Thank you for your interest in the Unitarian Universalist Infidels
(WI) Newsletter. This is the first of our twice-yearly publications.
The UUI is a Unitarian Universalist Association “related
The purpose of the UUI Newsletter is to provide a meaningful
forum for humanist, agnostic, atheist, and non-religious Unitarian
Universalists. The UU World, the official magazine of the UUA,
does not represent the full interests of UUs who are skeptics
and non- believers. According to the 1997 UUA survey, humanists
made up 46% of UU membership. It is also true that upwards of
15% of the U.S. population does not subscribe to the supernaturalism
of religion; among UUs, it is likely that percentage is even
higher. For example, in the 1997 UUA survey, only 25% of respondents
replied that they significantly sensed God's presence, while
96% attached great importance to human reason and knowledge.
Though there is a large audience for rational, skeptical discourse,
the UU World seems to be somewhat biased against expressions
of non-belief. The January/February 2003 issue, for instance,
published an article by Dan Kennedy, concerning the annual conference
of American Atheists. In the article "Are You With the
Atheists?" Kennedy left no doubt that he
wasn't. He observed Ellen Johnson, president of American Atheists,
giving her conference address, and said that Johnson was "unsparing"
and that she "seethed." Of the AA conference itself,
Kennedy wrote: "I couldn't help but sense a forced, brittle
quality to the weekend's proceedings." The weekend was
not fun: "No, not fun at all." Kennedy admits: "To
be sure, I didn't find a whole lot in Johnson's message with
which to disagree. But my attitude tends to be: Who cares?"
Many people care! In fact, we care a lot!
We also care about another thing: that the position of skeptics
and non-believers remain strong within Unitarian Universalism.
We worry that, currently, the UUA is overly concerned with "reverence"
and "religion" while it marginalizes those who are
unwilling to make "the leap of faith." We hope you
enjoy reading our newsletter, and let us hear from you!
Travis, newsletter editor, is a founding member of the UU Infidels.
Thanks to Ken Michel for publishing this newsletter and to Bryan
Woodhouse for copy editing.