Recommended Posts

Should it be an absolute right if it puts another person in jeopardy?  Take the hypothetical of a little girl raised by church parents that believe if God wants her to live he will heal her.  And she dies.  Should the parents be held accountable for negligence, or does the first amendment trump that?

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, ULCneo said:

So then your submitting that the first amendment should be an "absolute right"? (Which departs from the last 200 years of judicial opinion and indeed departs from the intended meaning of the framers of the constitution.)

No.  Very little in life is absolute.  Before we impose restrictions on religious rights, we must be very careful.  We can drive religious groups underground, where it is difficult to know what they are doing.  Then what?  

Share this post


Link to post
On 4/24/2017 at 2:44 AM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

In the early days of the ULC, the American government declared that the ULC was a bogus church.  Kirby James Hensley fought back and prevailed.  The Federal Judge declared that the American government does not get to say which churches are real.

Here in NC it is still specifically called out since... I think the 80s? Chapter 51, Article 1.1 specifically names ULC. I'd like to see it cleared up but this state seems particularly anal about controlling every aspect of life from religious to medical to education to land ownership. It's been ridiculous for years now.

Share this post


Link to post
On 24/4/2017 at 5:09 AM, mererdog said:

That is the primary belief of the ULC. If you do not agree, why are you here?

No, its not. If the First Amendment were absolute, that would mean that 1) Child pornography law would cease to exist (movies and pictures are the "press")  2) It would mean that Libel and Slander would be lawful (its speech) and 3) it would be legal to scream "fire" in a crowded movie theater. We quickly see that the first amendment must be carefully regulated to avoid harm to society, as a whole. I'm pretty sure that everyone here would agree with that point.

On 27/4/2017 at 8:38 AM, AmberLF said:

Here in NC it is still specifically called out since... I think the 80s? Chapter 51, Article 1.1 specifically names ULC. I'd like to see it cleared up but this state seems particularly anal about controlling every aspect of life from religious to medical to education to land ownership. It's been ridiculous for years now.

The government's position in regulating such is to prevent the clerical title from being watered down to the point of little significant legal import. The error in thinking is the separation clause prohibits such a position in the first place. (the government shouldn't have it's hands in religion) However, religion also shouldn't have it's hands in government. So it really becomes how it is the church's responsibility to preside over the instatement of this legal contract we call "marriage". In this day and age marriage seems to be more of political/civil import than a religious one. (as how many marriages don't take their religious vows seriously?- since in most religions divorce is taboo and to be avoided at best, if it's not considered outright sinful.)

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, ULCneo said:

The government's position in regulating such is to prevent the clerical title from being watered down to the point of little significant legal import. The error in thinking is the separation clause prohibits such a position in the first place. (the government shouldn't have it's hands in religion) However, religion also shouldn't have it's hands in government. So it really becomes how it is the church's responsibility to preside over the instatement of this legal contract we call "marriage". In this day and age marriage seems to be more of political/civil import than a religious one. (as how many marriages don't take their religious vows seriously?- since in most religions divorce is taboo and to be avoided at best, if it's not considered outright sinful.)

Unfortunately half the marriage is a legal documentation. Clearly you can have a ceremony and be seen as married by the church and whichever god you follow, but the reason many places has a marriage licensing system is for that legal side. It gives a legal bearing on how to handle belongings should one or the other pass unexpectedly. It gives the rights for sharing insurance through work or in any government related programs. If a government doesn't recognize an ordination as valid they can invalidate and dissolve the legal side of marriages performed by anyone ordinated under whatever organization they deem not legitimate under that laws of that state. This is why I'd like to see it cleared up. Was there some guff between ULC and someone in office back in the 80s who decided to push through such a thing? Is there a case working on this? I got ordained in Nov of 2015 and only recently looked up the law directly through an NC government pages. There is a clause there that validates only marriage pre July 1981 unless otherwise stated. This might just be sloppy writing but the whole statement makes it sound like ordinations can be refused by the state. I posted the specific sub-article below: 

§ 51-1.1. Certain marriages performed by ministers of Universal Life Church validated. Any marriages performed by ministers of the Universal Life Church prior to July 3, 1981, are validated, unless they have been invalidated by a court of competent jurisdiction, provided that all other requirements of law have been met and the marriages would have been valid if performed by an official authorized by law to perform wedding ceremonies. (1981, c. 797.)

Share this post


Link to post

There was a divorce case in NC years ago setting a very important precedent. Basically, the court's opinion was that if a couple genuinely believed the officiant was legally qualified at the time of the wedding, the marriage is valid even if the officiant was not legally qualified. I don't have time to Google the specifics right now.

