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What Do UUs Believe?

November 1, 2004

What do you say when someone asks you... "So what do Unitarian Universalists (UUs) believe in?"

Sometimes new Unitarian Universalists are unsure about how to explain their new religion to friends, relatives or coworkers. Here are some responses to consider and to help you develop your own.

Rather than saying, "I'm a Unitarian Universalist because I can believe anything I want..."'s better to say that Unitarian Universalism is a faith tradition (or religion) which encourages each individual to develop a personal faith. It draws from many different religions, in the belief that no one religion has all the answers and that most have something to teach us. From Christianity we take the teachings of Christ. From Buddhism we take the power of meditation. From Judaism we take the belief that working together we can achieve peace and justice. From Native American and other earth-centered traditions we take respect for the earth and reverence for natural cycles.

Unitarian Universalism is a way of being religious rather than embracing a specific religious doctrine. For us, religion is an ongoing search for meaning, purpose, value, and spiritual depth in one's life. We believe that individuals are entitled to make their own search, and that not all persons are going to share the same beliefs. We believe there is wisdom and value in most all religions, but that no one religion has all the answers. We believe in an inner harmony that will lead to ethical action.

Explain that Unitarian Universalists believe in individual responsibility to search for and form their own beliefs and as a result many of them may believe different things. Explain that what holds UUs together is not common belief, but common experience, a common approach to life. Unitarian Universalism has seven guiding principles, rather than a creed.

Instead of trying to sum up the philosophical/theological/historical nature of Unitarian Universalism in a few words, share what YOU like about your church, why you go, and what excites you about it.

Unitarian Universalists believe in loving our neighbors as ourselves, working for a better world, searching for truth with an open mind, using reason to help us explore religious ideas, and granting everyone the right to choose their own beliefs.

We believe in the Golden Rule, in improving the world we have rather than living for the uncertain possibility of a hereafter, in searching for truth with an open mind, in using reason to help us explore religious ideas, and in granting everyone the right to choose their own beliefs.

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Last updated on Monday, December 23, 2013.

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Learn more about the Beliefs & Principles of Unitarian Universalism, or read our online magazine, UU World, for features on today's Unitarian Universalists. Visit an online UU church, or find a congregation near you.

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