It is not true that a Unitarian Universalist can simply believe anything at all. In fact, there is nothing that a Unitarian Universalist can believe which is not subject to examination and doubt. Our covenant calls us to hold each other responsible in our search for truth and meaning and to encourage spiritual growth, without end, in one another.
That said, we are also committed to welcoming all and accepting one another for who we are, right now. “Acceptance” and “Encouragement” are actually part of the same Principle. And for good reason: we start with knowing you and building a relationship then we work on helping you be the best you that you can imagine. Your growth is encouraged, but not dictated, by the community.
Truth and Meaning
It is still worth saying that while everyone is welcome, not every idea has equal merit. Not every message deserves to be preached. There are beliefs that will not be welcome in a Unitarian Universalist community.
We do not make space for prejudice against race or class or culture. The congregation also should not allow someone to simply ignore facts, whether historical or scientific; we will ask you to consider them and how they interact with your beliefs. Your path must be responsible, or it is not Unitarian Universalist.
You can come to Unitarian Universalism from any perspective, but we should be engaging one another and test each others’ assumptions, encouraging introspection and growth. We have a duty to hold each other accountable to facts and to the spirit of our Principles, and when a belief runs counter to either, it should be subject to scrutiny.
Thus, you can come to a Unitarian Universalist congregation believing almost anything, but you will be asked to question your beliefs and to learn to defend them, or if you cannot defend them, to let them go.
It is true that all are welcome. It is not true that “anything goes”. The difference is crucial to the health and the mission of our movement. We remain committed to a responsible search for truth and meaning.