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GothicScrybe

Really Weird Question - But Now I'M Curious...

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I hope I have this in the right thread...

Just because I like to have all angles covered (read: deal with people who like to poke fun of ULC ordained members) I'm curious about this now too.

I know that ordination is for life. Says so in all the information I've read and even on the back of my clergy card that I carry in my purse.

But someone who thinks it's funny to poke fun at my ordination (and refuses to believe it's real) asked me some (in my opinion) insulting questions and I answered as best I could but now I'm curious as to how others have handled boors such as this person.

The first question was about ordination and if it really was for life.

I explained that it is, as is stated very clearly in everything I've read.

The next question was..."Yeah, but are you certain it can't be taken away from you?"

I once again explained that ordination is for life and that I had seen nothing anywhere, not even on the forum information listings, that stated otherwise.

Their answer was, "Yeah, okay, so they have a forum too? What if you make someone mad on the forum?"

My answer was, "You'd probably get banned, just like any other forum if you're obnoxious and a hindrance to thought-provoking discussion, rather than a useful contributor."

To that, their retort was, "Yeah, but if you get banned on the forum, apparently you've made someone really mad. So can they convince the powers that be to take away your ordination?"

I answered that being thin-skinned and "pitching a temper tantrum" was something that mainstream churches do in pulling power trips and that the ULC is far above that kind of juvenile childishness.

I once again reiterated that nothing on the site lists anything that can have your ordination taken away.

I think I held my own (being so new to everything - yes I was ordained in 2009 but have done nothing with it until now so I'm still learning the ropes so-to-speak) but has anyone else encountered such questions and if so, how did you handle them or boorish people similar to the one I had the misfortune of encountering?

I like to draw from real-life experiences (especially if they help quiet naysayers) so I'll be interested in hearing what others have to say.

Edited by GothicScrybe

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since they choose to act like total donkeys(and not in a good way),i don't bother with such trivial minds.

the only way your ordination would be pulled(i think revoked is the word your looking for)would be if there was some fraud in obtaining it(you used someone else's identity)or you decided to tell hq you wanted to resign your ordination.other than that,unless your one of those idiots who tried to have their dog ordained,or someone no longer alive(save that for inflating the voting register),yours nor anyone else's will be pulled.

as far as the forum,it will be 7 years in august that i have been here.i am sure i have ticked off more than one person,including those who have the power to ban me,and as of now,i haven't been.i doubt you would.

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Mark.

you're banned. :ban:

FYI.

:P

No, removal from the forum does NOTHING to affect your ordination with the ULC. That's just simply a removal of your posting priviledges on the forum. Even if I HAD the pull with Andre to revoke your ordination, which I DON'T, I wouldn't. :)

and truth to tell, you were gettin picked on, because what person in their right mind would even be so concerned about the forum?!

We all deal with the "oh, so you're not a REAL minister..." comments. And that's cool. Whatever, right? We're entitled to our beliefs, or lack thereof, just as they are.

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As mentioned above, the basic list of reasons to lose an ordination with the ULC come down to three:

1. The ordination was fraudulent, rendering it null and void (Father Fido, and the Dead Reverend amongst other examples)

2. Laws were broken requiring the ULC to nullify the ordination

3. At the request of the ordained (one renounces one's ordination).

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Mark.

you're banned. :ban:

FYI.

:P

No, removal from the forum does NOTHING to affect your ordination with the ULC. That's just simply a removal of your posting priviledges on the forum. Even if I HAD the pull with Andre to revoke your ordination, which I DON'T, I wouldn't. :)

and truth to tell, you were gettin picked on, because what person in their right mind would even be so concerned about the forum?!

We all deal with the "oh, so you're not a REAL minister..." comments. And that's cool. Whatever, right? We're entitled to our beliefs, or lack thereof, just as they are.

deleted by me

Edited by mark 45

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Hi

I just had to reply to this.My daughter married a man who went to college and jumped tho hoops before he could get ordained. She also questioned my ordination and calling it fake. When I could take it no longer,I pointed out to her that yes her husband went to college but he could barely read when he got out.I told her I got my ordination free her husband just payed for his. I went on to tell her it doesn't matter what she thinks as long as it is recognized by the state and it is. My credentials are as valid as his.She has never brought it up again.The bottom line is if the state recognizes it it doesn't matter what others think.If you have no trouble officiating at marriages then the state recognizes your credentials.

