The Universal Life Church Ministries (ULCM) on June 21, 2019 filed a lawsuit against four Tennessee county clerks and the State's Attorney General, to block a recently-passed law that would bar ministers who received their ordination online from performing weddings after July 1 of this year.
The ULCM has thousands of active ministers and members across the State of Tennessee, individuals whose Constitutional and spiritual rights have been denied them by Tennessee lawmakers without good reason. These individuals perform hundreds of beautiful, personal weddings in Tennessee every year for those who embrace the ULCM's ideals of love and freedom. Marriage is indeed a sacred institution, and Tennessee's cruel decision limits who may solemnize a marriage to a select few. The Universal Life Church Ministries' legal challenge aims to halt and reverse this discriminatory law and restore and protect the rights of all ministers of all faiths in The Volunteer State.
The overarching guiding message of the Universal Life Church Ministries is that we are all children of the same universe. Daily, the Church and its members and ministers work faithfully to deliver this message across the globe. To that end, the Universal Life Church Ministries will not be a silent witness to the disenfranchisement of any group. The ULCM will not rest until its ministers and members are able to enjoy the rights and freedoms guaranteed to all citizens, not just in Tennessee but around the world.
The lawsuit, which is before the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee (Case No. 2:19-cv-00049), was brought by the ULCM and three of its ministers in the State, names specifically Lisa Duke Crowell (Clerk of Rutherford County, TN), William K Knowles (Clerk of Hamilton County, TN), Wayne Nabors (Clerk of Putnam County, TN), and Herbert H. Slatery III (Attorney General of the State of Tennessee) in their official capacities. It asserts that certain provisions of Tennessee Code 36-3-301 as amended by Tennessee Public Chapter No. 415 are in direct violation of the First and Fourteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution in addition to Article 1, Section 3 of the Tennessee Constitution.
America was founded largely on the idea that people should feel free to worship as they see fit, and Tennessee's attempt to curtail these rights for ULCM ministers simply because they became ordained and congregate via the internet is illegal and unconscionable. Clearly, the Tennessee lawmakers who supported this bill continue to hold an outdated, narrow view of religious worship and we look forward to the opportunity to usher them into the 21st century.
The ULCM has been disheartened by the short-sighted response of some other organizations who have leapt gleefully into the laps of Tennessee lawmakers and begun offering in-person ordinations in order to appease them. Rather than acquiesce to Tennessee's demands and compromise its religious freedom, the Universal Life Church wholeheartedly rejects this outdated notion of religion and fully intends to proudly defend its open model.
In the year 1454, Johannes Gutenberg after years of painstaking work and near financial ruin changed the world forever when he utilized his brilliant new printing press to successfully print the Bible. This Earth-shattering technological innovation arguably marked one of the first steps in a long chain of events that would bring about the Protestant movement, and for the first time in centuries return the power of religion to the common women and men. People were finally free to pray, read, learn, commune, and question in a manner of their choosing and the world is better off for it.
Much like Johannes Gutenberg, the Universal Life Church Ministries has always embraced the remarkable power of technology to bring people together in a global spiritual community and to push the conversation forward in pursuit of ever-higher levels of enlightenment.
The future of faith is free, fast, and full-bodied and it's here.
We're delighted to report that on July 3rd a federal judge agreed to grant us a restraining order that would temporarily block Tennessee from enforcing their new anti-ULC law while our case continues.
There are still some important questions to get answered, though, so we'll keep fighting until the rights of our ministers and members in Tennessee are permanently secured. Hopefully, we'll have more good news to share with you on this front soon. In the meantime, thank you for your support and patience - it means the world. Stay strong!
Those ordained by this church whether Internet or any other means would qualify them as pastors or the title they so choose. At least these are real pastors registered in a Church not like a bunch of the fly by night pastors that make other pastors with no one to have to answer to
May God bless us all .....
Thankyou, Tiny Tim.
....and to all, a good night.
Thanks be to God!
I'll drink to that. Amen!
And if He doesn't will you blame Him for that? Mankind is accountable to God. Not the reverse.
Mankind is not accountable for anything that doesn’t exist. That’s like me saying mankind is accountable to fairies. Do you see how silly that sounds Kim? That’s just how silly your statement sounds. I’m sorry you can’t see it...seriously.
Pamela, I’m sure you mean well, but your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it. We can of course demonstrate and detect all forms of gas including oxygen. Without it, you die, is a perfect test for oxygen. Please don’t try this test.
Without specialized equipment our human eyes cannot see outside of our human visible spectrum, but we can detect light, such as infra red, and ultra violet, to know they exist.
As for emotions such as love and hate, these are not tangible but we can demonstrate they exist. Gods are supposed to be tangible if we were made in their image so please don’t get confused between these examples.
