Well its official. You can now call me "Reverend Rob". A short while ago I signed up for my free ordination as a minister of the Universal Life Church. What you ask, would have caused me to do such a thing? Well, it was a surprise for me as well! This summer I have the honor of presiding over the wedding of some of my closest friends. To fullfil this request, I needed to become legally ordained as a minister (or a judge, but that seemed much more difficult!). <br>The Universal Life Church provides a very easy online method to become ordained. Their legal standing has been challenged and upheld in a number of courts. In addition, the Universal Life Church has a philosophy which is much more in alignment with my personal beliefs than most religious organizations - that an individual's faith is a personal item, not a government or large institution (religious) issue. From the ULC website:
"Every person has the natural right (and the responsibility) to peacefully determine what is right. We are advocates of religious freedom. The Universal Life Church wants you to pursue your spiritual beliefs without interference from any outside agency, including government or church authority."
Of course, after reviewing the Idaho statutes on marriage, I discovered that I didn't really need to be ordained, I just needed to convince the couple that I was:
No marriage solemnized by any person professing to be a judge, justice, or minister, is deemed or regarded void, nor is the validity thereof to be in any way affected on account of any want of jurisdiction or authority: provided, it be consummated with a full belief on the part of the persons so married, or either of them, that they have been lawfully joined in marriage.Regardless, I believe that I, the couple, and the witnesses will feel better with the fact that I have proof of my ordination.