First Person: I'm a Unitarian; Yes, I Swear It's a Real Religion

My Understanding of Being a Unitarian Universalist

Growing up with an atheist father, a Lutheran mother, and attending Unity Church - Unitarian in St. Paul, Minnesota, had a huge influence on shaping me into the open-minded, liberal, spiritual, amazing young woman I am today.

I could present you with the Wikipedia definition of a Unitarian Universalist, but that would probably leave you with more questions than answers. One's religious preferences and beliefs embody so much more importance in one's life than a standard definition could ever provide.

My beliefs and religious principles strongly affect how I choose to live my life, my everyday decisions, and my general outlook on life. My experience with the Unitarian church could be seen by others as very 'non-traditional', wrong, or even somewhat bizarre. I prefer to say it was unique and, at times, comical. Some vivid memories come to mind; one year Mary was played by a male in the Christmas pageant, a lesbian couple led our congregation for many years, and sex education was taught during the "Coming of Age" program.

Seven Principles

There are seven principles of the Unitarian Universalist. I would like to share the role each of these beliefs play in my daily existence. 1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person.
  • I believe that every person is a valuable member of society and has something positive to contribute.

2. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations.

  • I firmly oppose any discriminatory practices and laws, and I believe in the concept to 'treat others as we would like to be treated'.

3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations.

  • As a Unitarian, I am not bound by dogma in my pursuit of spiritual enlightenment. Because of this, I have successfully avoided the primary culprit of most organized religions. My path is my own, and I have come to my faith on my own personal journey.

4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning.

  • In my work-life especially, I truly advocate for the notion of personal responsibility. Each person must freely and responsibly search for and discover the truths that give meaning to their life.

5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.

  • I believe that everybody deserves to be heard and have a voice. I am able to have a say about things that are important to me without feeling belittled or ashamed.

6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.

  • I believe that inner peace allows for world peace. You need to be the change that you want to make in the world and that there will not be happiness until you are at piece with yourself.

7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

  • I believe that respect is one of the most important concepts in life. Although, I may seem small in comparison to the enormous universe, my choices, attitude, and interactions with others impacts everyone around me.