The Spiritual and Cultural Ethos of Unitarian Universalism

A deeper understanding of our polity involves not only the formal description but also the implicit character of our Association. In this section we consider the often unconscious nature of our relationships.

  1. James Luther Adams wrote: ". . . We of the middle class are tempted, indeed almost fated, to adopt the religion of the successful. This religion of the successful amounts to a systematic concealment of and separation from reality—a hiding of the plight of those who in one sense or another live across the tracks."
  2. "It is ironic that although freedom and tolerance are central pillars of our faith, we can be somewhat intolerant, owing at least in part to our tendency toward self-righteousness."
  3. "Individualism has been a core value in the United States since its inception and has grown stronger in the larger culture, including religious institutions and Unitarian Universalism." (Thomas Jefferson and Ralph Waldo Emerson both championed individualism.)


  • Should we as Unitarian Universalists continue to reflect the American culture of individualism?
  • Could we incorporate a greater concern for mutual support in our congregations?