It is my assertion that man has indeed created all gods since man has had the ability to think and wonder what that hit red disk in the sky is that comes up every day. You may of course have your point of view, but if you cannot demonstrate that your god exists, which he himself seems to be incapable of doing, I seriously doubt he is real.
I do indeed have friends and let’s hope that we all get many more as we reason and educate one another and show love. Hugs to you ?
Lion honey...that is a straw man argument. And besides...fairies are demoted angels (demons). By referencing fairies, you acknowledge the existence of angels and that contradicts your silly belief God doesn't exist.
Oh! So angels ? and fairies ?♀️ really exist? How fun is that?
My wife has built 3 fairy gardens. I wish I could send you a photo on this blog of them. You’d be favourably impressed Kim.
Lion....I say this with the best of humorous intentions. Are you that little garden gnome in the funny hat?
You have no respect for others who don't believe like you. You have a right to be an atheist but I am tired of you calling others silly, delusional or other derogatory terms. No matter what the topic is, you always manage to turn into one of your anti-deist tirades.
I’m curious as to why you say God doesn’t exist? Do you believe love exists? Do you believe air exists?
Pamela, love is an emotion. Emotions/feelings exist.
Air is a gas and can be demonstrated to exist.
Your god is a myth, just like all other man made gods.
Lionhart - You can only ASSUME that God doesn't exist. You cannot PROVE that God doesn't exist. It is an impossibility. I would be open to any proof you can provide (not speculation) that God doesn't exist.
Lionheart - What about cold, does that exist?
All forms of temperature exist depending on whether atoms/molecules are being excited or not at all. Forms of temperature can be demonstrated. Did you not take chemistry at school?
I have been reading the messages here. If one believes God does not exist they just need to look around at the beauty in the world because God made the first flower tree animal, man, and when man left Eden then man caused the non beautiful things. It is your right to believe in what you want but do not belittle others for believing.
Thank you for your thoughts Ella. I’ve looked around at some of the beauty of evolution, and also some of the devastation and death caused by nature. I don’t attribute any mythical god to any of these things, or even mythical fairies, it’s the way it is.
I know it’s my right to have my belief structure, as it is yours, but when I have people telling me (and little children) I have sinned, and I am accountable to a mythical god and will be damned to a hell, if I don’t take upon myself the name of someone who couldn’t even save himself, I will chime in with my 2 cents.
Here endeth my epistle. I am on a crusade to get people to “think” logically and apply reason, logic, and intelligence. Often mixed with a bit of love and humor.
Christopher, of course I can only assume a god doesn’t exist. I also can only assume fairies, Sasquatch, and the Loch Ness monster do not exist.
No one can prove a negative. If I tell you I am from Mars, it’s not for you to disprove it, it’s for me to prove it. The burden of proof rests with the claimant. So, if you claim god is real, show the proof. Please don’t try saying flowers and beauty are proof like some do. I’m talking about real evidence.
A Nobel prize still waits for the person that can prove any god exists. I’m totally happy for your name to be on that prize.
Lionheartless Why are you on this page?
Thank you for your question Paul.
There are people who are at last questioning their faith. I am here to offer an alternative thought structure to help them with their decision making.
As a person that has recovered from religion I hope it can help at least one person.
May you always have love in your life.
But man didn’t make God. and you can’t see emotion or gas yet you believe it exists. I think you need better friends.
Lion...the proof God exists is the Bible. Haven't you ever wondered who that "great whore" is that sits on many waters? Its the statue of Liberty that presided over immigration to the "new world" and symbolizes liberty (not freedom) while placed in the ocean where it sits in the city that is the seat of Capitalism in a country that is called the melting pot of the world (many waters). Just that alone should give you pause.
But, I'm with you that flowers don't prove God's existence. That is a human-centric perspective on God as a "supernatural" entity. God is instead an EXTRA-natural entity and it is that which has been hard-wired into the human genome from mankind's origin.
And, anything beyond acknowledging that God exists is making a false God. Which is exactly what religion does every time. You see this from an objective perspective but your conclusion is in error. You rightly reject the religiously contrived definition of God but falsely reject the fundamental acknowledgement that God exists in direct conflict with the scientific method which will never reject existence based on non-proof. In the case of God, there is proof however. It is in the records maintained throughout the history of mankind and in mankind itself.
Thank you for your misguided thoughts Kim. I wish you well.
U have the freedom to believe what u choose please do not criticize what others believe they are entitled that feedom also.
God created all things didn't he? Only man will decide which ones are mistakes.
