I have heard it said that anyone who truly experiences grace is at least tempted to become a universalist. This has been true at least in my experience and that of others that I know.
It's a hard issue though, because it deals with concerns that have been cropping up about secular lefties' ability to work with people who believe that everyone who does not share their beliefs will end up in Hell. I can understand that this is a real concern whenever a Democrat starts blathering on about the imaginary problem of hostility to religion within the party. Whenever I have read or heard someone who has this concern, it makes me assess my beliefs regarding this. Should I be more "evangelical?" Should I be sure to share my faith, whatever that means, with everyone I meet, everyone I attempt to work alongside?
I'm reluctant to do so, because my beliefs in this area, as in so many, are in flux. I have experienced grace many times over, and do in fact find myself attracted to some sort of universalism as a result. The reason for this is because of the powerful nature of grace, the fact that it can overcome so much, work so hard and endure for so long.
There's a few different types of universalism. There's the belief that it just doesn't matter what anyone believes, or if they do at all. We all end up in the same place, be that annihilated, heaven, Nirvana, etc. There is such a thing as Christocentric Universalism. The basic idea is that Hell is no impediment to Jesus and his ability to reach out to "lost" souls. Eventually, all people will be won over to Jesus, even if it takes a million years.
People who believe this also tend to believe that those who never hear of Jesus in this life get an automatic pass into heaven, since it's not their fault they aren't Christians. Some of them also believe that those who are faithful to another religion will find their faithfulness and service rewarded as if it were all done and believed within Christianity. C.S. Lewis used this idea in his conclusion to The Last Battle
, where a soldier who lived his entire life hating Aslan finds himself in Aslan's presence, rewarded with eternity in paradise.
So I suppose that Christocentric Universalism need not assume that everyone but professing Christians will be in Hell. Those that do manage to end up there, however, will not find it to be an eternal place, and will, if nothing else, be eventually worn down by Jesus' persistence.
This type of universalism is rather arrogant, because it assumes the truthfulness of (most of) Christianity's claims. However, it does avoid the question that a more total universalism always begs, which is "why bother with any belief at all?"
Some form of universalism is immensely attractive to me. I don't know if that's because, having experienced real grace, I naturally extend it in its fullest expression to all others, or if it takes away my obligation as a Christian to evangelize.
Or most troubling of all, if its because universalism lets me put some intellectual discomfort to rest and to associate myself with people whose politics are most closely aligned with my own.
Honestly, I'm not happy with any of my options.