UUs shape America
Basing our lives and actions on values and principles frees us to get a lot of things done to improve the country we live in. Unitarian and Universalist philosophies have been around for over a thousand years. We have been in the United States for the entire history of this nation and were active in the founding of the country.
Many of the leaders of the American revolution (Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Adams and many others) were Unitarians or Universalists.
Unitarians and Universalists were among the leaders of the fight against slavery. The famous words of a government, "of the people, by the people, and for the people" were taken by Lincoln from a sermon by the great abolitionist Unitarian minister Theodore Parker. Lincoln kept a set of his published sermons by his bedside.
Five Unitarians were presidents of the United States.
We were in the forefront in the establishment of public schools, mental hospitals, of votes for women, of nursing, of settlement houses, and much more.
Women's rights were fought for and won by Universalists of the stature of Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, and by Unitarians including Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucy Stone. The Universalists were the first denomination in the United States to ordain women to the ministry - in 1863. Dorothea Dix pioneered prison reform and got the mentally ill out of shackles.
Unitarians and Universalists have been leaders in just about every major issue involving justice since this country began.
We were in Selma with Martin Luther King Jr. One of the people who were killed by segregationists during that time was James Reeb, a Unitarian minister.
Adlai Stevenson was a Democrat and a Unitarian. William Cullen Bryant, another Unitarian, was one of the founders of the Republican Party.
In the realm of literature, it is notable that Horatio Alger, Louisa May Alcott, and Walt Whitman were all Unitarians. Horace Greeley, the great journalist, was a Universalist. America's greatest essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson was a Unitarian minister.
We are devoted to education. 75% of the members of our congregations have college degrees; more than 40% have advanced degrees. We have founded many great universities. In California alone, Cal Tech and Stanford are among them.
We are people who live our religion, and work to make our values real in the world. Across the years and across the nation, we have been working with and for our community, and the greater community of all humankind.
See for Yourself!
Many people, when they first learn about Unitarian Universalism, are delighted to discover that we are the perfect religion for them. They would have been with us many years earlier had they known that a religion existed!
We welcome you to share not just in our history, but in the commitment to make our tradition live and thrive, to build a better future, not only for ourselves, but for all the people of the world.
We invite you to see how our approach matches your own feelings, your hopes, your thinking, your aspirations!