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What Is Unitarian-Universalism?



What Is Unitarian-Universalism?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.62

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    chalice, creedal, devotional, orthodox, membership, condemn, atheist, non-religious, majority, clergy, tolerance, gender, unity, merge, preacher, universal
     content words:    Christian Unitarians, Buddhist Unitarians, Humanist Unitarians, Marta Flanagan, Hans Deutsch, Jan Hus, American Religious Identification Survey, Unitarian Universalist, New England


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What Is Unitarian-Universalism?
By Brenda B. Covert
  

1     There is a faith that welcomes people of all religious backgrounds. It is a religion without a creed. It is a religion with eleven syllables in its name! It is called Unitarian-Universalism.
 
2     Unitarian-Universalism was at one time two separate groups. The Unitarian movement began in the 16th century. Unitarians embraced the idea of one God rather than one God in three persons (Father, Son, and Spirit), which is called the Trinity in orthodox Christianity. The name Unitarian came from their belief in the "unity" of God. The Universalist movement appeared in the 18th century. Universalists believed that God would not condemn anyone to hell and that all people would end up in heaven. Eventually, Universalists embraced the belief that universal truth can be found in all faiths. Both groups are liberal in their thinking, and it seemed natural to merge the two into the Unitarian-Universalism (UU) movement. Though its roots are Christian, UU is now open to all faiths. While there can be Christian Unitarians, there can also be Buddhist Unitarians, Humanist Unitarians, and so forth.
 
3     It is difficult to pin down UU beliefs, since according to the Rev. Marta Flanagan, "We will not be bound by a statement of belief. We do not ask anyone to subscribe to a creed. We say ours is a non creedal religion. Ours is a free faith." They believe that for each person truth comes from inside rather than from a book or a leader. However, one unifying belief is that all human beings are created equal. They believe in tolerance and accept every race, gender, and class of people into their membership. A second belief is that the Bible contains truth and wisdom as well as myth and legend. It isn't all to be taken literally; for instance, the devil is a mythical being. A third belief is that Jesus was a prophet, completely human, and not the son of God.

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