Friday, October 22, 2010

Thou Shalt Call Me Minister

After my niece's wedding, I was inspired. The officiant of her wedding, which I missed unfortunately because my car's alternator blew near Galesburg on our way to Waterloo, was able to marry them without going to a seminary. He got his license to be an officiant at the wedding from some online "seminary."

I checked this out, folks, because I too would like to have the ability to marry people, etc.

As of yesterday, I am now an officially ordained Minister under the auspices of Universal Life Church, a church that only has two tenets, principles that I can wholeheartedly get behind: "To promote the freedom of religion" and "To do that which is right."

While I'm not interested in creating a church of my own, which is my right, and I'm not interested, as my certificate relates, to "[a]bsolve others of their sins," and I'm not interested in providing a baptism, performing a marriage would be a suitable task. Also, officiating a funeral, ceremonial rites (renewing vows, etc.), or last rites are options, but I'm not intrigued in those unless someone would really want me to do them for them.

I know what some of you are thinking, that I'm making fun of religion by doing this.

I'm not.

In fact, as much as I've given religious folks good-natured trouble over the years by questioning some of their beliefs, I do believe in the freedom of religion and the freedom to not have to have a religion or belong to a certain denomination or religious worldview. Heck, I'm a guy who subscribes to Shambhala Sun, a Buddhist monthly publication; I have studied religions that are dead, old, and alive; and I've always been interested in different religious/mythological worldviews and perspectives since I was a kid.

One of my favorite courses as an undergrad was Mythology where we studied, in essence, religions of the past and present, and the research and reading I've done in mythological/religious studies broadened my perspective substantially to the extent that I would consider myself leaning toward not being fully agnostic but spiritually inclined because at one time in my life I thought about becoming a minister (for real). I guess if I had to define myself, I'm a spiritual, partial agnostic.

And I'm much more open to others' religious beliefs than most Christians or atheists I've met. So there. I also feel that people should have the right to perform ceremonies as the ones above if the parties involved are okay with it.

So here I am, ordained if you need me.


Sandy Longhorn said...

Awesome, Q.! I've got a good friend down here who has done the same thing. May you bless many a happy union.

Fozzie said...

I have a co-worker who is an UFL minister. He married a gay couple, collected a $400 honorarium, and then drank himself silly at the strip club.

Quintilian B. Nasty said...

Thanks for the kind words, Sandy. And thanks for the story, Foz.