Good Luck

jba

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The bottom line is if the state recognizes it it doesn't matter what others think.
If it is only a legal thing, legal recognition is all that matters. If it is purely a religious thing, it's validity can only be measured in terms that would vary by religion. If it is simply a social thing, it's all about what your community thinks. I think it's sort of a mixture of all three. We are all free to make our own judgments about what qualifies as a "real minister", and that means that if someone says I'm not one, they might not really be wrong, but simply using one of the many narrow definitions for which I don't qualify. And that's cool.

The reason I accepted ordination is because I believe that religious equality is a worthy goal. The ULC ordains anyone and everyone, so being a ULC minister is not about giving myself special religious authority, but about saying that everyone deserves to have religious authority. That's an extremely broad definition, and I completely understand if someone doesn't want to embrace it...

Edited by mererdog

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If it is only a legal thing, legal recognition is all that matters. If it is purely a religious thing, it's validity can only be measured in terms that would vary by religion. If it is simply a social thing, it's all about what your community thinks. I think it's sort of a mixture of all three. We are all free to make our own judgments about what qualifies as a "real minister", and that means that if someone says I'm not one, they might not really be wrong, but simply using one of the many narrow definitions for which I don't qualify. And that's cool.

The reason I accepted ordination is because I believe that religious equality is a worthy goal. The ULC ordains anyone and everyone, so being a ULC minister is not about giving myself special religious authority, but about saying that everyone deserves to have religious authority. That's an extremely broad definition, and I completely understand if someone doesn't want to embrace it...

I was reading about this everyone-deserves-to-have-religious-authority idea recently. Someone named Luther (could not tell from the context if it was Martin Luther or another Luther) had written about radical laicization (sure I am misspelling it). What he was talking about was making all the lay folks into priests. The website author who was writing about this went on and on about how it was a bad idea as it made priesthood meaningless by taking away the specialness of it. He had a point - being a priest or a minister should mean something; otherwise, why even call yourself one?

My view (at this point - this may change) is that everyone has the right to be a priest, minister, rabbi, iman, whatever for themselves. When they start to deal with the Grand Architect or the Great Spirit or God or Goddess on behalf of others, they need to have made some sort of commitment to having at least figured out some of their own spiritual path so they can walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

In other words, you have the right, but most folks will never exercise that right and those who do need to realize what is expected of them when they call themselves a Minister. It is supposed to mean something and you will not be the only person most folks meet who go by that title, so they will see how you measure up compared to other ministers they know.

Sure, anyone should be able to officiate at ceremonies -- but the ceremonies go much better (smoother, more enjoyable, closer to the mark of whoever designed them) if the officiant has taken the time to get themselves ready first.

All that Tennessee requires (check your own state) is a wedding license issued by the County Clerk, a willing couple of one man and one woman, someone authorized to solemnize the marriage and a very brief ceremony - "do you take? I do , do you ? I do. You're hitched !" Beyond that, it is up to the couple and the minister (or office holder or former office holder) to decide what gets done. Let's face it, marriage (and, to some degree the other ceremonies over which ministers officiate) is a vestige of a much older form of ceremonial magic, in which by pronouncing it so, you make it so. If you are helping to create a new family, this is serious stuff and that is why they call it solemnizing the marriage. Sure, have fun with it (as much fun as the couple can stand), just realize that you are there as a professional (even if you are not getting paid) and so you should know what you are doing & do it well.

And, in answer to your question, as you put yourself out there and tell the world that you are a Minister, you can expect to run into people who do not believe you because you do not fit their image of what a Minister should look like, how they should behave, or what their background or current occupation should be. If they are Christian and you are comfortable being one yourself (or acting like one), quote them John 15:16 from the King James version of the Bible "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it [to] you. " (emphasis added)

This passage was Jesus speaking with his disciples. Any Christian can claim this ordination, especially if they are Protestant, as a big part of the Protestant Reformation was the belief that all believers are inherently priests & able to speak directly with God without needing a Pope-approved intermediary.

