My husband has been attending the local Unitarian Universalist church for some time now. After we met, we split our attendance into one week UU, one week the Episcopal church. That quickly fell away.
The UU is more openly accepting of LGBT individuals, so in some ways, I feel more comfortable there.
I even went through the “conversion classes” with my husband because he wanted to learn more about Unitarian Universalism.
However, even though this gave me the ability to join, I chose to remain in a different status, which is not one of an outsider but a “Friend of the Fellowship.”
I thought to myself, “That’s precisely what I am- I’m a friend and ally.”
Unitarian Universalism has some awesome values: 7 main principles and a running record of social progressivism and inclusivity. They’re on the forefront fighting for the rights of the poor, marginalized, and excluded.
In a word, UUs have a tendency to actually behave how Christians are supposed to behave.
So the big question is, why am I not UU? Why did I choose not to join? Certainly, the UUs are my social network- so many of us are friends and family.
Foremost, I’m a mystic, and thus I need mystical practices and theological frameworks that are oriented on the esoteric and mysterious. Most religious organizations, period, are not oriented in this way, and that causes some trouble for me. Much mysticism has to take place in solitude or within, so there’s the case that can be made that the community’s focus on mysticism isn’t as important.
Second, any given religion needs to have a core mythology, rituals, and scriptures. Now, I don’t disregard other religions; that’s not what I mean. I’m saying that where there is not a reference point, things can get messy. As far as I can see, the local Unitarian Universalist church draws on several sources- but none of the sources serve as a focal point, and that causes a kind of confusion of identity.
The lack of ritual is another thing that burdens me. The Christian Sacraments have thrown me into awe for almost ten years of my life.
Of course, UUs are free to develop their own rituals for home use and draw on inspiration from other traditions, but then we run into the perennial, troublesome question of what exactly is okay to draw on and what’s not- what traditions are closed and what traditions are open. Cultural appropriation happens, and I mean actual cultural appropriation, not the Tumblr definition of it.
Provided, what one does in the privacy of one’s home and that one doesn’t post on Facebook is really not something anyone can criticize you for, either.
For most people, I definitely recommend the UU. There’s just a few of us out there are who have to be weirdos who are almost too weird for the UU.