New Religion |

TBC Staff

Med student starts new religion claiming no absolute truths [Excerpts]
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -Ford Vox started a religion in his spare time.
He calls it Universism and is recruiting atheists, deists, freethinkers and others who can rally around the notion that no universal religious truth exists and that the meaning of existence must be determined by each individual.
Vox, a University of Alabama at Birmingham medical student, says Christianity, Islam and to a lesser extent other world religions, are harmful because they attempt to impose their own version of moral certainty on others.
"Religious faith is very powerful," Vox said. "It is so powerful that it is dangerous. It's very difficult to find an alternative to that."
Vox said he started Universism in 2003 and has drawn about 7,500 sympathetic souls who have signed on through his Web site, It also drew the attention of the evangelical Christian group Focus on the Family, which has studied it as part of a course on different world views.
In Birmingham, the Universists are showing a documentary called The God Who Wasn't There , which questions traditional beliefs about Jesus. A Universist group in New York plans to show the documentary in June.
Universist activities have involved meetings once or twice a month at bars and coffeehouses, along with e-mail and online discussions on how to define their relativist philosophy.
"We absolutely reject absolute truth," said Vox, who envisions organized Universist communities like churches.
The Bible should be treated as literature, not history or revelation, Vox said. "We would treat it like Shakespeare; people can learn from it like any great story," he said. "We want people to continue exploring in a religious realm, but do that safely -- an individual sitting down, thinking about his own view of the world" (Garrison,, May 28, 2005).