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Reverend Hypatia
Hypatia
So, last week I became 'ordained' in the Universal Life Church, thinking that at some point I may offer my services to officiate marriage/union ceremonies and/or funerals.

When my husband and I married at a chapel in Las Vegas we asked for a non-religious ceremony. Even so, the officiant still managed to throw in a few god-related words and phrases, much to our dismay. We soon began to figure out that the terms 'non-religious' and/or 'non-denominational' can translate into, or be misconstrued to mean, 'don't be religion specific', but to many it still means at least 'spiritual'. Sigh...

I'm sure there are a lot of other non-theists in the same boat, although these days (and maybe even then, though we didn't know about it) those wanting non-religious services and ceremonies for their most personal and important life events can locate officiants through such organizations as the ULC.

Then today I became aware of the First Church of Atheism, an organization that ordains non-theists for the same purposes. Unfortunately, the word 'church' must be used in order for the ordinations, and thus the services performed as a result, to be legal. An unfortunate thing, that is.

While I very much dislike the 'church' and 'ordained' aspects, I'm happy to be able, if I choose, to perform marriage/union ceremonies and funerals. I won't do any baptisms or anything with any religious or 'spiritual' content, and I'll limit my services to non-theists only. I called the county clerks office in the city where I live today to ask if any credentials other than a basic certificate of ordination is required in order to legally provide services, and in NM there isn't. Some states may require a letter of good standing or other such document from the organization which provided the ordination. Of course, there are some states in the US that allow these kinds of ceremonies to be performed only by clergy, a justice of the peace or a judge, etc.

Of course, non-theists can always go to the courthouse to be married in a non-religious ceremony, but then, those who want a wedding outside of a judges chambers don't want to be limited to that option.

So anyway, laugh all you want, but just don't call me reverend! I'm a mini-ster, dammit. [img]http://www.pic4ever.com/images/gigglesmile.gif[/img] is not a valid Image. No, don't call me minister, either.

I prefer 'No gods Officiant' instead. Smile

http://firstchurc...heism.com/

http://www.themon...
Edited by Hypatia on 09/04/2010 02:27
 
Skeeve
Congratulations, Hypatia. I've been ordained for a few years now.

My credentials are framed and hanging on the wall right next to my membership for American Atheists.

I haven't bothered going down to the courthouse and filing ($5.00, I think) the paperwork so I could officially perform marriages. But, that's all it takes in Oklahoma.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
seeker
I got ordained several years ago with the Universal Life Church and actually have done a wedding. It was fun.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
JohnH
I personally have a problem with the notion of a church of atheism. I plays too well into the theist notion that non believers have some set of universal beliefs that are different from theirs only by the lack of god. I know Hypatia you allude to that and understand it, I only point out that the terminology is sufficient to prevent me from doing this.

To perform marriages or unions at least in some places one may apply for a one day permit to perform these. My son did this for one of his friends. Considering the infrequency that one may be called upon to perform these ceremonies this would be my preferred method.

I know of no jurisdiction that requires any sort of formal certification to perform funerals. I have not been to a formal funeral for a long time. All have been a simple gathering of family and friends to remember and celebrate the dead.
 
catman
I despise funerals. The churches invariably use them to proselytize, in the most shameful and reprehensible way possible.

I attend the North Texas Church of Freethought on occasion. It is much like going to class, as DNA, etc. are often discussed in lectures. I find it interesting, and it is refreshing to be amongst a group of like-minded people. The subject of its being called a 'church' has come up more than once.
 
JohnH
I have no trouble with whatever a person calls the place they gather to talk with each other. I simply think that a formal church of atheists, that grants some form of certificate that avoids religious based laws is going to far. (The last sentence is a little too harsh.) Not so much for all but for myself.

I have forgotten the name, but there is a net show out of Austin or some place in Texas, where they talk of a group that meets typically at a bar. I could get behind that.


edited because I would like to ask how too/to avoid the conflict.
Edited by JohnH on 09/04/2010 16:38
 
Bob of QF
Cool, Hypatia. Contrats.

