4 Attitudes and Interests

A little woman of middle years requested the clerk to cut 40 yards of pink chiffon for her. When he asked her what she could possibly want with 40 yards of chiffon, she replied, "I'm making a nightie for myself."

"But surely you don't need 40 yards. You are not a large woman."

"Yes, but my husband is a Unitarian and he'd much rather look for something than actually find it."

What is the your attitude toward women and minorities?

Although it's a matter of opinion whether men and women have achieved complete equality in our religion, feminist theology has had a strong and positive impact on our churches, particularly in the last decade.

However, our record on attracting racial, cultural and ethnic minorities into our denomination is not nearly as good. We are working hard to break out of our traditional mold to include a more diverse membership.

Would you categorize UUs as optimistic or pessimistic?

In spite of the weakness and frailty of all humans, we are optimistic about the potential of all persons.

Do you believe Unitarian Universalism is the only true religion?

No. We believe that every religion contains truths about who we are, why we are here and how we ought to live with ourselves and others.

How would you characterize your religion?

Not only do we have a hopeful and optimistic attitude about life, we believe strongly that humans have great potential to recognize right, correct wrongs, find solutions and make this a better world. Rather than feel bound by human weaknesses and frailties, we emphasize human strengths. We believe people have the strength, power and intelligence to make good things happen. You might call it a "can do" religion.

How do you explain that bad things happen?

We have no religion-based explanation of life's tragedies, horrors and heartbreaks. Life can be senselessly lost, diminished and demeaned in many ways but most UUs do not attribute these losses to the will of God. Instead, most UUs agree we live in an indifferent universe.

Rather than try to explain life's inexplicable tragedies, we try to help people when such tragedies strike, and do all we can to restore them to hope again.

Where do you turn when you need support?

Most turn to family, friends, and people within their religious community with whom they are especially close and whom they rely on. Some UUs do feel a relationship with a power greater than themselves and to whom they will turn when they need support. They give this power many names. God is one of them, but far from the only one.

Are fears or threats part of your religion?

No, certainly not in the sense of divine punishment for a person's mistakes. We believe that human beings should be accountable for their actions and make amends for any harm they may bring to others. But we don't believe that God will punish them.

What role does science play in your church?

We accept the teachings of science and the scientific method. UUs believe that the scientific principle that states there is always more truth to be discovered about our world, also applies to religion.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter