Universalism is a doctrine in theology that refers to universal salvation. The notion of universalism is originated from Universalists and Unitarians. These were Christians in America in 1700 who believed in universal salvation. The people behind this movement were Murray John Hosea, Belau, and Rush Benjamin. (Theopedia, 2012)
Universalism and Human rights
One main reason why universalism became popular was the fact that it championed respect for human rights. Universalists fought for prison reforms in 1700. Support for education was another principal idea they believed in. Women and children’s rights were mandatory in Universal principles. They were against Capital punishment and were the first to publicly denounce slavery in 1700. Universalists believed in justice, compassion and truth. Equity and social justice are the divine principles. Universalists believe that communities should live together in peace and harmony.
Universalists are known to establish institutions that prevent cruelty for children and women. It is also known to be the first church to ordain a woman clergy in the world. They have created advocacy campaigns around the world to promote love and oppose oppression. They were at the forefront of condemning the shooting of a congregation in Knoxville. Universalism has guidelines and policies that address the rights of the disabled. These guidelines address the inclusion of all people in day-to-day activities.
Racial justice is also an area of interest for Universalists. They have practices that nurture religious families and people of all races. This is meant to foster peaceful co-existence. They have built Multicultural ministries with leadership conferences (What Unitarian Universalists Believe 2012).
Implications and impacts of Universalism in the modern world
Practices and traditions of Universalism had a great impact on today’s world. Social witness processes have been integrated into the commissions for social witnesses. This commission engages in strengthening association at individual, district, or province levels. The Commission is used in the USA to protect freedom of association.
General assembly in Arizona in the US uses the social witness process of Universalism to vote in the annual General assembly. An incident happened in 2011 where Universalists voted overwhelmingly against harsh legislation that targeted immigrants and their families. The bill was however never passed.
Universalism has been at the forefront of publishing books, journals, magazines, and articles on human rights. These publications are used in Institutions like schools, Universities, and by the government in drafting laws. (UUA, 2012)
Many women in the world are segregated in most societies. They have been considered as lesser beings. Some societies do not permit women to take part in making decisions for a community. They are denied the right to education, jobs, and a chance at keeping a family. Universalists have championed the rights of women. They have reproductive justice that works against political, cultural, economical, or structural constraint that stops women from enjoying their rights. In this justice; a woman has a right to access the best health care. A woman is allowed to have children and raise them in a healthy environment. Laws in some countries have borrowed a lot from the bills of women structured by Universalists.
Universalists have partnered with the United Nations in advocating for human rights. Some of the initiatives that are included in the UN are the Every Child program in Ghana, United nation Sunday, and Universalism – United Nations congregation envoy program.
Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) 2010, Web.