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      I recently read an article about how welcoming Unitarian Universalism was to the recent gay marriage decision. It was a great article,but it made one very significant and all too common error. The article said that it was no surprise that we are so welcoming to the LGBT community because we had a long history of being politically liberal. Because 2016 will be the political season, it’s important to be aware of the distinction between politically liberal and theologically liberal. 

     It’s true that we have conducted marriages for same sex couples for years, but it’s not because we are politically liberal. The church has never been nor will it ever be a partisan institution. We welcome LGBT folks because it is what our religion calls us to do, because it is the hospitable thing, and because it is the just thing to do.

     Our church makes no decisions based on partisan politics. When a religion becomes partisan, its bells of freedom are silenced, its open communion closed. When religion serves political means, it no longer serves that which is greater than all of us that many call God.

     The word to use to describe the Unitarian Universalist church, or any church that is committed to freedom, reason and tolerance, is theologically liberal. A theologically liberal faith admits that there are multiple interpretations of God, that each person’s beliefs are valid clues to the great divinity that surrounds us. A theologically liberal church will welcome those on the margins, or who have been demonized by the status quo, because we know that all people have a spark of divinity.

     We have politically liberal and politically conservative members in our church. The thing that unites us is a commitment to understanding the holy, to living in right relationship, and to always serving a greater good. We are not the church of any political party nor shall we ever be.