So much of what is wrong with the world today could be fixed (or at least made much less awful) if all those Christians who claim to be following Jesus actually did follow him instead of Paul. Give to the poor; don't clamor after wealth; focus on doing good deeds and showing love for your fellow human, for that is how His true followers will be known. The wealth tied up in buildings that are used 1 or 2 days a week by churches is unbelievable. If all those "building-Christians" opened their facilities up, how many homeless would there be left? How many kids could they feed if they converted their kitchens into soup kitchens and missions into ministries to those in need? How many schools or abused people shelters could they house? A true ministry is taking care of those who need care -- do that and few people will have any basis for questioning your use of the term.

My own plans for how I am going to put my ordination to use are still in the early stages. Right now, I am leaning toward some sort of a Chaplaincy, but I do not know whether that would be in a hospital, nursing home, large company or a prison or jail. While I have started various types of groups before, starting a new church does not appeal to me -- I like my current church home, which is UU. I do know that I am taking this ordination quite seriously and the thought of where it leads continues to ping around in my head, distracting me for other work, as it has done since April 30, when I received the email from Rev. Kevin welcoming me to the ministry.

All IMHO, of course.

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Thanks everyone!

These answers are fabulous and yes Murph...I was being picked on - which just shows what I was dealing with mentality-wise, from this jerk.

What upset the nasty cretin worse than anything was the fact that rather than get angry and grasp at straws like he did in confronting me, I coolly answered his questions with irrefutable facts...ordination is for life (I'd NEVER ask mine to be revoked and didn't get it fraudulently) so l-i-f-e and if people can't deal, that's their problem.

Pope...thank you for the quote! I appreciate it and will remember it because you are absolutely right.

Everyone else that I didn't mention by name, I appreciate your input as well and thank you all for your thoughts on how (or not ;)) to deal with cretins who have inferiority complexes.

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The website author who was writing about this went on and on about how it was a bad idea as it made priesthood meaningless by taking away the specialness of it
Which is, of course, the whole point. If a man were not seen as being something other than a man, simply because he is a priest, it would be harder for priests to get away with molesting children. If the advice of a priest were not seen as something other than the advice of a man, it would be harder to start a religious war or an inquisition. Hierarchical systems lead almost inevitably to abuses of power, and egalitarianism is the only proof against that.
My view (at this point - this may change) is that everyone has the right to be a priest, minister, rabbi, iman, whatever for themselves. When they start to deal with the Grand Architect or the Great Spirit or God or Goddess on behalf of others, they need to have made some sort of commitment to having at least figured out some of their own spiritual path so they can walk the walk, not just talk the talk.
That presupposes that there is a specific walk to be walked, doesn't it?
It is supposed to mean something and you will not be the only person most folks meet who go by that title, so they will see how you measure up compared to other ministers they know.
And, more importantly, perhaps, they will see how other ministers measure up compared to me.
Sure, anyone should be able to officiate at ceremonies -- but the ceremonies go much better (smoother, more enjoyable, closer to the mark of whoever designed them) if the officiant has taken the time to get themselves ready first.
The needs of a ceremony are dependent on the needs of the individuals involved. That often has less to do with what the minister can do than with who the minister is.
Let's face it, marriage (and, to some degree the other ceremonies over which ministers officiate) is a vestige of a much older form of ceremonial magic, in which by pronouncing it so, you make it so.
It's ancient contract law, whereby individuals declare their intentions before witnesses and enter into a binding agreement, with a community leader voicing the community's approval of the arrangement.
If you are helping to create a new family, this is serious stuff and that is why they call it solemnizing the marriage.
Weddings don't create families. They create legal and social obligations. It is the feelings people have for each other that create the family. You can have the marriage without the family, and you can have the family without the marriage. Edited by mererdog

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I remember reading somewhere is my stacks of ULC materials, that the HQ has revoked ordinations before for the reasons previously mentioned as well as if you used your ordination to commit a crime. It's important to note, that most (but not all) "mainstream" chirstian faiths ordain for life.

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Which is, of course, the whole point. If a man were not seen as being something other than a man, simply because he is a priest, it would be harder for priests to get away with molesting children. If the advice of a priest were not seen as something other than the advice of a man, it would be harder to start a religious war or an inquisition. Hierarchical systems lead almost inevitably to abuses of power, and egalitarianism is the only proof against that.

That presupposes that there is a specific walk to be walked, doesn't it?

And, more importantly, perhaps, they will see how other ministers measure up compared to me.

