Joe was talking with a bunch of folks at the local coffee shop sitting outside at the sidewalk tables when the topic turned to religion.
Barry asked, “So Joe where are you going to church now days? I’ve heard you move around a lot.”
Joe said, “I’ve been going to the Unitarian Universalist church,” quietly waiting for Barry’s snide remarks which he usually made to get a laugh from whatever audience was present.
“Ah,” said Barry, “the UU yahoos,” laughing which made everyone snicker.
Joe laughed too. “That’s a good one. I hadn’t heard that before. It even rhymes. UU yahoo. That’s good.”
“Yeah,” said Ken. “They’re the guys who don’t believe in anything, right?”
“We have our seven principles,” said Joe. “It’s not a creed. They’re more like values we agree to.”
“Like what?” said Cindy.
“Well, like we accept one another and try to help each other out, “ said Joe.
“Like Kiwanis,” said Barry making a statement and not a question.
“UU is just a civic club?” asked Cindy like she was incredulous.
“No,” said Joe starting to get mad. “It’s a religion. They believe in some stuff. It’s spiritual not just a civic club.”
“That’s bullshit,” said Barry. “Do they believe in Jesus? No! Do they accept Him as Lord and Savior? No again! Don’t give me ‘it’s a religion crap.’ They let atheists in, Jews, humanists. If people who don’t believe in God are part of your religion how can you call it a religion? Huh? Answer that smart ass, and I know it’s true because my cousin left our church and became a UU yahoo and he told everybody he lost his belief that Jesus was God and was an agnostic. So what the hell do you call that?”
Joe had had enough. He was tired of Barry and his entourage making fun of him and his new found religion. Further, to be honest, Joe didn’t really know the answer to Barry’s question anyway. Was UU really a religion? He thought so, but he couldn’t really explain it to himself, let alone to anyone else.
Joe said, “To each his own, ya know? I don’t have to explain myself to you or to anyone else. Maybe I’ll wind up rotting in hell or, I guess, it will be burning in hell according to people like you. I’ve got to go, though. There’s a meeting this afternoon over at the church and us ‘UU yahoos’ as you call us are trying to figure out what we can do to help the environment, you know, about climate change and fracking and stuff. Maybe we just care about Mother Nature, you know. Maybe she is one of the gods that we UU yahoos care about. Whatever we decide to do we will all be better off because of it even you, Barry, and Ken and Cindy, all of us. See ya!
And Joe got up, turned, and walked away rather quickly before there could be any further rejoinders, but he heard Barry say, “Go hug a tree, Joe!” and the rest of them laughing.