Many years ago I was hiking with some American friends from the Sierra Club, we were discussing Ireland in the context of it’s religious dispositions. After a while I stopped talking about the Irish and their religious perspectives and asked what of my American friends. We went around the group and various people explained their views, their religious positions, it was enlightening, open, not the fundamentalism I had gleaned from American TV. The last person to speak and I suspect that he deliberately waited till the end, simply said, “Oh me, I subscribe to the same view as you,” this left me wondering what did I subscribe to?

Later on I got the chance to ask him, in a round about way, what did he think I subscribed to. His answer was simple; “you are a Unitarian, everything you say, in debate or discussion leads me to believe that.”

So off I went to find out what was a Unitarian, seeing that I was viewed as one. The undertaking led me to eventually join the Dublin Unitarian church, [web site http://www.unitarianchurchdublin.org/  ] and to a philosophical position that has left me immensely content.

One of the first things you learn as a Unitarian is that truth is not set in stone, that it can evolve, that there is no one universal theology, that there is no one true church. You learn three valuable rules to live by:


There is a fourth that we do not speak of

No two Unitarians agree for longer than it takes to have a debate.

More on this anon


About the Author:

Joe is an author, poet, historian, and guided walks consultant. He lives in Newport, Co. Mayo. Scriptwriter and presenter of “Old Port to Newport”, Joe McDermott is the author of a number of fiction and non-fiction books including Sheegorey (historical fiction), the History of St. Mary’s Hospital, Castlebar, as well as hiking guide books such as The Western Way, The Bangor Trail, and The Foxford Way.