The needs of a ceremony are dependent on the needs of the individuals involved. That often has less to do with what the minister can do than with who the minister is.

It's ancient contract law, whereby individuals declare their intentions before witnesses and enter into a binding agreement, with a community leader voicing the community's approval of the arrangement.

Weddings don't create families. They create legal and social obligations. It is the feelings people have for each other that create the family. You can have the marriage without the family, and you can have the family without the marriage.

You are entitled to your opinions and so, I will yield this topic to you. (Not to say I agree with everything you say, only that I am choosing to withdraw from arguing or discussing it with you. You win. Yay, you ! :beach: )

Edited by pope_cahbet

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I hope I have this in the right thread...

Just because I like to have all angles covered (read: deal with people who like to poke fun of ULC ordained members) I'm curious about this now too.

I know that ordination is for life. Says so in all the information I've read and even on the back of my clergy card that I carry in my purse.

But someone who thinks it's funny to poke fun at my ordination (and refuses to believe it's real) asked me some (in my opinion) insulting questions and I answered as best I could but now I'm curious as to how others have handled boors such as this person.

The first question was about ordination and if it really was for life.

I explained that it is, as is stated very clearly in everything I've read.

The next question was..."Yeah, but are you certain it can't be taken away from you?"

I once again explained that ordination is for life and that I had seen nothing anywhere, not even on the forum information listings, that stated otherwise.

Their answer was, "Yeah, okay, so they have a forum too? What if you make someone mad on the forum?"

My answer was, "You'd probably get banned, just like any other forum if you're obnoxious and a hindrance to thought-provoking discussion, rather than a useful contributor."

To that, their retort was, "Yeah, but if you get banned on the forum, apparently you've made someone really mad. So can they convince the powers that be to take away your ordination?"

I answered that being thin-skinned and "pitching a temper tantrum" was something that mainstream churches do in pulling power trips and that the ULC is far above that kind of juvenile childishness.

I once again reiterated that nothing on the site lists anything that can have your ordination taken away.

I think I held my own (being so new to everything - yes I was ordained in 2009 but have done nothing with it until now so I'm still learning the ropes so-to-speak) but has anyone else encountered such questions and if so, how did you handle them or boorish people similar to the one I had the misfortune of encountering?

I like to draw from real-life experiences (especially if they help quiet naysayers) so I'll be interested in hearing what others have to say.

Hi Goth,

My dear next door neighbor is a retired Presbyterian minister. He holds several degrees including a divinity degree from Princeton. He is very kind and polite, and my good friend, but his eyes kind of cross every time I tell him I am going to perform a marriage.

I have gotten so many questions about whether or not I am a "real" minister, I created and filed an ecclesiastical corporation here in Michigan (with 2 other people, my wife and a friend; in Michigan it takes 3 people to start an ecclesiatical corporation. It only takes 1 person to start a business entity here.) We signed a 1 page document naming me a minister of the corporation.

So now I have a verifiable paper trail, proving my credentials, if I ever need it, in addition to what I originally received from the ULC. That reassures anyone who might hesitate to ask me to marry them because they are unsure of the law.

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Hi Goth,

My dear next door neighbor is a retired Presbyterian minister. He holds several degrees including a divinity degree from Princeton. He is very kind and polite, and my good friend, but his eyes kind of cross every time I tell him I am going to perform a marriage.

I have gotten so many questions about whether or not I am a "real" minister, I created and filed an ecclesiastical corporation here in Michigan (with 2 other people, my wife and a friend; in Michigan it takes 3 people to start an ecclesiatical corporation. It only takes 1 person to start a business entity here.) We signed a 1 page document naming me a minister of the corporation.

So now I have a verifiable paper trail, proving my credentials, if I ever need it, in addition to what I originally received from the ULC. That reassures anyone who might hesitate to ask me to marry them because they are unsure of the law.

That's brilliant, Carl! Congrats and good luck!

Dear Goth, to answer your question head-on,

your ordination is forever.

BTW, NICE CAT! :thumbu:

Thanks Hex! ;)

I remember reading somewhere is my stacks of ULC materials, that the HQ has revoked ordinations before for the reasons previously mentioned as well as if you used your ordination to commit a crime. It's important to note, that most (but not all) "mainstream" chirstian faiths ordain for life.

