We’re in for the night and haven’t bothered turning on the television because, well, there’s usually no point. Instead, I’ve been wandering the internet in search of answers to questions I’ve never quite posed, but which have always waited patiently to be asked. One of those questions—one I never knew was there until this evening—is this: if I found myself alone in a place I knew no one, who would I turn to for help if I needed it? One answer, I was surprised to finally respond, would be this: I’d probably try to find out whether the community had a Unitarian Universalist church and, if so, I’d seek out a leader or member. As one who’s always—and I mean always—eschewed church in all its loathsome forms, the very idea that I’d turn to a representative of a church stunned me. What in the name of all that’s holy or not would cause me to seek out a “church-person?” Well, I’ve decided people who attend UU churches are more likely than the average person on the street to be willing to help a stranger in need. At least I think so. I hope so. Maybe I think a UU member/friend would respond more favorably to someone else who claims UU affiliation. Regardless, I think people who attend UU churches would make good first contacts when seeking help. This attitude is quite a stretch; my only exposure to UU people is recent and has been limited to people from one church. But the concepts I hear espoused from the UU on a broader plane suggest to me that giving aid is a core principle that guides people to attend. They do not have to believe in a god, a dogma, a prescribed theology; they just have to believe in the dignity of other people. That, to me, translates into the kind of people I think I might be able to depend on in a pinch.
As I wandered the interwebs tonight, I discovered decent-sized UU congregations in Manhattan, Kansas and even in other small Kansas towns: Salina and Abilene. Then I looked to see whether Arkansas and Louisiana and Texas have appreciable numbers; there are not huge numbers, but enough to make me believe liberalism is alive and may, with some assistance, continue to breathe in even the reddest of red states.
I wonder whether a UU church would allow my wife and me to show up, unannounced, on Sunday, dressed way, way down? I doubt we’ll find out, but we may.