion of other beliefs. These people tend to characterize themselves as being influenced by Eastern religion or neo-Paganism, though that's just a generalization.
As for the question of OR, I would imagine that it's a lot like the sky being blue; everyone knows it's so and someone's probably written about it. In other words, I'm certain there are citations to be found. However, as I've said a few times now, I don't want to be that person. Alienus 05:19, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
Sure enough, there is some writing on this subject: and pop up in Google (the second is from the UU seminary Meadville-Lombard). Perhaps I'll read those and see if they have anything useful to add to the article. Gwimpey 21:35, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

(resetting indentation)

Sure enough, indeed. Thanks for looking. Please do go ahead and make a contribution. Alienus 21:56, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Another thing to mention

I was just watching a recent episode of SNL, where they sang religiously neutral Christmas songs, and this reminded me of the UU hymn book. Should its contents be mentioned here? They're distinctive, if amusing. Alienus 14:05, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

It's amusing to me how "distinctive" UUs think we are. We're not. In the 93 UU hymnal, we sing that Jesus is "born the King of Angels." Somehow, the "real" Christians in the United Church of Christ, in their 95 hymnal, cannot tolerate such overly Christian langauge. They sing, in much more PC-ized version of "O Come All Ye Faithful," than found in the UU hymnal, that Jesus is "born to rule o'er angels." Of course, the final verse is maintained in Latin (I'll never understand that), so at least in some language UUs are singing "Christ the Lord," but the UCC version is no longer "oh come let us adore him, Christ the Lord," in either English or Latin (so wrong on so many levels), but rather "oh come in adoration, Christ is born." So the Liberal Christians have beat us out (again). It may simply be that in taking Christian theology seriously (or taking any theology seriously), there were actually attempts in the 95 UCC hymnal to go well beyond our puny, cowardly efforts. 22:09, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

The UCC is basically congregational in their freedom of worship ( as the UUs are) but UCC upholds and maintains a strong Christian identity whereas the UUs do not require this. I can assure you that the New Century Hymnal is controversial within the UCC. I think you UUs would understand that just because the denomination says something doesn't mean it's widely held . As with UU, the UCC is a place where a healthy level of controversy is to be expected, and even affirmed, within and among congregations. that's my two cents on the NCH. IF it's an official hymnay you should write an article about it like New Century Hymnal's article. MPS 22:43, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Of course it's not "official" in any sense other than the UUA's Beacon Press publishes it. There are churches that use the "alternate" UCC Hymnal (Hymns of Truth and Light), churches that still use the old UCC hymnal (the Pilgrim Hymnal) along with the UU Hymnal (just so they'll be able to sing the real lyrics to the Christmas carols), congregations that use the 1965 hymnal (Songs for the Celebration of Life), and even a few churches that still use the 1937 hymnal (Hymns of the Spirit-- which Beacon Press only stopped reprinting in 1983). There's a hymnal supplement-- Singing the Journey, that some congregations like-- and some churches-- First Unitarian, Dallas, and First Unitarian, Los Angeles, have their own supplements (or may First U LA has their own darn hymnal-- suddenly I'm not sure-- it's yellow).

Naturally, our 93 hymnal has not been uniformly adopted, was the source of great controversy in some quarters (the Rev. Tom Wintle wrote of it "May Nothing Evil Cross This Page," an article not so sublty lampooning its first hymn) and some Canadian congregations have suggested that they might adopt the British U hymnal. Singing the Journey, the supplement to SLT, has perhaps been even more controversial (although I rather like it), for being "too hard" (although I think there's some subtle theological bias, because it's also rather theist, lots of the G word, sometimes "Mother" for the G-word, even an occasional mention of "J")

Strangely, despite the use of more than one UCC hymnal amongst UU congregations, I know of none that use NCH (my personal view is because it bizarrely insists on pushing "Trinity" as a name for the Godhead, as unbiblical as that is-- I mean, what traditional Christian hymns have the word "Trinity" in them, other than perhaps Holy, Holy, Holy, which we unitarianized in 1864? Okay, I'll stop now. ;))Blondlieut 00:17, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

UUs and Quakers

Hiya, I've got a question. I'm a Quaker (and also agnostic), and having read the article on UUs here, they seem very similar to Quakers. I was just wondering what the main difference between the two are? Thankyou. (unsigned by

Quakers are liberal Christians. UU's are liberal religionists, but not necessarily Christian. As for agnosticism, it's currently tolerated among UU's but not truly accepted. By the way, to sign your post, use four "~" in a row. Alienus 02:41, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
Interesting... you don't think agnosticism is truly accepted? I've always thought of UU liturgy as being a sort of organized agnosticism. Perhaps you meant atheism, but there are several prominent atheist ministers in the UUA, so I'm not sure you can even say that atheism isn't accepted. When I joined my first UU congregation, I was handed an envelope full of UUA-published pamphlets on various paths in UU, such as Buddhism, liberal Christianity, neo-Paganism and atheism. Individual UUs may not be agnostic, but the denomination as a whole seems to meet that definition. I don't think I've ever heard the sentiment "it doesn't matter what you believe so long as you believe something," which I suppose could lead to a denomination being agnostic as a whole but disapproving of individual agnostics. I think agnosticism, in terms of recognizing that no one path is necessarily the truth, is an important part of UUism. --TreyHarris 06:35, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree with TreyHarris - in my humble opinion the basic idea of UUism is to allow people to explore their own spirituality - if for some people that exploration doesn't involve any kind of deity, then fine - UUs support that too. I think as a result a derived principle that UUs uphold is that individual spirituality is not equivalent to the belief in one, many, or any gods.--Bmk 07:48, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
See, now you're bringing up something else: postmodernism. The whole notion of there being such a thing as the truth offends many UU's. Note how the principle that speaks of the free and responsible search for truth doesn't have a "the". Alienus 06:44, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. The word "agnostic" doesn't presuppose that there is a single truth; to the contrary. --TreyHarris 19:12, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Agnostics say that they don't know the truth about some matter in particular, usually the existence of God. They don't deny that there is a truth of the matter, though some do deny that it can be known. In contrast, postmodernists deny that there is truth independent of beliefs. And, yes, I do realize that this is a self-contradictory statement, which is why I merely report it without endorsement. Alienus 22:37, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Something like "open-minded agnosticism" (there is no religious certainty but it's worth exploring) or even "spiritual agnosticism" might be better definitions than mere philosophical agnosticism that is commonly a synonym for religious indifference (not theoretically but in practical use of the word). --Jdemarcos 23:30, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Let's tie this back to the original point. I told an agnostic Quaker that UUism doesn't really accept agnosticism, though it's tolerated. (In hindsight, I probably should have also specified that atheism not only lacks acceptance, but is sometimes not even tolerated.) The only varieties of agnosticism that are accepted are those that are flake-safe. Alienus 22:23, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Whoa on that one, I have been a UU my whole life and an athiest since I was 8 and never got anything but acceptance from my UU church/community. It differs from church to church I realize but I am pretty sure Hitler could walk into mine and people would still let him worship (Bad example but I hope you get my point). Not many UU's stick to any central UU philosophy besides that of a freedom of belief. UU is about acceptance not tolerance.