Which makes sense, Dorian, but people can be so petty, I just like to be armed with as much irrefutable info as possible to quiet the naysayers.

Being well-informed is one of the most powerful tools you can have. ;)

I grew up in "mainstream" church...a hellfire, brimstone and damnation Southern Baptist church (which is why I'm not one now) and it was ridiculous the pettiness that went on between the higher-ups in the church "tier."

So though their ordination may be for life as well, you'd think not, the way egos swelled and fur flew at their meetings.

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So far, I have only gotten a negative response to my ordination once. I was at a sale picking up some supplies, and I got talking to one of the people running the sale. I mentioned doing a wedding, and he, being a retired minister himself, asked what church I belonged to. I responded that I was not employed by a local church, and that my ordination was from one that would probably be best described as a universalist church (which was the safest answer, as I live in the bible belt and most people aren't too comfortable with my kind) and he went "Oh, I figured it was one of those..." Of course, around here, I feel that the source of ordination isn't as shocking as the fact that females can get one. I have gotten looks and heard comments at weddings in the past, by older relatives who were shocked to see a female officiant.

While I have not yet encountered much discrimination due to the source of my ordination, I am working on taking the steps to circumvent too much of it. A few associates and I are working on fund raising and saving, in hopes to acquire a permanent space to set up a church, other than a private home. Who knows, maybe that will make me seem more credible.

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So far, I have only gotten a negative response to my ordination once. I was at a sale picking up some supplies, and I got talking to one of the people running the sale. I mentioned doing a wedding, and he, being a retired minister himself, asked what church I belonged to. I responded that I was not employed by a local church, and that my ordination was from one that would probably be best described as a universalist church (which was the safest answer, as I live in the bible belt and most people aren't too comfortable with my kind) and he went "Oh, I figured it was one of those..." Of course, around here, I feel that the source of ordination isn't as shocking as the fact that females can get one. I have gotten looks and heard comments at weddings in the past, by older relatives who were shocked to see a female officiant.

While I have not yet encountered much discrimination due to the source of my ordination, I am working on taking the steps to circumvent too much of it. A few associates and I are working on fund raising and saving, in hopes to acquire a permanent space to set up a church, other than a private home. Who knows, maybe that will make me seem more credible.

Aina...there is nothing wrong with that.

I have my own ministry (and that includes doing weddings) that gives faith counseling and religious crisis counseling, but as for having a place to do it out of?

No...I just do it online, so those who wish to be cretins will say it's not an "official" ministry.

Oh but if we took the charlatan route, that would give them even more ammo.

I have come to the conclusion that people will believe what they will and they can deal or not.

I'm not concerned either way.

My ordination is real, luckily for me, Florida has some of the most lax marriage laws in America and I am happy and proud to be ordained by the U.L.C.

Whether or not people choose to believe is up to them, but they have no power over me, nor can they do anything to stop me helping others.

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FWIW:

If you intend to use your ULC ordination to "do active ministry",

I would suggest that you "wear a collar" with some regularity.

It is a small (and perhaps silly) thing, but most people are

affected by such "outward signs" of clerical calling.

imho, anyway.

Hex

of

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Aina...there is nothing wrong with that.

I have my own ministry (and that includes doing weddings) that gives faith counseling and religious crisis counseling, but as for having a place to do it out of?

No...I just do it online, so those who wish to be cretins will say it's not an "official" ministry.

Oh but if we took the charlatan route, that would give them even more ammo.

I have come to the conclusion that people will believe what they will and they can deal or not.

I'm not concerned either way.

My ordination is real, luckily for me, Florida has some of the most lax marriage laws in America and I am happy and proud to be ordained by the U.L.C.

Whether or not people choose to believe is up to them, but they have no power over me, nor can they do anything to stop me helping others.

I feel lucky that Texas also has very lax marriage laws. And we are not simply looking to establish a permanent home just to avoid criticism. This is a project we are enthusiastic about because it will be a nice place to hold seasonal festivals and weddings and other events, things that right now we are lacking the proper space for. I will still readily minister to anyone online who wishes it, but am excited about the idea of being able to share so much with the community in this way. Honestly, being in South Texas and not being a christian establishment will garner us a ton of criticism regardless, but this will not stop us from wanting a home to call our own.

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