Like the others, I dislike utilization of the term "church", and for the same reasons (fuel to the fires of godbots) but it is what it is; the laws of the land often require adherence to certain terms to jump through the inflexible hoops of bureaucracy.

As Skeeve pointed out, here in Religistan (Oklahoma) if you don't have "ordained minister" on the paperwork, you can't marry people unless you are a genuine Judge, i.e. civil servant. But if you have such paperwork, you just need to fill out a form, pay a nominal fee (annual, of course) and you are a limited "officer of the court" legally entitled to sign [and validate] the marriage license.

I always thought it odd: any Tom, Dick or Harry can easily jump the low-threshold hoops to marry just anyone to just anyone else [provided the genders match properly--gaaa], but to divorce requires incredible amounts of cash-money, long waits in interminable civil servant lines, and payment of countless fees along with the casting of bureaucratic 'spells'...

... when the opposite ought to be the case, especially if no kids were directly involved.

Idiots.

Okay, I'll get down off the soap-box now... Smile
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Hypatia
JohnH wrote:
I personally have a problem with the notion of a church of atheism. I plays too well into the theist notion that non believers have some set of universal beliefs that are different from theirs only by the lack of god. I know Hypatia you allude to that and understand it, I only point out that the terminology is sufficient to prevent me from doing this.

To perform marriages or unions at least in some places one may apply for a one day permit to perform these. My son did this for one of his friends. Considering the infrequency that one may be called upon to perform these ceremonies this would be my preferred method.

I know of no jurisdiction that requires any sort of formal certification to perform funerals. I have not been to a formal funeral for a long time. All have been a simple gathering of family and friends to remember and celebrate the dead.


That's cool that some have that option available to them. The person I spoke with at the county clerks office didn't say there was any such option here, but then, I also didn't know to ask about it.
 
Hypatia
Bob of QF wrote:

I always thought it odd: any Tom, Dick or Harry can easily jump the low-threshold hoops to marry just anyone to just anyone else [provided the genders match properly--gaaa], but to divorce requires incredible amounts of cash-money, long waits in interminable civil servant lines, and payment of countless fees along with the casting of bureaucratic 'spells'...

... when the opposite ought to be the case, especially if no kids were directly involved.


That is a very good point.
 
Kowboy
Hypatia wrote:
So anyway, laugh all you want, but just don't call me reverend! I'm a mini-ster, dammit. [img]http://www.pic4ever.com/images/gigglesmile.gif[/img] is not a valid Image. No, don't call me minister, either.



Hypatia:

Deacon?

We could shorten it to "Deak". That's a cool nickname. We need a "Deak" around here.
 
catman
How about 'irreverend'?
 
Hypatia
Kowboy wrote:

Hypatia:

Deacon?

We could shorten it to "Deak". That's a cool nickname. We need a "Deak" around here.


Catman wrote:

How about 'irreverend'?


Ha ha. I like them both. How 'bout 'The Very Irreverend Hypatia'? or maybe 'Deak 'Patia'? Smile
 
catman
I was considering 'irreverend' to be a noun like 'reverend', not an adjective like 'irreverent'. Cool
 
Hypatia
Oh, got it. Wink
 
catman
Come to think of it, I think some ministers are called 'The Very Reverend', so it could work that way too, even as a noun!
 
Theory_Execution
JohnH says: I have forgotten the name, but there is a net show out of Austin or some place in Texas, where they talk of a group that meets typically at a bar. I could get behind that.

I believe you refer to the Atheist Community of Austin, Texas. They conduct a public access show called Atheist Experience (found it a few years ago through google videos) and after the live show they head to a local bar/restaurant for food, a chat and maybe a drink.

They also arrange lectures of different sorts and used to (say they will return soon) have a radio pod cast show called the Nonprophets.

Good shit, I like the show. If I ever made it to Austin I would want to go along to the aftershow meal and talk.


As an aside, would it be in bad taste at a funeral to have a second open casket with 'collection plate' scrawled down the side? With George Carlins quote about Jesus not being too good with money?
 
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