I am still in shock. While visiting family in New Jersey, (including some great grandson experiences with two year old Elliot!), we met a neighbor. A high school teacher, smartly dressed in a suit, he was obviously in a hurry. He announced that he was off to officiate at a wedding. Seeing puzzled looks, he explained that he had recently been ordained by the Universal Life Church Monastery. With pride he told us it was his fourth wedding.
Apparently this organization believes in the rights of all people to practice their beliefs, regardless of what those beliefs are, as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others and are within the law. They therefore ordain persons who are totally non-religious or even anti-religious because they are looking to change negative perception of religion while encouraging people to fearlessly state their religious beliefs, even if the only thing that a person can say is that he or she does not have any beliefs.
I am still processing this information. I suppose I am not surprised that an outfit should offer ordination free on-line, nor that they should practice relativism so glibly. But, they claim over 20 million ministers have gained such free ordination since 1959. Are these intelligent people who sincerely think that anybody can "do religious ministry"? Or people on a crusade, who would see the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ as part of the "negative perception of religion"? Or people after a quick buck? What about those who seek their services - do they care so little about belief?
I am still reeling from this encounter. What's your response?