Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I love the Six Sources of Unitarian Universalism

I know the Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism get a lot of criticism among a number of UU intellectuals. I do pretty much agree with these criticisms. I don't think older UUs realise that for UUs under 35 (especially life-long ones) the Seven Principles act as a kind of creed. Whereas with older UUs they are a (very) imperfect statement of secular beliefs made up by the UUA a few years ago.

The Seven Principles are not extremely inspiring to me, but I want to affirm that the Six Sources are. I don't know why we always consider the Seven Principles apart from the Six Sources. I find that the Six Sources describe a religion that I deeply want to commit my life to. I was meditating on them last night. They are very cool. We need to build a religion based on the Six Sources.

As much as I criticise, like any blogger, I want to be positive right now: I love the Six Sources of Unitarian Universalism:

The living tradition which we share draws from many sources:

Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;

Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;

Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;

Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;

Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.

Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.


Anonymous Donald Wilson said...

Yes, many UUs under 35 use the 7 principles as a creed, although they will usually claim otherwise.

Personally, I agree that the 6 Sources are FAR more meaningful than The 7 Banal Comments of Social Justice Nuts.

3:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup, the "six sources" do more for me that the "seven principles." Either way, I always try to remember that the six sources and seven principles have an additional statement that everyone seems to forget to include, which goes like this:

"Nothing herein shall be deemed to infringe upon the individual freedom of belief which is inherent in the Universalist and Unitarian heritages or to conflict with any statement of purpose, covenant, or bond of union used by any society unless such is used as a creedal test."

Even though it's usually forgotten now, this statement was originally a part of the "principles and purposes" -- you can look it up in Article II of the bylaws of the U.S. Unitarian Universalist Association at --


11:29 pm  
Blogger Susan Carroll said...

I'm a writer and I loathe the use of abstractions and overly complex language clearly made by committee that seems to separate our minds from our hearts. Interesting comment by "anonymous" which goes to the conflict between the individual and community that seems a hallmark of my church at least.

10:36 pm  

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