What Do Benjamin Franklin?

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What do Benjamin Franklin, Charles Dickens, Paul Revere, Louisa May Alcott, Clara Barton, Charles Darwin, Frank Lloyd Wright, Abigail and John Adams, and Alexander Graham Bell have in common? Every one of these renowned men and women was a Unitarian or a Universalist. The Unitarian Universalist religion began as two separate religions: the Universalist Church of America, founded in 1793, and the American Unitarian Association, founded in 1825. Unitarianism originated in Poland, Transylvania and England, and then later developed in New England. Unitarians rejected the existence of the Holy Trinity and did not consider themselves a Christian denomination. Universalism formed after a divide between Baptist and Congregationalist churches that…show more content…
Although Unitarian Universalism is not a conventional religion centered around the belief in a God, society has benefitted greatly from Unitarians over the years. The unrivaled inclusiveness of the Unitarian religion has given rise to their many significant contributions to society that include advocating for racial rights, women’s rights, and gay rights. Although the majority of progressive people see Unitarianism as a beneficial religion with principles that drive Unitarians to have a positive impact on society, there are others who do not share this view. Some people believe that an association such as Unitarianism which is not centered around the belief in a God could not possibly be an ethical religion and therefore does not benefit society. Many outsiders believe that a “religion” which welcomes atheists, Christians, Jews and Muslims (to name just a few of the religions that make up Unitarianism) cannot by definition be ethical. Extreme Muslims for instance are only accepting of those who believe that Allah is the only God. Additionally, many of the alleged “contributions” to society made by Unitarians, such as gay rights and reproductive rights, are controversial in the eyes of other religions. One of Unitarianism’s main contributions to society comes in the form of their advocacy for racial equality both inside and outside of their congregations. During the 1965 Selma Marches in Alabama, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reached out to
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