Country Joe, a UU?

A ten-year-old thread on the Mudcat folk music Web site* claims that both Country Joe MacDonald and Melanie belonged to Liberal Religious Youth, the old Unitarian Universalist youth organization.

Can any of you out there confirm that this is true? I’m sure neither one is still a Unitarian Universalist, but it would still be fun if they were in LRY.


* This was a thread on folk musicians with a Unitarian Universalist connection who used their music to promote social justice. The obvious names came up: Pete Seeger, Malvina Reynolds, Utah Phillips, Ric Masten, Fred Small, along with other less well-known folkies. They missed Daryl Anger, but he only started attending a UU church in 2004.

7 thoughts on “Country Joe, a UU?

  1. Cilla

    Country Joe is a long-time member of our Berkeley Fellowship, and performs their on a regular basis. He is also the host of their on-going music night, “Country Joe’s Open Mic.”

  2. Dan

    Cilla, thanks for that info! We’ll have to add him to the list of famous Unitarian Universalists we teach our children about.

  3. Paul Hudson

    Tony Trishka and family are long time members of the UU Society of Ridgewood, NJ. Tony’s played many a lick at the Society.

  4. P

    what makes you, or doesn’t make you, a UU after your youth? do you have to attend traditional sunday morning services, or be a member of a congregation? i know many youth and former youth who live our their UU faith beyond a congregation, and beyond Sunday morning. we are limited if we define “still being a UU” by these more official, traditional modes of involvement. one former youth leader i heard speak believes that she and her fellow UU youth peers were raised to live out their faith wherever they were – they couldn’t *not* do so!

  5. Dan

    P @ 6 — You write: “what makes you, or doesn’t make you, a UU after your youth?”

    My criteria: (1) You publicly acknowledge that you are a Unitarian Universalist. (2) You contribute to the institutional health of Unitarian Universalism so that we can raise up the next generation of Unitarian Universalists.*

    Country Joe meets both these criteria. I’m told he calls himself a Unitarian Universalist. And by participating in the life of the Berkeley Fellowship, he is making sure that there’s a place for the rising generation to learn what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist.

    However, I knew some kids who went through my UU youth group who did not consider themselves UUs — they just knew our youth group was a safe place to be. For all I knew, Country Joe was that kind of person — I’m not going to declare that someone is a UU when they don’t declare it themselves.

    *The Unitarian Universalist Historical Society has a different set of criteria here.

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