The ninth of ten beliefs of the Unitarian Universalists is "We believe in the necessity of the democratic process. Records are open to scutiny, elections are open to members, and ideas are open to criticism- so that people might govern themselves." Having been raised a Roman Catholic this seems like a very foreign and exotic belief. As an American it seems only right. When we consider the hierarchial abuses of the Catholic Church over the centuries, it seems that the governance of the RC church is anything but Christian. It is truly "Father knows best" even if Father is sexually abusing the youngsters under his care. The hierachy secretly shuffled the deck and hid the ugly underbelly of clerical behavior from the people they professed to be serving. It was these kinds of abuses of power which led to the Protestant reformation instigated by Martin Luther and sadly not much has changed in the centuries since.
A good spiritual life is not dependent on others although it can be nurtured and supported by a positive community life. Religion becomes dysfunctional when is governance structure becomes autocratic and dictatorial. When the governance structure allows for the participation of all members, it tends to be more healthy and constructive. As young children who have found their own voice say, "You're not the boss of me!", a good spiritual life also recognizes that no cleric can be the boss of me without my consent and willingness to give up my exercising of my own will by submitting in obedience to the will of another.
When parents say to a questioning teenager, "Do it because I say so!" it is like a cleric requiring blind allegiance from a disciple or follower. There is a fine line between cult like submission, and reverent obedience.
The UUs governance structure is open, transparent, and democratic. For people who have been raised in other faith traditions it doesn't seem very "religious". If people turn to religion looking for answers from someone, or a group, who claims to speak for a higher power, they will be sorely disappointed with the Unitarian Universalists. UU is a faith for mature minds and hearts ready to take on the tough challenge and responsibility of trying to figure out with love,compassion, tolerance, and patience, the best way to live life.