Strangely, in this month's copy of the "Good News" (the non-academic publication of the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship, a denomination-wide group of individual UUs in congregations, Christian, pluralist, non-theist or what-have-you), the UUCF President sets out what I think must be a rather common feeling-- many days he wakes up feeling pretty much like an atheist. At best he aspires to be a Christian. I sort of feeling the same way about being a Universalist-- I like the idea of universal salvation, and I aspire to believe in it (but many days, I wish to damn many people to hell, not that I'm proud of that, whatever a all-loving God might think or want). It's difficult to imagine that if the President of the UUCF can speak of his atheistic tendencies that there isn't a place for nontheists just about anywhere in most UU organizations, even in liturgically Christian UU churches (belligerent and intolerant atheists of the "American Atheists" variety? Well, no, but nor would there be room for Pat Robertson-type Christians in most UU churches, nor can one imagine why such folks would wish to attend). It's simply not true, of course, that all "Friends" (i.e., Quakers) identify themselves as Christians (any more), there are Christ-center Friends, and there are Friends that think that George Fox was using Christian language to describe his religious philosophy because that was the religious language of the day (but that Quakerism is not limited to Christianity). This is particularly the case amongst Philadelphia Friends.Blondlieut 19:31, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

UU-ism versus UUA

I think I get what this article is about now. I am adding a disambig comment based on last edit comment by User:TreyHarris. I thought this article was about UUA but it is about an inclusive, syncretistic -ism that developed in UUA culture. I hope disambig is accurate. If not, please be bold. MPS 17:45, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

The relationship of all these terms, plus the non-US organizations certainly needs to be explained somewhere. And it's changing all the time too. But it's a lot to put in a disambiguation line. –Shoaler (talk) 22:14, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
I have pared it down to what hopefully is the minimum necessary. With any disambiguation link, the point is to get the reader to the page they're looking for as quickly as possible, not to contextualize, compare or contrast, except insofar as that's necessary to get the reader to the right page. --TreyHarris 23:54, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

UU jokes

Some UU jokes shed light on UU culture and beliefs:

  • Did you hear about that new Unitarian Universalist cocktail? It's Perrier and club soda.
  • Arguing with a Unitarian Universalist is like mud wrestling a pig. Pretty soon you realize the pig likes it. [4]
  • UU's are basically good people, who, for the most part, try to live by the 10 suggestions. [5]
  • Q: How many Unitarian Universalists does it take to change a light bulb? A: ...well, first you'd have to know whether it's a fluorescent, an incandescent, or a halogen bulb, but even then you may have made a false assumption because not all Unitarian Universalists necessarily even find lightbulb-oriented illumination useful, or even believe in Electricity or the Electric Company. [6]
  • A sign at a UU church read: "Bible Study after service today. Bring your own bible and a pair of scissors." [7]
  • A visitor to a Unitarian Universalist church sat through the sermon with growing incredulity at the heretical ideas being spouted. After the sermon a UU asked the visitor, "So how did you like it?" "I can't believe half the things that minister said!" sputtered the visitor in outrage. "Oh, good -- then you'll fit right in!" [8]
  • A Unitarian Universalist was worried, and confided to another UU, "I want to invite a friend to the Sunday service, but our minister uses that J-word so much I'm afraid it will make my friend feel uncomfortable." "When has our minister ever mentioned Jesus?" asked the other. "I meant 'Justice'." [9]
  • Q: Why did the Unitarian-Universalist cross the road? A: To support the chicken in its search for its own path [10]
  • Two UUs were sitting at the back of the room at a particularly raucous congregational meeting. One turned to the other and said: "Nobody will mistake us for organized religion!" [11]
  • Q: How many UUs does it take to conduct a fire drill? A: Three; one for the coffee pot, and two for the copier.
  • Q: What do you get when you cross a Klansman with a U-U? A: Someone who burns a question mark on your lawn.
  • Q: What do you get when you cross a Jehovah's Witness with a U-U? A. Someone who knocks on your door for no particular reason.--W8IMP 00:53, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I heard this one from Utah Phillips. "The only time Jesus Christ is mentioned in a UU Church is when the janitor falls down the stairs."--W8IMP 12:28, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

These jokes were deleted for being not encyclopedic but I think they are as encyclopedia as elevator speeches section and they come sourced mostly from UU congregation websites. I know that there are other jokes in wikipedia that provide cultural insight and I will try to find these links. What does anyone else think before I boldly add them back in. I am trying to preempt a revert war here since I am new to editing this page. MPS 19:43, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Encyclopedic or not, I don't think they belong in the UUism article. There are hundreds of UU jokes and these aren't particularly representative, enlightening of UUism, or even funny. Why you don't even have the UUs at the fork of the road in heaven! The UU Joke is definitely a part of the UU culture so I would argue that a collection of them is encyclopedic. But I would put the jokes in a separate article. –Shoaler (talk) 20:48, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
IMHO, the only function of having jokes in wikipedia would be to shed light on UUism. My point is that if a select few elevator speeches is relevant here, then why not a select few jokes? You said: Encyclopedic or not, I don't think they belong in the UUism article... but I think if UU jokes are encyclopedic, this is the same as saying sample jokes belong in an encyclopedia. Also, if you don't think these jokes are representative, you are welcome to choose other ones; the issue at hand isn't whether these particular jokes belong, but whether there should be a jokes section in this article. MPS 15:21, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree, a small sample of UU humour seems encyclopedic to me, and I've seen plenty of wikicedent. The selection certaily completes the UU flavour, thus exemplifying its attitudes. I suppose the list could use some editing, but then, that's what it needs: editing. A whole separate article for it would be excessive. I second reverting the humour. Rod ESQ 00:36, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
My problem with a jokes section is that it is difficult to fairly describe the diversity of UUism with a few pieces of humor. Take the Bible-cutting joke. That would be blatently offensive in many UU congregations. And I confess I don't even understand the Perrier and club soda one, but that must be really funny in some churches. I love UU jokes. They're part of the way we tell stories about ourselves. And they poke fun at us (if we're UU), not at some other religion. You can learn a lot about UU from the jokes. But I think you need more than a half-dozen to get a balanced picture of what UUism is all about. And that would take up too much space in the main article. Maybe what we need is a link to a really good UU joke site. –Shoaler (talk) 17:31, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Just gotta say as a UU I loved the jokes but agree they may just take up too much space. They are very insightful into my UU experience and the perrier and club soda is a reference to a religion without a god, like a drink without alcohol ... why would you even drink it? Funny to me at least. To me those jokes tell more about my religion than 1000 written pages.