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/9/2017 at 2:55 PM, AmberLF said:

Unfortunately half the marriage is a legal documentation. Clearly you can have a ceremony and be seen as married by the church and whichever god you follow, but the reason many places has a marriage licensing system is for that legal side. It gives a legal bearing on how to handle belongings should one or the other pass unexpectedly. It gives the rights for sharing insurance through work or in any government related programs. If a government doesn't recognize an ordination as valid they can invalidate and dissolve the legal side of marriages performed by anyone ordinated under whatever organization they deem not legitimate under that laws of that state. This is why I'd like to see it cleared up. Was there some guff between ULC and someone in office back in the 80s who decided to push through such a thing? Is there a case working on this? I got ordained in Nov of 2015 and only recently looked up the law directly through an NC government pages. There is a clause there that validates only marriage pre July 1981 unless otherwise stated. This might just be sloppy writing but the whole statement makes it sound like ordinations can be refused by the state. I posted the specific sub-article below: 

§ 51-1.1. Certain marriages performed by ministers of Universal Life Church validated. Any marriages performed by ministers of the Universal Life Church prior to July 3, 1981, are validated, unless they have been invalidated by a court of competent jurisdiction, provided that all other requirements of law have been met and the marriages would have been valid if performed by an official authorized by law to perform wedding ceremonies. (1981, c. 797.)

But yet the supreme court dictated in ULC V. United States that the state may not inquire as to the doctrines or specific practices of a religion, provided a "sincere belief" where sincere belief is based upon the authority of a religious text in a reasonable interpretation (which the ULC clearly has.) combined with a substantial number of adherents. (which the ulc also has.) So the question is how is it that such laws involving this matter as to "whom is a church" aren't already stricken from the record to the extent that they require anything more than the "sincere belief" doctrine articulated by the courts? It seems to me that the court has already spoken on such issues, where the federal circuit courts would be forced to reverse the states on a given case on the merits. The current law is that the "state does not define what the church is" (the constitution does that) and the case law is clear that the state "is not to govern ordination in any way."  Essentially, I'm not seeing the state arguing anything in support of regulation that hasn't already been struck, unless there's a theory they're presenting I'm unaware of. The 1981 statute is clearly unconstitutional by reason of fourteenth amendment equal-protection clause. The ULC is clearly religion. How can the government say "ministers of religion A can do this, but ministers of religion B can't" ? Such violates the equal-protection clause in a patent and obvious way, unless there is some other substantial argument.

Edited by ULCneo

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/9/2017 at 0:35 PM, mererdog said:

There was a divorce case in NC years ago setting a very important precedent. Basically, the court's opinion was that if a couple genuinely believed the officiant was legally qualified at the time of the wedding, the marriage is valid even if the officiant was not legally qualified. I don't have time to Google the specifics right now.

Could it have been a common law instance? Some states had them, might still have them on the books.  The only reason I thought of it is that my mother lived with the man she's married to now for 11-12 years, basically acted married. Roughly 8 years in I was out with her and we happened upon some of her co-workers who asked her if she'd married him yet. She said they fell under common law marriage a year or so earlier, so they may as well make it official. Then she quipped she was working on him. They have been married since the 90s. I'd already moved to NC and couldn't afford the flight to attend.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, AmberLF said:

Could it have been a common law iinstance? 

Essentially, NC is loathe to void marriages. If the couple entered into the arrangement with the good faith intention of creating a legal marriage, the courts will overlook pretty much any problems with the paperwork. This is to protect people from incurring major damages caused by trusting the wrong advice. I have had trouble pulling up the case I was thinking of, but found a few others all repeating the same general theme. If you are willing and able to dig, Google searches along the lines of "NC divorce case unqualified officiant" will produce a lot of junk, but also some gold...

The sad fact is that NC's marriage laws are poorly laid out, and the courts have not given completely consistent rulings. So there is obvious risk involved. When I lived in NC, my position was simple. I know my rights, even if the state doesn't. I will do what is right, despite the risk. Everyone makes their own risk/reward determinations, of course.

Edited by mererdog

Share this post


Link to post
On 10/12/2016 at 7:06 AM, VonNoble said:

There is some risk announcing to the world "you are clergy" - no matter what the title of  your choice.

People will, often, comment upon that decision (some favorably, some incredulously, and a few 

perhaps negatively.)

 

What makes it worth the risk?  Ego. Belief in a message.  Hoping to make a difference.   Shock

value.  Some on this Forum over the years liken their decision to painting a target on themselves.

Others never reveal they have been ordained.  Others go out in the world and proclaim it loudly.

 

What's your story.    Why did you take step to be ordained?  (motivation)

And the action you invested following step one?  And the reaction to that action?

 

And what's happening currently or planned for the future?

 

von

I've never found it to be the case that people react negatively. Most often it is with curiosity. Usually the first question I get is "Of what denomination?"

I usually reply, "whichever one you want." Which allows me a chance to tell them about the amazing doctrinal diversity and freedom of conscience in the ULC.

I can certainly appreciate that some areas are not nearly so friendly to religion of any kind as it is here in south Georgia.

I guess knowing your audience is important.

Edited by Ex Nihilo

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you to those who answered me about the NC laws on ordination.  I didn't realize there was that much muck here to wade through. I haven't advertised yet but intend to. I need to dig through more laws and rights and get straight in my own head where the line is. You guys gave me a lot to mull. 

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this