The Unitarian Universalists, or UUs, are the product of two separate but similar movements, the Unitarians and the Universalists. This officially occurred in 1961 through the formation of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
While both previous groups commonly identified themselves as Christian, Unitarian Universalism considers itself a separate religion in which belief in a higher power is optional and teachings focus instead on the inherent worth of all human beings, religious tolerance, rationality, advancing truth, and ethical living.
Universalism holds that all souls will eventually be reunited with God. While behavior in life does lead to consequences, it does not lead to eternal damnation. Universalism teaches universal salvation, where reuniting with God does not depend upon the individual's faith.
Notions of Universalism have been around since almost the beginning of Christianity, often being ruled heretical. It did not organize into a formal group until the 1700s.
Members of all religions are welcome to attend UU services, and the perspectives of other religions frequently influence UU outlooks. Teachings involving love, compassion, human worth, harmony and justice are most strongly stressed.
UU literature cites three primary current sources of inspiration:
- The ethical teachings of Christianity
- The teachings of "earth-centered religions" regarding the cycle of life and living in harmony with nature
- Humanism, which emphasizes science, rationality, and the inherent worth of humanity
Plurality of Beliefs:
Sexuality and Marriage:
UUs welcome all people regardless of sexual orientation. In the United States, UU churches offer non-legal marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples in states that do not legally recognize such unions. These ceremonies allow couples to express their devotion to each other in front of friends and family just like traditional marriages.
In addition, many interfaith couples find UU churches to be welcome option in locating a venue for marriage, as UU churches have no religious requirements for couples.