Shoaler, you need to get yourself a copy of the Jefferson Bible from the UUA Bookstore. Mr. Jefferson, a good Unitarian sympathizer (who said every American then alive would be a Unitarian by the time he died), but who himself did never leave the Anglican church though, took out his scissors, and chopped up the Gospels, and glued them back together, with all the miracles and resurrection stuff taken out. It's our "Human Jesus" between those two covers. Offensive? Well, the Third President of the United States did just that, and we usually count him as one of "ours," and one of our most famous metaphors for scripture is that it's "loose-leaf" with us. Get our your shears.Blondlieut 00:51, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

UU humor is part of its culture, and perhaps could be mentioned somehow, even if a list of jokes is not an appropriate way to do it. I do like this one, though: "A Unitarian-Universalist is someone who believes there is--at most--one god." Jonathunder 22:29, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

It's been about a month and I'm not sure we've yet seen some decent consensus on this subject. Looking at the preceding commentary it seems to me that there're some tentative leanings toward putting the Humour section (or some incarnation thereof) back on the page, and even the one outright objection (Shoaler's) acknowledges the value of UU Humour. However, the support I read is rather lukewarm, and I think we need to be bolder. I suggest that we put the previous version of the Humour section back on and then edit it mercilessly until we get it right. Would anyone have serious objections to that? Rod ESQ 23:24, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
And in the meantime, here's my own suggestion for a joke. It's an actual paraphrase of something that notorious UU Fred Cappuccino (a former minister) sometimes says before an offering: "UUs are accepting of all denominations, but we prefer fives, tens, and twenties." Rod ESQ 23:41, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
What about an article on Unitarian Universalist Humor? Since just a collection of jokes is clearly not encyclopedic, maybe we could group them into UU characteristics and explain how the jokes elucidate the characteristics. For example, under "UU Diversity", we could include the "at most one god" joke. UUs are notoriously afraid of talking about money, so that might be pointed out in the "fives, tens and twenties" joke. Other topics would be the reverence for coffee and the love of a good discussion. It might not be quite as entertaining, but it would stand a better chance of being encyclopedic. –Shoaler (talk) 18:02, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

I take no position on whether UU Humor is encyclopedic or not; I'm not certain, however, as with pratically every other assertion about UU distinctiveness, that UU's are the only ones that have denominational (I stick by that term-- it revolves around the Latin word "nomus" or "name," and we have two of them; it doesn't involve "central authority" or anything thing else of the sort) humor; there's the joke about how many Episcopalians it take to change a lightbulb, or what "UCC" really means. I suppose it's telling (but not so much so, upon even the briefest reflection) there there's discussion of, say, UU Humor, but somehow not, say, a discussion of UU Theology, or UU Theologians. There's a joke in there somewhere. Har-har. Blondlieut 12:39, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

I know it's been a couple weeks. I've been thinking about it and have come to a couple of conclusions about this matter. Firstly, it still seems to me that a section on UU humour within the main article is encyclopedic in its own right. However, I would concede that a separate article might be a worthwhile alternative. In such case, I would suggest creating a small section in the article with the standard "See UU Humor for full article" with a link to the new article, and a short summary explaining the importance of UU humour (or "hUUmor" as I've seen it on a couple publications) to UU identity, along with a couple sample jokes. While I'm at it, I would also point out that I don't think it's a good idea to simply group humour into a different "Characteristics" section. As Blondlieut pointed out, having denominational humour isn't a main characteristic of UUism, although UU humour in particular is indeed part of UU identity. To illustrate a UU characteristic with a joke might be appropriate for an essay on UUism, but in this article, I don't think it makes the jokes more encyclpedic, rather, it would make a "Characteristics" section less so.
Now, if we go ahead with a separate article, it would have to have more meat than just a list of jokes. It should include a bit of discussion on their role to illustrate UU identity, as well as other instances of UU-related humour. I'm thinking of humorous references in other contexts, such as The Simpsons (I can think of at least four instances) and King of the Hill, among others. As for more academic references, here's a PDF I found in the UUA site that we can use as a start. It contains some discussion on hUUmor on page 11 and a list of jokes on pages 13 and 14. The list is fairly standard when compared to others I've seen. Here's one of my favourites from it: "Unitarian Universalism - Where all your answers are questioned."
But here's the question that needs to be settled first: do we reinstate jokes by themselves in the main article, or do we create a new "UU Humor" (or "hUUmor") article? I hope we can have a few more people give input so that we may have a more tangible concensus on this. What do people think? Rod ESQ 00:36, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

At the risk of being deemed humorless, it's sad and tragic, but inevitable. Therein lies the biggest joke of them all. Just out of curiousity, is there a James Luther Adams article? I usually think of him as the most important UU theologian of the 20th century. How many UUs will be interested in the joke page, and how many will be interested in presenting our theology to the larger world? I'm afraid I know the answer. Have fun with describing Lisa Simpson's musings on Unitarian ice-cream. What a knee-slapper!! It's like a giant UU house of mirrors-- we're this minority religion, the world makes fun of us, we're so consumed with ourselves (rather than anything larger than that), we collect those self-referential materials from our own popular culture, and analyze them, to find clues to our habits. That's the sacred "circle of life" we celebrate? Really, it's just self-worship. Blondlieut 02:36, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry Blondlieut, but my energy is finite. A couple months ago, someone took out a whole section of the article and someone else wanted it back in. Now there's a couple of us discussing how or if that should be done. I'm sure many editors of this page are here to present UU theology to the world, but I suspect they're also here simply to edit encyclopedia articles; sometimes more the former and sometimes more the latter. Sometimes, both purposes coincide.
Despite my interest, I havn't had the opportunity to learn about James Luther Adams, but it sounds like you have. I don't have the sources, time, or energy, but it looks like you do. So why is the link still red? I'm sure you'd write a kick-ass article on him and would probably enjoy turning the link blue. Rod ESQ 05:42, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

RodESQ, the matter of limited energy is my point-- in lives of limited time, what we choose to spent our precious breath on reveals us indirectly in ways we could never do so directly. To engage in the self-worship as I've set forth above (I don't deny other groups don't do so, we're just particularly good at it), reveals who we are in a particularly garish and uncomplimentary (and uncomplementary) way. It's as if in deciding between writing an article about the significance of the Book of Common Prayer to the faith life of Anglicans and Episcopalians, they opted instead for a series of jokes about Whiskeypalians and how well they stir martinis. It's true that both reveal something about Episcopalians; perhaps both are even encycolpedic. I doubt, however, that most thoughtful Episcopalians would think that memorializing matters so emphemeral as jokes would be as significant as memorializing matters as sacred as that which has tied them to the time and has tied them to people and the divine throughout the world. It remains sad and tragic that the articles the folks here have thought to write don't have that as their goal-- within the confines of their limited energies. Blondlieut 02:02, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

I would say that someone who spends their limited energy bemoaning how self-absorbed their religion reveals a lot about them. You're bringing a lot of negative energy to this page; if you think an article needs to be written, write it. If the article says UUs were first at something, and we were merely one of the first, you can say it without attacking the people who made the mistake. It'll be a friendlier place to be that way.--Prosfilaes 04:33, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Valid points, Prosfilases. Blondlieut 18:03, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

