The Fostering of a Religion
The Declaration of Trust Creating URANTIA Foundation states that "the [principal] object for which this Foundation is created is..." and what follows is a statement of goals, some of which are to be accomplished "...through the fostering of a religion, a philosophy, and a cosmology which are commensurate with Man's intellectual and cultural development." All Trustees, current and past, since the inception of the Foundation in 1950, have interpreted this statement to mean the fostering of a personal religion. Some readers think that "the fostering of a religion" means that the Foundation should foster a new, institutional religion. Some of these readers support their position by quoting William S. Sadler, Jr., one of the first Trustees, who said:
"I think there is a possibility of developing from this blue book a religion the like of which this world has never yet seen."
Was Mr. Sadler referring to a new, institutional religion? You be the judge. What follows is his statement in context.
"I think there is a possibility of developing from this blue book a religion the like of which this world has never yet seen; a religion that's full of good humor; a religion which is full of the joy of existence; a religion which is totally devoid of fear...a religion which has nothing to do with any one day of a week; a religion which pervades the whole of a human life twenty-four hours a day...a religion which is part of a human being....This is a religion which you're good-natured about...you breathe it like you breathe air. You drink it like you drink water. It's a normal part of living. It's real. It's not something that's dissociated, compartmentalized, or set off...it's something which you just are."
Making the point unquestionably clear, Mr. Sadler said:
"This book is not religion. This book is a cosmology, a philosophy, a metaphysics, a theology. Anything which is in written language is not religion. It's intellectual. That should be very, very clear....
"This book is a tool. Use it when you need it, but if you don't need it...don't bring it into the picture. It's sort of like the guy that's using a pitch fork, and he finds it such a handy tool that he takes it with him wherever he goes, including to a tea party.
"I many times discuss God with men, and I seldom mention The URANTIA Book unless I sense that this tool is needed to complete this job, and then I get it going with everything I have."
The Trustees of the URANTIA Foundation do not see The URANTIA Book (nor its social organization, IUA) as a competitor to the current religions of the world but as a powerful, instructional aid which should further the good purposes of institutional religions.
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