Naturally the essence of creedal denominations necessitates the impulse towards conformity to one degree or another, sometimes very explicitly, and sometimes very subtly. There is after all a party line, and however compassionately and gently it is done, in due course all are cajoled into place. This impulse diminishes our sacrosanct personhood, and our right to self-determine.
We Unitarians value above all else the liberty to be guided by our own conscience and free enquiry, to enter into the open market place of ideas without ulterior motives being hung above our heads. Take for example the orthodox Christian’s trending mantra ‘Belong, before you believe.’ To belong is to be fully embraced as the person that you are, but how can one truly belong to a group when it never loses sight of its underlining goal: to have you conform to certain precepts.
Of course within the flux of group dynamics, no church can really claim to be free of unnamed motives when it comes to its prospective members, but the Unitarians strive to put the questioning soul at the heart of its mission. This mission is to respect true integrity, and to always name and oppose our human propensity to inflict conformity upon others.
The great joy of Unitarianism is that we might act as agents of peace, kindness, and tolerance in this world, all the while co-journeying as equals with our brothers and sisters, truly valuing what such an equality means, being vulnerable, doubting, and confused right alongside one another.