I think UU jokes need's it's own article, and it should also discuss the Unitarian Jihad. The UJ just had it's article deleted, instead of being merged anywhere. It might not be notable enough to get it's own article, but it is certainly notable enough it should be mentioned somewhere. Mathiastck 14:38, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

This is NOT a joke, but a real experience of a fellow church member who was a high school science teacher. "Mr. M., do you believe in God?" "Which one?" "There is only one." "That's what they ALL say!" This dialog speaks to the eclectic feature of Unitarian Universalism. The sign on the lawn of my church reads, "Religion for the Modern Thinker." It circumvents the "monopoly" clause of the First Commandment, "I am the Lord thy God, though shalt not have strange gods before thee." Does this mean that I cannot do a rain or sun dance, as my ancestors did? It also means that if God gave me a brain, I am not responsible to think? Are there no morals other than those quoted the scriptures, very few of which were written anywhere near the events that they claim to depict.--W8IMP 00:53, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Notable congregations

If a congregation is sufficiently notable to be included in this list, it should have a WP article of its own. Could some knowledgable person create at least a stub for each of the congregations which does not have one (or remove those which are insufficiently notable to warrant an article)? There are four:

  • All Souls Church Braintree, MA- One of the first Unified (Unitarian and Universalist) churches.
  • Community Church of New York - Congregation of John Haynes Holmes (NAACP founder). Significantly progressive and diverse.
  • First Unitarian of Rochester NY - Unitarian congregation of Susan B. Anthony; building designed by Louis Kahn
  • Channing Memorial Church of Newport, Rhode Island - Congregation of Julia Ward Howe during her time in Newport.
  • First Parish in Plymouth, MA - Church of the Pilgrims. Oldest congregation in the USA.

Sermon Topics

The article mentions that sermons are on a variety of topics. I feel that there really needs to be a such as.... after that. As a UU, I often get asked what sermons are about, and I think some topics or examples would be beneficial for further understanding. I would just add some in, but I really only know what sermons are given at my own personal church, and not at UU churches across the board.


I must confess I was confused for a moment when I saw the Gunorg table on the "Politics" section. It took me a couple minutes to make the connection with the long list of political issues that are of importance to UUs. To be honest, I think the table is out of place, connection notwithstanding. I think it takes a disproportionate amount of space for an issue that is just one of many subjects on the UU palette of causes; I'm not even sure it's a major issue. It seems to me that subjects like environmental protection, combating racism and homophobia, and promoting social justice, are much more widely discussed in the typical UU encounter (if one were to be conjured up). Just because some list of groups mentions UUs in it doesn't warrant a place in the section; it adds little to the article and takes a lot of space. I respectfully suggest that it be removed. Anyone else? Rod ESQ 06:41, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

That is understandable. However, if gun control is an official policy that is widely-supported and well-known to be supported, then it would seem that Politics is the right section for the inclusion of the Gunorgs table. To not have the table would seems rather POV, or to be at least rather biased. I don't think the Article would be balanced simply by ignoring the organization's strong support for reasonable gun control. Yaf 11:48, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Rod. It's way out of proportion. If you were to ask most UUs what the top 3 politic issues were of importance to UUism as a whole, gun control would be mentioned very rarely. - UtherSRG (talk) 12:01, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
This seems rather POV to me, almost as disrespect for others' strongly-held positions and beliefs. (And hardly a welcoming position to ignore the effect of the organization's position on others.) What do others think? Should the table be left or not, in the Politics section discussion? Yaf 12:18, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
It shouldn't be here, because UU isn't an organization. Furthermore, the UUA doesn't have gun control as a main issue, unlike every other organization on that list, nor is it a political group, like the others on that list.--Prosfilaes 16:52, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
So, they don't claim to be a tax-exempt organization? Yaf 17:02, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
UUism isn't an organization, but a concept. The UUA is an association of UU congregations and, as such, is a religious organization. Don't get the religion and the organization of the religion confused. Compare Baptist and Southern Baptist Convention. - UtherSRG (talk) 17:53, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
So is it fair to say that individuals holding true to the concept(s) may advocate gun control, but that all those holding to UUism collectively do not? What about the UUA. Does it, as an association, support gun control? Yaf 18:19, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
The only concept to hold true to is the concept of freedom of thought. Thats it. I know many UU's that are in the NRA.
The League of Women voters doesn't have gun control as a main issue, but also does support gun control and lobbys Politicians in Washington on this issue. Similar for the ABA, and several other organizations that strongly supports gun control. 17:08, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

All UUs Believe

"This is not to say that the politics of UUs are not uniform in some key issues. All Unitarian Universalists believe in the power of diversity and welcome conservatives as well as liberals. Politically conservative Unitarian Universalists point out that neither religious liberalism nor the Principles and Purposes of the UUA require liberal politics."

The following is a response, however it deals with one persons negative experiences and should not be taken as general truth. I dissagree, though i won't delete it.

Oh if this were only true. So much of this article seems like its from UUA pamphlets, rather than about UUism. These statements above are, at best, aspirational-- things UUism should be, certainly not statements about what UUism is (and hence they are ... not encyclopedia, but simply Beacon Street propoganda). I mean, I know UU Christians who have been asked by their fellow congregants what in the world they're doing going to church at a UU church (the idea being, gosh-golly, don't Christians have plenty of other choices-- and can't you foolish Christians just leave us alone already?) That's hardly living up to the idea that UUs are "welcoming" of diversity, either as an ideal, or in practice. Ditto the liberal/conservativism thing. One doesn't have to spend 10 minutes in a pew at at UU church before one understands "Republicans are not welcomed here." Anyone who thinks otherwise is ... not facing reality. The UU minister in our town told the local paper there are "blue" churches and "red" churches, and then proceeded to make clear what color is his church was. Pink, purple and blue are acceptable colors; red was acceptable only in the context of the cold war.Blondlieut 03:19, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

(Response) AAAH! I disagree. Im a UU and we have at least ten happily settled republicans in our church. UUs are not perfect... it may be that a specific church is not welcoming to republicans, but NOT ALL UU CHURCHES are like that. Ideally they are not. Also. UUS are welcoming to all who WISH to worship with us. If a republican does, than they are welcome. There is a difference between a)republicans not being welcomed and b) republicans disagreeing and not Italic textfeelingItalic text comfortable in a group of people so representative of UU ideas.

