The people that subscribed to this atypical religion have tended to be politically liberal, taking on such social justice causes as racial equality, gay rights, and the environment. They wanted to get away from sin and guilt, hence original sin was eliminated and salvation wasn’t needed. Rituals like the Flower and Water Communion arose; people also began celebrating the solstices, equinoxes, and cross-quarter days. Earth-centered rituals didn’t generate theological problems or bad memories. The Seventh Principle “respect for the interdependent web of all existence” to “guide us as we protect the planet” was added in 1984, and earth-centered traditions were added as the Sixth Source in 1995.
Since Unitarian Universalism lacked doctrine, these new rituals, principles, and sources paved the way for radical environmentalism to move into the vacuum. Radical environmentalism has its own dogmas. Instead of God sustaining the universe, Earth and its ecosystems sustain us. Humans offend Earth by polluting, consuming, and mere existing. (We all produce a carbon footprint just by breathing.) Opportunities for guilt are rife, but sinners can feel righteous by sacrificing the consumer lifestyle.
The radical environmentalist Greens are a religion looking for a church, the Unitarian Universalists are a church looking for a religion. Are the two are converging such that the religion of Unitarian Universalism is becoming radical environmentalism?