Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Building Bridges: A World Religions Program for 8th-9th Grades

Activity 2: Unitarian Universalism - CUUlt?

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Handout 1, What Makes a Cult?
  • Optional: Cults/Religions poster the group created in the Welcoming and Entering activity

Description of Activity

Participants learn and discuss why some people might consider Unitarian Universalism to be a cult.

Ask youth if anyone has ever asked them if Unitarian Universalism is a cult. Tell them this question may come up sometime. Some people confuse Unitarian Universalism with the Unification Church, whose members are often called "Moonies," after the founder Reverend Sun Myung Moon. So, if someone does ask them this question, they should make sure the asker is not confusing us with the Unification Church.

Ask if youth can think of other reasons someone might believe Unitarian Universalism is a cult.

Refer to Handout 1 and, if the youth created a poster (Welcoming and Entering), to the Cults section of the poster. Ask:

  • Given what you have just learned about cults, does Unitarian Universalism have any "cult-like" characteristics? Why or why not?
  • What are the "uncult-like" characteristics of Unitarian Universalism?
  • If someone does believe that Unitarian Universalism is a cult, how could you respond to their observation in a calm, non-defensive manner?