I am a third generation UU. My grandparents were Republicans, my dad IS a republican. Let me personally apologize to you if you have had a bad experience with a UU church, once again there is a large variey of experiences in the UU church. To say that Republicans are not welcome in a UU church is a flat out lie, perhaps they are in some and that is a shame for it is not true UUism if everyone is not welcome. If I may use a somewhat bad example again to get my point across ... I am pretyy sure if Hitler walked through the doors of my church people would at least let him worship. EVERYONE is welcome in a UU church no matter how different their opinion be. 04:36, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

UUs are welcoming... but being welcoming doesnt mean changing ideas to suti everyone who walks through the door. People who come to our churhces have come becuase they agree in some way or enjoy the community. We welcome them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

It is true that Unitarian Universalism officially embraces diversity and most individual UUs wish to embrace diversity themselves. But we all deal with the prejudices we were raised with, whether they are against gays or Republicans or atheists or Christians. So you may occasionally find unwelcoming behavior at a UU church just like anywhere else. They're working on it. –Shoaler (talk) 12:48, 8 September 2006 (UTC)


by the by, is the use of the word "incarnation" to the describe the faith here some sort of complex theological joke, given that the incarnation is precisely what Unitarians deny? I must say there is something just a bit ... tone-deaf (foregive my ableist language) about the whole articleBlondlieut 22:47, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

UU versus Unitarian versus Universalist verus Universalist Unitarian

"Though personal choice of belief is emphasized, the term UU is a distinct theological signifier and Unitarianism or Universalism should not be confused or interchanged with Unitarian Universalism. Some congregations refer to themselves as Universalist Unitarian, signifying that their particular congregation draws more from the Universalist roots, but these are still Unitarian Universalists."

Okay, I have no idea what this means. Sorry about that. There are a handful of congregations in the US that have the reversed naming convention (Univesalist Unitarian), but there are many more congregations still with a solitary name-- Unitarian only, or Universalist only. (First Unitarian, Worcester, or First Parish Univesalist, Malden; or All Souls Unitarian, or Fourth Universalist Society in New York; or First Unitarian and First Universalist in Minneapolis; or All Souls Unitarian and Univeralist National Memorial in Washington, D.C.). Being the member of such a congregation, and considering myself a belonging to a church that is a member congregation of the UUA, and thus institutionally a UU, but theologically only one of the U's (and indeed we only speak of one of the U's in our congregation-- the one in the name of our church), I'm confused as what this is all about. Does anyone want to claim it and explain it, before I ... try my hand at re-writing it a bit, to capture more varied naming conventions amongst member congregations in the UUA than this seems to sugggest? Now, I must tell you, there is something ... telling that someone wants to ... deny that the UUA is the proper vehicle for carrying forth historic Unitarianism and Universalism, and that UUism is something (wholly, certainly not holy) "distinct" from that, but that's off topic.Blondlieut 22:42, 20 February 2006 (UTC)(proud Universalist, institutionally a UU)

My understanding is that all of the above U-combinations, for current practical purposes, essentially fall under the Uan-Uist umbrella; other names, such as "Unitarian" or "Universalist" (on their own), are simply historical remnants of the root organizations before the merger, er, consolidation. Therefore, a congregation that is called "First Unitarian" is a UU congregation, but has kept its historical name. From what I've gathered in the history of these congregations, a lot of them were created long before the UU denomination was officially conceived. The stipulation that they "should not be confused or interchanged" is simply a caveat that, when speaking in strict terms, all these terms are not automatically synonymous, but in everyday speech, a person who identifies her/himself as, say, "Unitarian" is likely a member of a Unitarian Universalist congregation. I'll admit it may sound a bit combobulated, but that's because the historical baggage has to be taken into account.
Here's an analogy: A dude from Brooklyn can say he's from Brooklyn and people will understand that he's essentially a New Yorker, the same goes for a girl from Manhattan; they're both from the same City, but they can also choose to identify themselves by the historical names of the City of Brooklyn or the Island of Manhattan, respectively, which would have been more appropriate before the City was amalgamated. The names are still applicable, but at the core, they subscribe to the same overarching political unit. Likewise, UUs (and other U-combinations thereof), all subscribe to the same Principles and Purposes.
I hope that clarifies some things. Rod ESQ 00:41, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Well, no. U's and U's and UUs don't suscsribe to anything, even as something as benign as the Principles and Purposes (which by its terms is an affirmation of "member congregations" only, more than a subtle distinction. I'm fascinated by the idea that congregations that have the audacity to call themselves solely Unitarian or Universalist (including some of the largest in the UUA) are "remanants." I see no one has checked on my claim belong regarding the United Church of Christ. Too many sacred cows there to displace the UU claim to being no. 1, I suppose.Blondlieut 02:07, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I suppose I should have specified UU congregations, rather than "UUs", and perhaps I was a bit too liberal in taking "member congregations" as metonymy for the members of the congregations themselves, but I wouldn't go as far as saying that UU's don't subscribe to "anything." In fact, it seems that they tend to subscribe to a lot of things, often in great congruence with the Principles and Purposes, even if not necessarily the whole statement.
But I think I'll attempt to clarify something else. I didn't mean to imply that congregations with "the audacity to call themselves solely Unitarian or Universalist" were remnants; I was referring specifically to the names of these congregations. Again, example: the First Unitarian Church of Portland was founded in 1867 as a Unitarian Congregation. Halfway through the 20th Century, the Unitarians and the Universalists become the UUs, but the Congregation's name remains "First Unitarian" rather than something like "UU Church of Portland", despite the fact that it is a thriving member of the UUA. It is this name that is a historical remnant of a root organization; the congregation itself is, as you say, among the larger communities.
I hope that clarified my previous clarifications. Rod ESQ 06:44, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

No, honestly you're not really make any sense to me at all. Having been to the U Church in Portland, I don't think they view themselves as carrying on a remanant faith with a remnant name. The UUA serves the congregations, not the other way around. The UUA isn't a model that the congregations are supposed to be following. The failure of congegations to live up to some "higher" authority doesn't regulate anyone to "remnant" status (perhaps someone needs to write an entry on the wonders of "congregational polity"). So you're cracking me up, truth to tell. More than that, you as an editor of this page are again using a wonderful biblical word that seems incredibly out of place-- remanant. I just love that! I hope myself to see on the signboard in front of my church-- Universalists, the Faithful Remnant. If not, I can only hope to see-- Unitarians-- the Faithful Remnant, or UUs, the Faithful Remnant, elsewhere. Thanks for the brilliant ideas!! Blondlieut 03:27, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm having trouble seeing what all the confusion is about. Like I said before: I'm not saying that either the religions or the congregations are remnants (be they U, U, UU, or otherwise); I'm saying that it is the names they use to call the congregations that are historical remnants. Despite the fact that the Church in Portland is called "First Unitarian" (rather than "First UU"), it is still a Unitarian Universalist congregation, and they bill themselves as such (the same goes for "First Unitarian" in Rochester, Terre Haute, Ottawa, or Toronto). If any of these congregations have stronger Unitarian (or Humanist, or Christian, or Earth-centred) tendencies than other congregations, that all falls within the inherent diversity of Unitarian Universalist congregations and the scope of "Unitarian Universalism" that this article is attempting to expound. This does not degrade their status, be it as religious entities, spiritual communities, or members of the UUA.
Regarding the relationship between the UUA and UU congregations, I'm not disputing your point at all; exactly how it counters mine, however, remains a mystery to me.
As for my choice of words, your observation is the first that links it biblically in my mind; I've used "remnant" in many contexts and for different purposes. The Bible uses a lot of words, but that doesn't automatically render them "biblical". If you fancy the KJV, then it uses the typical English of the 1600s. In any case, my source for "remnant" is the Old French "remanant", meaning simply "remaining", which is the exact description for the name of a Unitarian congregation that has become Unitarian Universalist but still calls itself Unitarian, in homage to their historical roots. If King James' editing team or future editors of the Bible thought it appropriate to use the word in their publications, I'm not surprised.
I started writing these responses because you were seeking clarification on a specific paragraph in the article (which you've cited above). I hope I have been able to clarify what that meant. If not, then I know you'll at least find it amusing. Rod ESQ 06:33, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

First African American President

"The current head of the Unitarian Universalist Association, Rev. William Sinkford, is African-American, making Unitarian Universalism the first traditionally white religion to be headed by a member of an ethnic minority."

