New Issue of the Liberal Beacon

This issue of, #11 of the Liberal Beacon focuses on liberal religion’s connection to the wider world, beginning with Ann Pandya’s article about India’s first woman doctor and her relationship to Unitarianism. This is followed by an article submitted by the International Alliance of Unitarians and Universalists (IAUU) discussing its work with religious liberals across the globe. Additionally, you’ll learn about NAUA’s growing lists of organizational members, hear a song written and performed by NAUA member Michael Johnson, and read some of my own reflections about moving forward together even though we may not all be starting from the same place. Check out these articles, along with our calendar of events, Letters to the Editor, and lots more in this issue. 

(You can access past issues of Liberal Beacon on our website at 

Todd F. Eklof 

New Edition of the Liberal Beacon

Lit beacon, lighthouse

The Liberal Beacon #10

Featured Articles: 

  • Sensing the Spiritual Realm: Benneville and Early Universalist Pietism  – Vernon Chandler 
  • Religious Pluralism in Context  – Terry Cummings 
  • The Diversity of Diversity: Why Integration is Still the Right Way ForwardBruce Knotts 
  • Be LovedJudy Robbins 
  • An Open Statement in Opposition to Article II RevisionsKevin McCulloch 
  • Mind Control, Cults and Unitarian UniversalismTodd F. Eklof 

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What stage of Reaction to the Changes in Unitarian Universalism are you at?

In this insightful article, Dr. Stephen Polmar examines changes and reactions within the Unitarian movement using the famous stages of grief model developed by Dr. Kubler Ross.

This article was first published in the Oct. 2023 issue of the Liberal Beacon and bears reading -for a second time.  Many of us in the NAUA have reacted strongly against the critical theory driven agenda of most of the leadership in today’s Unitarian congregations. But where and how does that leave individuals with long records of service and support for their local congregation and the wider denominations?

This article helps us navigate our own internal feelings and may well help us move forward with understanding and resolve to make things better.

The whole issue of the Beacon, led by Stephen’s excellent article is available for download

Does this article resonate with your expereince. What stage of grief are you at?

Latest Edition of the Liberal Beacon –

Issue #9 of the Liberal Beacon is now available,

We are currently looking for a new Editor of Liberal Beacon who has the time, desire, and some experience with layout, design, and editing. The volunteer position includes working with our current Editorial Board and other contributors to help put together this bimonthly publication in a timely fashion. If you are interested, please let us know a bit about your interest, skills and background by emailing us at 

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the many fascinating articles, regular features, and other offerings in Issue #9 of Liberal Beacon. 


A Remembrance of Rev. Dr. Finley C. Campbell

Rev. Dr. Finley C. Campbell

A Remembrance of Rev. Dr. Finley C. Campbell

By Dick Burkhart, PhD

Many in the Unitarian community will have heard of and been inspired by the tireless fight for racial harmony led by the Rev. Finley Campbell. In this tribute (reprinted here from the January 2024 Liberal Beacon, Unitarian activist Dick Burkhart shares his memories of the late Dr. Finley Campbell.

I was at a plenary session of the 2017 General Assembly of the UUA in New Orleans when Finley Campbell got up to speak in protest against how former UUA President Rev. Peter Morales had been treated by the UUA Board and others in leadership after a so-called “hiring controversy”.

I too had great respect for Peter Morales from my years of justice advocacy with UUs for a Just Economic Community, and I was trying to figure out what the hell had happened and why. So when this principled black man of obvious courage spoke, defying attempts by the Moderator to shut him up, I took notice.

At the conclusion of his short speech, Finley invited attendees to join him that evening to ride with him on a New Orleans streetcar. Why? I wondered, but I was intrigued, so I took him up on that offer. Turned out that I was the only newcomer to his little group, showing that the resignation of Rev Morales wasn’t actually about the claims of racism in the hiring process, but that a powerful and ruthless faction had captured the UUA, a faction that few dared to question.

In fact, this was my first exposure to cancel culture. It turned out that Finley’s streetcar ride was just to demonstrate how much progress there had been on racial issues since the Civil Rights era of the 1960s. Namely, the streetcar was integrated – the era of Jim Crow segregation was long past, contrary to the astounding claims of this faction that little or no progress had been made. After that ride, we all went out to dinner together. That’s when Finley explained the divisions in the black leadership and I decided to join his team,

I read book after book, learning that Finley’s “multiracial unity” was deeply grounded in our UU principles, whereas the faction in power was strong, but stealthy, hiding its anti-UU ideology. Finley had not studied Critical Race Theory, but he had this faction all figured out, particularly the anti-white dogma at the heart of its supposed anti-racism.

Finley’s great strength was his eagerness to find common ground with others and to organize to defend our UU principles. He became a beacon for those had been cancelled or oppressed by what today are called woke ideologies, such as the neo-racism that was his focus.

Finley described himself as a Marxist/Christian UU, but he was fine with non-Marxists and non-Christians, showing what is today a rare strength of character. As such he became a mentor to me and many others.

We will carry forward his mission to all humanity in a time of increasing societal turmoil, propelled by escalating inequality nationally and by the surging forces of ecological and civilization collapse globally. May Finley Campbell not rest-in-peace but forever in the uplifting activism for the beloved community that he so cherished.