“Don’t Slam Door in Face of Freethinkers”

FFRF Urges Unitarians to Remain Creedless

The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent the following letter to Dr. William Sinkford, the new president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, after it was reported on Jan. 13 that he is seeking to place the word “God” into UUA’s statement of principles. Sinkford told a congregation in Fort Worth, Texas, on Sunday that adding “God” to the denomination’s principles will help attract new members and increase its influence: “We need to be able to say Unitarian Universalists believe there is one God.”

Pres. Rev. William G. Sinkford
Unitarian Universalist Association
25 Beacon St
Boston MA 02108

Dear Dr. Sinkford:

On behalf of our national organization, which has 5,000 atheist and agnostic members–many of whom are or have been active with the UUA–we are writing to express our dismay at your proposed sell-out to the Religious Right.

The UUA should be proud of its tradition as a “creedless” denomination, instead of capitulating to the dumbing-down of our country and the demonization of religious and nonreligious minorities.

The definitive Religious Identification Survey 2001 by the Graduate School of the City University of New York revealed the growing population of the nonreligious, now at a record high of 14% of the adult population. It is this population that the UUA should be striving to attract, not the sheep-like orthodox.

Your proposal flies in the face of the UUA motto to affirm “the inherent worth and dignity of every person” by slamming the door in the face of some of the nation’s most thoughtful and peace-loving citizens–those who reject belief in the supernatural.

The “right of conscience” in the current UUA statement of principle can only be guaranteed by the withdrawal of your ill-advised attempt to make the UUA like every other church down the block. Under your radical proposal, UUA would lose its heart–what makes it so unique and valuable in our nation. Instead of being part of the solution, UUA would become part of the problem, by adding its voice to the national chorus of intolerance toward intellectual freedom and the freethinkers, atheists and agnostics who follow their conscience.

UUA would in fact echo the current religious bigotry now embraced by Boy Scouts of America. The UUA has correctly criticized BSA in the past for its religious litmus test, which has resulted in its unforgiveable treatment of worthy young atheists such as Darrell Lambert, the recently-ousted Eagle Scout. UUA would likewise be labeling its many supportive freethinking, dues-paying members as “Undesirables.” Under the status quo, believers and unbelievers alike co-exist as equals in UUA societies. Intellectual freedom and debate is encouraged, not barred.

As an organization which has enjoyed a cordial relationship with countless UUA societies across the country, the Freedom From Religion Foundation respectfully urges you to reconsider and withdraw your proposal to force religious hegemony upon the UUA membership.

May we hear from you on this matter of great concern at your earliest convenience?


Annie Laurie Gaylor, for
Freedom From Religion Foundation
PO Box 750
Madison WI 53701

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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