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Author Topic: What is the Universal Life Church?
WildaBeast
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Yesterday, my sister got herself ordained be the Universal Life Church. Is she really a legally ordained minister now? Can she actually preform marriage ceremonies now, for example? And in general, what is the ULC?

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"Unseasonable is an odd word to begin with. It sounds like it's describing something that it's impossible to sprinkle pepper on." -- Nonny

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Bill
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I assume it's legal, and your sister can perform marriages in her state provided of course that other formalities are followed. As far as I can see she's met the requirement of "minister" or "clergy" under state law. The state can't (or shouldn't) pick and choose what church you have to belong to to qualify as a "minister."

There was a thread a while ago where a bunch of us, including me, became ordained ministers through a site like that (possibly the same one) and joked about it on the board.

The ULC doesn't seem to stand for hard and fast ideas, just individual conscience. My guess is that it makes its money from the materials it sells.

I know that in years past people became "ordained ministers" to participate in tax scams, and that the government cracked down on it.

Thanks.

Bill

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Keeper of the Mad Bunnies
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by WildaBreast:
Yesterday, my sister got herself ordained be the Universal Life Church. Is she really a legally ordained minister now? Can she actually preform marriage ceremonies now, for example? And in general, what is the ULC?

The FAQ at the site has a pretty complete set of answers for you.

"Is my ordination legal? This is the most common question received by the Monastery. Rest-assured, your ordination is legal in all 50 states. As for performing marriages: yes, you are legal to perform marriages. In some states, registration beforehand is required. You can call your local County Clerk to see whether or not you need to register. There are some states that choose to take issue with registering ULC ministers. This is their ignorance, not the law. It is acceptable, when filling out your registration and the actual wedding license, to put the phrase, ‘non-denom’ under the section ‘denomination’. If this is unacceptable to the Clerk’s office, they will let you know. This may help avoid any conflict with people who doubt the validity of your license."

"As a Minister, what tax exempt privileges as I allowed?

In most cases none. As a private citizen, all your earnings are subject to taxation. Some states do allow an exemption on private property for the clergy. Check with you local Assessor."

James Powell

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Two Scoops
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Nice old bump on this...

I was looking at this, but can't find any legality about it in Canada. Would doing this allow someone to perform marriages etc in Ontario Canada?

Also, assuming it does, does this allow someone to say they are a minister in their own religion, like the Church of LMNOP?

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Santa Mari-a
Happy Holly Days


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I didn't realize the Universal Life Church was still around. I was under the impression that it started in the 1960's, when guys wanted a painless legal way to dodge the draft--they became mail order ministers. So it doesn't surprise me that they're not big on any sort of dogma. My brother joined it, the chicken hawk, and for several years went around greeting people by saying, "Blessings of Universal Life!"

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Si hoc comprehendere potes, gratias age magistro Latinae.

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Kuzibah
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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It's still around. A friend of mine and I got ordained at the site last year to perform a wedding for two other friends. We had to fax some documentation of our ordination to the county where the wedding would take place (in Ohio) and fill out some paperwork, but it was entirely legal. I found out in our own state (Pennsylvania) the documentation requirements are even less stringent. As far as I can tell, you don't even need a minister/JoP of any kind involved. (Then again, we have a lot of Quakers.)

Since the wedding I've met a lot of ULC ministers, and while most of them got ordained to do a wedding (or just for the hell of it) there were a few who took it as a serious responsibility, and wouldn't perform any duties lightly.

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Tragic Story
I Saw Three Shipments


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Why stop at ULC when you can also be a proud minister of the Beer Church?

http://www.beerchurch.com/ordination.htm

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"Societies are supported by human activity, therefore they are constantly threatened by the human facts of self-intrest and stupidity." --Peter Berger

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First of Two
The Bills of St. Mary's


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If you donate $100 and promise to obey its strictly loose tenets as delivered by the High Mucky-Muck, you, too can become a Minister of the Holy Church of Hugo, the Great Eternal Platypus.

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"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide." - Jerry Pournelle

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Bug Muldoon
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Tragic Story:
Why stop at ULC when you can also be a proud minister of the Beer Church?

http://www.beerchurch.com/ordination.htm

Because you need to be ordained by the ULC to become a BC minister.

Read the small print.

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All along the untrodden paths of the future, I can see the footprints of an unseen hand.

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Tragic Story
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by Bug Muldoon:
quote:
Originally posted by Tragic Story:
Why stop at ULC when you can also be a proud minister of the Beer Church?

http://www.beerchurch.com/ordination.htm

Because you need to be ordained by the ULC to become a BC minister.

Read the small print.

I have read the fine print.

Which is why I used the words "why stop at ULC when you can ALSO..." as opposed to "why not just be..."

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"Societies are supported by human activity, therefore they are constantly threatened by the human facts of self-intrest and stupidity." --Peter Berger

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super chicken
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I'd rather join The Church of the Subgenius.

Slack rules! Praise Bob!

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