The Faith of a Unitarian Universalist

It is odd that many Unitarian Universalists find it impossible to entertain the notion of a creator; the very idea of God. We entertain so many other ideas more outrageous. We believe fully in things which have no physical presence in the universe.

We profess to the inherent worth and dignity of all people, though a former President of our association of congregations has said that such things only exist if consensus creates them. They are not naturally occurring substances.

We believe in universal justice and equality, though they have never been universal before. We believe in the free and responsible search for truth and meaning; no one has ever proven that anyone has definitively found either, though.

Our belief is essential in making it real.

Terry Pratchett once wrote, speaking as the character which embodies DEATH of his Discworld setting, that people need to practice believing in things like fairies and elves, so they can learn to believe in bigger things like love and justice. He says you can run the entire universe through your finest sieve and never find “one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy”. These are not tangible things; they do not exist naturally. But, in order to create them, we first have to believe and give them form.

We have to believe in things that we can’t point to in the world. Our belief in them is the first step in manifesting them and making them real. Belief in God doesn’t need to be more complex than the belief in an interdependent web of existence; that web, in which we are inextricably bound, is the only manifestation of God needed to participate in the bigger discussion. Belief that we are part of something bigger than each of us, or maybe even all of us together. Belief that there are things that, against any current system of measurement, have value and substance. Believe in that, and we’re still in the game.

That faith is our religious claim.


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