I know we UUs frequently say this, but the United Church of Christ makes the same claim to a much earlier time-- in the 1970s. There's a section in their website on, UCC "Firsts." I know it's hard to take when others out-PC us. We may have to give up this myth. Blondlieut 23:10, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Okay, so ... This is what the folks at the UCC say:

"1976: General Synod elects the Rev. Joseph H. Evans president of the United Church of Christ. He becomes the first African American leader of a racially integrated mainline church in the United States."

Now, this bit about the UCC being "integrated" is just .. marketing, as the UCC is 93% white, according to a 2001 CUNY study:

Anyway, that means ... Sinkford wasn't first (and certainly the United Church of Christ is and was "historically" white, they have descended from the same Puritans that we did). How do we come up with these things?? I mean, I know we always think we're first ... but we're always wrong. We claim the first female pastor, and we're wrong about that too. Congregationlists beat us by a good 10 years (they beat .. the Univesalists, not the Unitarians, of course. or the UUs). Blondlieut 05:32, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

I've heard we had the first "out" gay clergyman. --Tydaj 02:12, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Likewise untrue. The UCC beat us by at least two years. The first "out" gay minister (do we ever use the term "clergyman"? I'm just asking) is actually something of a sordid story. He was outed in connection with something of a sex scandal within his congregation (possibly with a young-ish congregant, although I could have that wrong). I contrast, the UCC's Golden Gate Conference purposefully and knowing *ordained* a gay man as a minister in two years before a UU minister was dragged out of the closet.

Next on the hit list: the first female person-of-clergy? That's sort-of true. The Universalist Chruch of America (those then Christian Universalists) were the first to "ordain" a woman to the ministry at the "denominational" level. There's only one (well, there's at least one) problem with that story. The Universalists, unlike the Unitarians, were inconsistent in their application of congregational polity (not having sprung from the Puritan/Congregational tradition, and not having subscribed to the Standing Order of 1648). They .. adopted it. So there were "state" conventions that oversaw things. And removed ministers. And subjected them to heresy trials (at least at times during the history of the UCA). The head of the UCA was called a ... superintendent (a rather literal translation of .. bishop). So there were times when ministers were ordained "denominationally" and there times when they were ordained locally and there were times when both happened at the same time (the UCA's polity can best be described as "confused"). So, at least a decade before Olympia Brown, the ... Congregationalist (yes, again, the Congregationalists) had *locally* ordained a female minister (in keeping with ... the provisions of congregational polity). Indeed, why would there be a denominationally ordained female minister in the Congregational Church (at that time ... there may be now in the UCC, but things have gotten a little tighter). So the claim to being the first even there is ... weak.

So let's see, to recap: Not the first African-American president. Not the first ordained gay minister. And not the first "locally" ordained female minister either. But we do get major points for chutzpah, self-delusion, and major amounts of self-righteousness (although we believe these are actually sins of "those Christians," rather than our own). "We are delusional, self-righteous people, and we are singing, singing that only we are right ..." Blondlieut 02:41, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

This is all a bit harsh, don't you think? So, first, schmirst, there's still a lot of good stuff going on in UUism. Of course, correct the wiki if you have evidence about the first African American clergyman, but I don't think UUs should be called self-deluding because it turns out we had the second African American clergyman instead of the first. --Bmk 07:41, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Some Housekeeping

Hello fellow wikipedians! You've probably noticed that some things have been moved around. I've moved the first four items closer to the bottom, in keeping with the more widespread custom of placing newer additions toward the end of a talk page.

That, of course, means that users need to scroll through streams of older--often outdated or settled--discussion. Also, at 103 kilobites, the talk page seems to be exceeding the suggested length, so I would also suggest that the first several items on the new TOC be archived. I took a quick look around, and it seems that, for the most part, items "Humiliati" to "Covenant" (numbers 1-18 in the new TOC) have not been edited in several months. My suggestion is that those specific items be archived, making "Christian beliefs" (currently number 19) the new first item. I'd do it myself but, a) I'm still familiarizing myself with the archiving procedures, and b) it's probably best if people give some feedback beforehand. If no one else does it over the next couple days, and if there are no major objections, I'll try to bring myself up to speed and go ahead with it. How's that sound? Rod ESQ 22:48, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm basically a slob, so I'll trust your judgment on housekeeping. I do maintain the right to second-guess after the fact, of course. Thanks for taking a stab at it.Blondlieut 23:11, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

All right, I've archived about 17 items. The page is still a bit longer than what is supposedly advisable, but the remaining streams still seem to be attracting some discussion. I imagine this will now cut a couple seconds off of scrolling time. Rod ESQ 05:56, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

"Both Origen and St. Gregory of Nyssa preached its essentials. "

This is misleading. Either cite something, explain, or remove it. Thanks.

Request for help on Forgiveness article

Requesting input for the Forgiveness article. Would someone be willing to take a stab at adding a Universalism heading under the "Religious and spiritual views of forgiveness" heading in that article and trying to concisely state Universalism's view on forgiveness? Any help would be appreciated. --speet 16:39, 4 March 2006 (UTC)


Leaving aside the matter that I don't really understand what the P&Ps are supposed to mean to indiviudal UUs (as opposed to member congregations), it seems odd to me to include the "principles" but not the "purposes," and likewise not the "sources" that come in between. The article thus has us mentioning the latest source, but not what the other sources were before this one. That would be fine if there were simply a link to the UUA article's P&Ps, or if there were no P&Ps, but to include half the P&Ps seems ... strange, to say the least. Blondlieut 02:14, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

I think that the P&Ps give individual UUs something to measure their beliefs against. But you're right. They're a lot more than just the seven principles. And I personally think there's a lot of wisdom in the "sources" too. Since the entire text of the P&Ps is covered in the UUA article and since UU congregations outside the US do not necessarity subscribe to this version of the P&Ps, I would agree that we could just have a link to the text in the UUA article. But I'd like to hear other opinions before we take them out. –Shoaler (talk) 21:26, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
At least at the church to which I belong, the Principles receive much more attention than the Sources and Purposes. I have modified the end of the paragraph introducing the Principles to state, "The full Principles, Purposes and Sources can be found in the article on the UUA. The Principles are as follows." Hopefully some such wording would address Blondliuet's concerns while allowing the Principles to remain listed in the UU article. --Mikebrand 02:51, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
In my experience as a UU I also paid much more attention to the Principles. I think they are important enough to have in the article. If people feel strongly, I would support 'adding' the Purposes and Sources, but not removing the Principles. --Bmk 18:54, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps I am off-base, but it was always pointed out to me that the P&P apply to congregations, not necessarily congregants. I personally disagree with the democracy P&P as it has been my experience and desire that decisions be made by concensus rather than "tyranny of the majority".

