Some participants in the TitusOneNine and Pontificator blogs (conservative in orientation) have asked why "reappraisers" don't just join the Unitarian Universalist Association, who sometimes refer to themselves as UUs. Here's one reason ....
The UUs apparently are so inclusive that the atheists seem to have captured the "association" (not "church"). An older Episcopalian friend once remarked that the UUs "don't believe in anything except general human warmth." I'm told by (theist) UU friends that theists are sort of looked down upon in their congregation.
A couple of years ago, I went to hear a guest lecturer at a local UU congregation. While waiting for the event to start, I sat in a pew flipping through the hymnal. (I don't remember seeing a prayer book or anything like it.) What struck me was that I did not see one mention of God in the hymns I looked at.
I recently learned of a theistic spin-off from the UUs, known as the American Unitarian Conference. Their Web site says:
The AUA [the historic Unitarian church] -- for most of its life -- was an organization dedicated to promoting a tolerant religious faith that saw reason and a belief in God as congruent rather than hostile. It saw the Unitarian faith as squarely within the Western religious tradition. Modern thought, knowledge, and other faith traditions were not automatically rejected, as other religions insisted be done. Rather those modern ideas and the beliefs they challenged were to be tested through reason and debate, allowing the truth to come forth as a faith that could embrace both the wisdom of the past and new knowledge. Thus illuminated, religious faith would shine steadily and brightly in even the strongest storm..
In more recent years, various movements within the AUA, many not even religious in character, caused the association to depart from its historic traditions to the point that it would hardly be recognizable to its founders. The AUA was disbanded in 1961 when it merged with the Universalist Church of America, creating a new organization called the Unitarian Universalist Association.
The American Unitarian faith tradition was reborn in the year 2000 as the American Unitarian Conference, dedicated to a renewal of the historic Unitarian faith.
The new AUC holds that the traditional Unitarian faith is uniquely suited for modern men and women seeking to grapple with the difficulties of applying religious faith to modern life. Classical Unitarian thinking offers a religious faith and language that neither requires its adherents to jettison modern science, nor to accept beliefs that they cannot rationally accept. Yet it is a religious faith, not just a philosophy, and draws sustenance and life from the Western religious tradition.