Religious freedom

August 31, 2008


Be careful for what you wish for.

We are told this and learn this many times if we are lucky. Along with religious freedom comes a variety of other freedoms. Richard Snyder became a minister online of the Universal Life Church and it was he who married us a few weeks ago. I took the bait and applied for ordination as well and am now a minister of the same church. As I look down the list of things I am now legally able to do I am amazed by my new status. I can baptize, marry, hold funerals, I have visitation rights in hospitals and hospices, and all the other authorities that people like my father (who is a REAL minister who went to school to become the great preacher/minister that he is) have. Now here’s the kicker: I can start my own religion. There is a whole section online on how to do it.

In line with starting one’s own religion, one must find appropriate titles for one’s self and whoever else you decide to have be part of your religion. I’m struggling with choosing my title. “The Most Esteemed” jumps out at me and cuts right to the point. But then there is the traditional “Reverend” and “Most Reverend” that doesn’t draw too much attention to itself. And then I could be Swami, or Brother, or His Holiness. “Pope” and “Cardinal” just seem wrong so I’ll cross them off right away. Here are the accepted titles available to date:

Abbe, Reverend of Rock ‘n Roll, Abbess, Abbot, Ananda, Angel, Apostle of Humility, Apostolic Scribe, Arch Deacon, Arch Priest, Archbishop, Arch cardinal, Ascetic Gnostic, Bible Historian, Bishop, Brahman, Brother, Canon, Cantor, Cardinal, Channel, Chaplain, Colonel, Cure, Deacon, Dervish, Directress, Disciple, Druid, Elder, Faith Healer, Evangelist, Emissary, Father, Field Missionary, Flying Missionary, Free Thinker, Friar, Goddess, Guru, Hadji, Healing Minister, High Priest, High Priestess, Imam, Lama, Lay Sister, Magus, Martyr, Messenger, Metropolitan, Minister of Music, Minister of Peace, Missionary, Missionary Doctor, Missionary Healer, Missionary of Music, Missionary Priest, Monk, Monsignor, Most Reverend, Mystical Philosopher, Orthodox Monk, Parochial Educator, Pastor General, Patriarch, Peace Counselor, Preacher, Preceptor, Priest, Priestess, Prophet, Rector, Rabbi, Religious Preacher, Revelator, Reverend, Reverend Father, Reverend Mother, Right Reverend, Saintly Healer, Scribe, Seer, Shaman, Soul Therapist, Sister, Spiritual Counselor, Spiritual Warrior, Starets, Swami, Teller, Thanatologist, The Very Esteemed, Universal Rabbi, Universal Religious Philosopher, Vicar, Universal Philosopher of Absolute Reality, Wizard, Gothi, Gythia, Psychic Healer, Minister of Rock ‘n Roll, Rock ‘n Roll Missionary, Rock Doctor (R.D), Rock ‘n Roll Minister, Child of the Universe, Prince, Spiritual Healer, Saint, Pope

Don’t worry, I haven’t gone off the deep end. I’m not starting a religion. But I could. And you could too.

Be careful what you wish for.

Photo by Mark Davidson

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December 27, 2008 at 4:19 pm


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