Notable Congregations (again)

We're getting too many "notable" congregations that aren't particularly notable. (Maybe I should add our fellowship because the ending of Fatal Attraction was filmed there.) This should be a list of other WP articles, not a bunch of external links. If a congregation is not notable enough to have an article, it shouldn't be in this list. So again, I am encouraging people who think a congregation is notable to write at least a stub about it. Otherwise, I'm going to drop them from the list. –Shoaler (talk) 15:20, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree, very much an invitation for local vanity. Articles can still be linked, but no external links, as like you say, if it is really that important, it should have an article.--Analogue Kid 16:58, 28 May 2007 (UTC)


I think the UU page should get a barnstar.


I didn't think it made sense to say "UUs believe all these are true" in reference to the variety of ideas about deity within the UU membership. I think it is more accurate and illuminating to say that UUs believe every person should be free to believe whatever they want. So I changed it. Hope y'all like it --Bmk 06:11, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

I think your revised wording does more accurately describe UU beliefs.--Mikebrand 03:14, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
My 23 years of church membership obligates me correct you. UUs cannot believe anything we want. We are encouraged to find any and all religious principles and practices that make sense for us and are obligated to follow them. Every other church says that if you don't think the way we tell you to, you are going to hell.--W8IMP 22:45, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
W8IMP, you're commenting on a comment. The actual text that Bmk changed was from:
"To Unitarian Universalists, all these beliefs are true."
"Unitarian Universalists believe that every person should be supported by their community in his or her personal search for truth in deity."
--Mikebrand 00:57, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

Chalice Image

It is innappropriate to change the recognized flaming chalice emblem to the new one currently in use by the UUA. Unitarian Universalism exists outisde the UUA, and changing the primary image here whenever they change their logo is hinting that they are all of Unitarian Universalism. The earlier image wasThe new logo is controversial at best anyway. File:Icons-flag-scotland.png Canæn File:Icons-flag-scotland.png 06:41, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

fair enough. I changed it because the current image was the official logo of the UUA. I think the ideal solution might be for an altogether different chalice image, perhaps a photograph of an actual flaming chalice. Charles (Kznf) 13:53, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Singing the Living Tradition

Singing the Living Tradition needs it's own entry. Mathiastck 18:06, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree it is important in Unitarian Universalism, but is it notable? Aleta 22:48, 28 May 2007 (UTC)


The Religion in the United States has some interesting stats on UU in the US, which I've added to the article. It might help to have some synthesis explaining why the US has numbers in the half-million range and the world is so small (the difference, at least in part, being the difference between current membership and self-reported identification.)--Prosfilaes 18:20, 22 August 2006 (UTC)


At my congergation, whenever the kids reach the 8th grade, they begin affirmation, where they affirm what they believe (comparable to confirmation or a bar mitzvah, but they choose what to believe themselves). I noticed none of that was mentioned in this article or in the discussion. Is this typical of all UU congregations, or is this mine specifically? If its typical, I'm prepared to write a section for it. Thank you, and please respond soon. CaptainP 03:57, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

You may want to contribute to Coming of Age (Unitarian Universalism). Many UU congregations have Coming of Age programs but they may differ from congregation to congregation. –Shoaler (talk) 11:10, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Unitarian Jihad

I think some mention of the Unitarian Jihad movement should be made here. Mathiastck 15:02, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Ever Heard of Trinitarian Universalism?

Has anyone ever heard of Trinitarian Universalism outside of Wikipedia?--GMS508 18:02, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't recall seeing the T capitalized, but in the earlier years, as I understand it, most Universalists were trinitarian. So, yes, in my readings on UU history I, for one, am familiar with the concept and can understand how it could be attractive to Christians. --Mikebrand 18:41, 24 November 2006 (UTC)


I would very much be interested if anyone knows of the term Trinitarian Universalism being used in a notable publication.--GMS508 00:56, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

My rewriting of the Intro Paragraph

I found the previous intro paragraph to be very poor for many reasons. First, I don't know what scholars someone was referring to, but UUism is not a Protestant denomination - to say so is simply inaccurate. To say that it is "new" is not entirely accurate either, since it grew out of other religious traditions. Perhaps what the scholars referred to actually said made more sense in context. To say that UUism "probably has a closer resemblance to Mainline Protestantism" (closer than what? - a "new" religion?) is both an unsubstantiated opinion and imprecise: UUism does retain some of the traditions of its Christian roots, but doctrinally is not a Christian religion. The previous intro implied otherwise. UUism's status in the National Council of Churches is not really very important information for an introductory paragraph - I imagine someone wanted to refute the claim about Mainline Protestantism. Also, I really don't know why someone wrote that UU Sunday services resemble Reformed church services - certainly, they resemble Protestant services, but there is very, very little connecting the modern-day Calvinist Reformed tradition with UUism, either theologically or historically. Given these many problems, and taking into account other comments left about the paragraph, I felt that a new introductory paragraph which tried to retain as much as possible the relevant information from previous versions was necessary. Reading of the synopsis of UUism at the Religion Facts website (, I am encouraged to see that the editors there have briefly defined UUism in a rather similar way. I think that it now gives readers a much clearer, more precise, more accurate, and shorter summary of the topic. If you do change it, please post your reasons. Thanks. Cloweste 01:22, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

I did not see your comment on this talk page until after I had reverted you anonymous and undocumented changes to the first para of the article. You are welcome to revert it back, but I would suggest first working out the changes on this talk page, then posting the revised para with a reference to this discussion. --Mikebrand 05:10, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Here is an opening paragraph that I believe is a substantial improvement over a rather poor one. Please comment on how it could be improved. Perhaps there are kinks to be worked out, but since I believe it is at the least a substantial improvement over the current introductory paragraph, I will re-post it:Cloweste 21:52, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Unitarian Universalism (UUism) is a theologically liberal religious movement characterized by its support of a "free and responsible search for truth and meaning." This principle permits Unitarian Universalists a wide range of beliefs and practices. Unitarian Universalism was formed by the consolidation of Unitarianism and Universalism, both of which have Christian roots. Although it tends to retain some Christian traditions, such as Sunday worship, Unitarian Universalists do not necessarily identify themselves as Christians.

