So why do Unitarian Universalists do social justice work? In other words, what’s our religious reason for trying to improve the world?
I know my own personal reasons for doing social justice work. My reasons come partly from classic Universalism: we don’t have do worry about whether or not we’re going to heaven, but it is our job to make this present world a better world. I have updated classic Universalism with Bernard Loomer’s naturalistic interpretation of the teachings of Jesus: Jesus had a vision of the “kingdom of God,” which Loomer defines as an egalitarian interdependent web of existence in which all persons are valued, and in which no person shall go hungry, and this “kingdom of God” is the highest value towards which we can strive (note that Loomer was the one who introduced the phrase “web of existence” to Unitarian Universalists, which he identified with the kingdom of God). Thus I do social justice work to try to bring about what Jesus called the “kingdom of God,” where “God” is understood in an egalitarian, naturalistic way.
But people like me who rely upon Universalism and Jesus are definitely in the minority. What is the religious grounding for other Unitarian Universalists doing social justice? And pointing to the “seven principles” is not a sufficient answer — just because we voted to include the seven principles in the bylaws of the Unitarian Universalist Association in 1986 doesn’t tell me why we included them in the bylaws (e.g., I would argue that we included the seventh principle on the basis of Loomer’s understanding of Jesus).
I want to know why we do social justice. What’s your reason why?