I have posted a new article for the Milwaukee Examiner titled “My faith (part VI) – The influence of Unitarian Universalism, Free Thought, and the ULC.
Unitarian Universalism (UU)
Assuming you believe in a creator at all, we Unitarian Universalists believe that there is only one creator regardless of your polytheistic or monotheistic leanings. We are all praying to the same entity called by different names.
Unitarian Universalism is a non-dogmatic faith that has but one small set of principles with which to pursue your spiritual or aspiritual journey. Outside of that, where you go and what you believe is up to you. We gather together reveling in the different paths that we walk and look forward to learning something from each other. My congregation at the Free Congregation has those of the Buddhist, Zen, humanist, secularist, atheist, Christian, deist, naturalist, and others as well as a token Republican about.
An important tradition in the UU churches is lay led “worship” or discussion within congregations led by the lay person, and this is powerful and empowering tradition that invites congregational wide discourse and participation on topics via our individual (a)spiritual journeys.
Many UU’s are active in the various civil rights movements from gay rights to opposing war actions. A UU minister was the first to hold a legally recognized same-sex marriage. These are all reasons why Unitarian Universalism is important to me and my faith.
Free Thought (German)
In coming to the Free Congregation I knew they were a Unitarian Universalist congregation, but I did not know that they were a German Free Thought congregation as well. I had never even heard of the movement until I started to go there.
The German Free Thought movement, which was crushed in the mid 1800’s in Germany by the Catholic church, promoted critical thought and analysis of spiritual matters as well as relishing its debate and discussion. They value introspection and the individual journey that each person travels while basing individual beliefs on reason, evidence, and logic – dismissing the supernatural for there is no evidence or proof of its existence. Free Thought is a non-dogmatic and more secular and humanist approach to religion or spirituality. The Secular and Humanist movements do find some of their roots in the Free Thought movements.
The key points for me about the Free Thought movement requires evidence based reasoning verses the deciding issues on dogmatic religious stances that are counter to facts and the interests of humanity. The logic and the separation of secular and religious matters are exactly what the doctor ordered.
Universal Life Church (ULC)
Being ordained as minister of the non-denominational Universal Life Church is more of an affirmation of me taking charge of my faith and spirituality. No one can tell me what to believe, because I am responsible for my journey and beliefs. I am more than happy discuss and consider other view points and ideas. I am minister of my own faith and some may choose to listen, and perhaps there might be something to learn from each other. The ULC’s motto ‘Do only that which is right.’ is very appropriate, though highly subjective, for making a difference in this world.