By the way, a "free and responsible search for truth and meaning" comes from the 7 principles of UUism, found here: The broad range of beliefs and practices is well-documented by information found later in the article and on these discussion pages. Information about the historical unification between Unitarians and Universalists can also be found at the website. The fact that UUs do not necessarily identify as Christians is also found here: Cloweste 22:02, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Mikebrand, we already addressed many of these issues in part 7. I am going to make some edits to the introduction to reflect the tone established there and here. In no religious taxonomy is Unitarian Universalism considered a Protestant denomination. It is by definition non-denominational. If you have objections, please read Part 7 of the talk. I had this discussion months or years ago on here and feel like we already reached a solid consensus to omit these type of Christian references which do not belong while including notes regarding origin and many common beliefs. (ImagoDei 20:54, 13 December 2006 (UTC))
Nevermind, Cloweste got there first. After a cursory read they seem much more accurate and representative. (ImagoDei 20:57, 13 December 2006 (UTC))

In the intro para I deleted the sentence on the consolidation of Unitarianism and Universalism and their Christian roots for a couple reasons. First, without a background on UUism, it would be easy to misunderstand that statement that UUism is a combination of the two and therefore a non-trinitarian theology of universal salvation, but that is not the case. Instead, UUism is the result of the evolution of both original theologies towards a common theology that has little to do with trinitarian debates or salvation. Second, both those topics are addressed in the second and third paras. I think that without that sentence the first paragraph stands well on its own and is a very accurate and succient explanation of UUism. Thanks, Cloweste, for having rewritten that first para into a more meaningful intro. --Mikebrand 01:17, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

12th century?

The link to Humiliati doesn't go to any 1950s group... — coelacan talk — 11:55, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Sinkford bio

The following was added to the Politics section of the UU article. The info would be more relevant to an article on Sinkford. I cannot vouche for its accuracy so am posting it here rather than merely deleting it.--Mikebrand 03:24, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

The Reverend William G. Sinkford, age fifty-nine continues to be the President of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Being the first black president of the Association, his message to the people in the early twenty-first century "What does it mean to have a black presient" had special meaning.

Boston Magazine wrote about Reverend Sinkford stating that his election could mean the possible healing of the seperation that is a legacy in our culture. The Reverend goes on to say that he feels society is ready for a pluralistic community. There is still a lot to do to heal the divisions, but he does not see this as a "foolish hope." In his talk he emphasized that "Our witness for religious freedom, gender justice comprehesive sexuality education, and gay rights must continue to be heard".

Reverend Sinkford, prior to becoming the seventh president of the UUA was active in many associations supporting the health and growth of Unitarian Universalist congregations. His commitment to liberal religion dates back to his teenage years. Between the years of 1970 and 1980 while working in management positions for a few companies, he was awarded the Black Achievers in Industry Award from the Harlem YMCA.

Reverend Sinkford and his wife Maria, two children Bill,twenty-four, and Danielle, twenty-one, live in Boston were he is an active lay leader in his home congregation, Marblehead, Ma.

Similarly, am moving UU World reference on Sinkford here. Apparently it was intended as a reference for the info posted above. --Mikebrand 03:27, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

UUWORLD Contents: March/April 2002
Magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Assosiation

William G. Sinkford, Biographical Sketch

I find this article very American

As a Canadian UU I find this article very American (i.e. UUA) slanted. Ok I know that must UU’s reside in the USA and are thus served by the UUA. Also it is true that Canadian UU’s wear historically served by the UUA but today they mostly run their own show throw their head organization the CUC, this needs to be more clearly stated. Frothier more I do understand that the creation of UUism as we all know it today went hand in hand with the creation of the UUA, but this is not an article on the UUA, or is it? And if this article is going to take so much time talking about the UUA it out to touch on some of the other UU organizations around the world like the CUC and the importance of these groups on the fostering and growing of the UU movement around the world. Also it would be helpful to clarify the point that in different countries there head UU body may us a different set of principles and sources then the UUA, and that even if they us the same one as the UUA they may have their own process for up dating it, see [12], for an example of this. --Devin Murphy 07:02, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Notability of individual social justice efforts?

How are these sentences relevant or notable?

Individual Unitarian Universalists are involved in opposing the death penalty, supporting environmental protection, peace, feminism, gun control, free speech, safe and legal abortion, and animal welfare. Others work to end homelessness, racism, domestic violence, homophobia, sexual assault, and HIV/AIDS.

I can't imagine that this sort of listing would be included in other Wikipedia religion listings. This is an article about UUism, not individual UUs and their causes. These two sentences should be deleted. --Chutney 19:24, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:UUA Logo.svg

Nuvola apps important.svg

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Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.BetacommandBot 04:24, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Has anyone considered asking for permission to use the image? "Questions about the use of the logo can be directed to the UUA's information specialist, Email Address, who will be glad to assist you!" Blatsnorf 05:26, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

UU history

Why doesn't the history section talk about UU roots in Romania and Hungary? That is where UUism came from, and now those two countries have the most Unitarian Universalists in the world. Can someone help and write a passage about that in the history section? -- 22:15, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

I believe the people there are mostly traditional Unitarians, not modern UUs.--Mikebrand 21:41, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
It is Unitarianism that has its roots in Transylvania. Modern Universalism started in England. Those historical references belong to those articles rather than to Unitarian Universalism. People may refer back to the other articles for more information. --jofframes 17:35, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Close to the Baha'i Faith

Just a reflection: when you do the various tests on Internet to find out your religion, "Unitarian Universalist" always comes on second place if a believer of the Baha'i Faith answers the questions in the test. --Caspiax 00:17, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Whenever I took a 'religion test' UU always came in second after 'neo-pagan.' So UUs may just have common beliefs with ... a lot of other faiths. Although a forum on religion may be a more appropriate place for that kind of question. --Pbmax 03:38, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

The test probably notices that members of both tend to be social liberals with ecumenical outlooks (i.e., they appreciate different world religions). However, the Baha'i administration is relatively authoritarian. Baha'is can be expelled for heresy or disobedience, for example--steps that would be unthinkable for UU's. Also, the Baha'i writings forbid homosexuality, and bar women from being elected to its highest level of leadership, the Universal House of Justice. UU's would never stand for that either. --Dawud —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:22, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Unitarian Universalism work group?

There has been a suggestion over on the WikiProject Religion talk page to create a work group consisting of folks interested in articles related to Unitarian Universalism. So would anyone here be interested in joining in such an effort. --Devib Murphy (talk) 07:40, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Well, since I raised the idea at the other page, I'm all for it! Anyone else? Aleta 19:38, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

UU work group official collaboration

It has been proposed that this article be the first official collaboration for the newly formed Unitarian Universalism work group. And the reasoning is this, “seeing as it’s the main article of this work group and the fact it has a few cleanup tags”. So do go discuss this on their talk page. --Devin Murphy (talk) 21:58, 13 January 2008 (UTC)