Angel.....God created all CREATED things. Ironically, angels are not created beings
Kim, you are mistaken about angels. Not sure where you grabbed that mistaken notion. Please refer to
Colossians 1:16 (NASB) "For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him."
John 1:3 (NASB) "All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being."
Nehemiah 9:6 (NASB) “You alone are the Lord. You have made the heavens, The heaven of heavens with all their host, The earth and all that is on it, The seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them And the heavenly host bows down before You."
With all their host - There are your angels, created by God. They are a part of :everything" also.
If you doubt who the "host of heaven" are, feel free to research:
Chris. I am aware of those passages. They only include the creational cosmos. Angels are not mentioned in Genesis. See Job 38:7. El-o-hym means God OF gods. Which is a word of absolute singularity but NOT a word of aloneness. God has ever existed in a reality populated by innumerable subjects who have themselves have ever existed. From those immortal subjects the angels were appointed.
Lionheart, You are violating ULC's policy by harassing others for their religious beliefs. I'm surprised that you have not been reprimanded yet. You really should have respect for others.
Have a nice day!
We all need to start being accountable to each other rather than expecting God to hold us accountable. The presence of each other is something we can see and be reminded of when we don't take accountability, we see the damage right before our eyes. Everyone wants to pass the buck to God, not understanding that, if he exists, he created us with free will. He created us intelligent enough to know that we can't come to him and his son to wash away our sins every time we don't want to take responsibility for them, or to clean up the wreckage we might leave behind. If he exists, he sits where he is and weeps at what we do t each other and ourselves. Do no harm is the only principle that will ever be universally accepted. I choose to believe in us as people, the only species on this planet capable of all that we are capable of, yet searching for an unseen deity, an authority figure to reign over us. If he exists, that is not what he wants, he wants us to be bigger than all of this. My rights as a mother have been deprived for ten over 11 years now, and not one of my christian family members finds me and my daughter worthy of help. They find it easier to say that I have to suffer consequences of my choices. I am suffering because of a "christian" man that refuses to tell the truth, abuses me and my child, and needs to control us and will not stop until I am deprived of everything that I exist to protect. What God anyone believes in doesn't seem to matter anymore, because there are hypocrites and liars in every religion. It is time to wake up and except what others choose as their God or higher power as long as they are not hurting anyone. They have a right to make choices for themselves that others may not agree with, but no one has the right to hurt another person. God has done many things in my life, whether he exists or not, given me enough hope to live when I had none, and given others a means to neglect me and my child and rely on him intervening when they are fully capable of helping. Unfortunately, people won't start helping until the injustice and abuse reaches them. Only then will they feel my pain and suffering and that of my children. But will it be enough? Or will we be stuck in this cycle of abuse forever?
Lionheart July 3, 2019 at 4:03 pm " Here endeth my epistle. "
"Lionheart July 3, 2019 at 4:24 pm Christopher,... "
21 minutes. A record. (The devil made me say this.)
Kim - If you're going to make up your own definitions for things, I cannot have an truth-based conversation with you.
I'm not sure which Hebrew you speak, buy Elohim is simply a plural noun. It does not mean "God of gods" as you state. The singularity of which you speak refers to the oneness of God. There is also no evidence in any credible history that even hints at angels being immortal. As a matter of fact, the angel Lucifer will be destroyed. Immortal beings cannot be destroyed.
You also seem to be at a slight loss with English as well as with Hebrew. "Immortal" means "living forever". It doesn't not mean "always existed". That would be "eternal".
When you start redefining words to try to prove your agenda - I'm out. Cant compete when reality is set aside. My best to you!
Factual information is not necessarily "Truth". For example. Elohim is not "simply" plural. It is used by biblical authors to mean an absolute singularity within a plurality and is a colloquial form of the formalized "El o elohym". And I'm sure you know that the phrase "El o elohym" is in the Bible as precedent which being translated is "God of gods".
I'm fully aware that immortal isn't eternal. But that wasn't my point. Angels are immortal AND eternal having never had a beginning and have EVER been subject to God who Himself is immortal and eternal. To imagine God as an isolated being alone in the center of absolute nothingness for all past infinity is to imagine the creation originating from the madness of an infinity of sensory deprivation and if one follows the trinity doctrine then that madness takes on the form of a multiple personality disorder. Nothing could be further from Truth than that.
And the devil will be cast into perpetual torment...not death like men. Not destroyed.
I am not a FLY BY NIGHT Pastor I am also a Deacon Minister so be nice with your words judge to be not judge you are not God remember your words God will
So true people need to watch there words they are worse then eney thing man made once it is sead can't get them back
God bless from the UK
The same too you Ben.
I am proud to be a part and witness to this regression as progression is inevitable. May God give wisdom, strength and justice to all adversely affected in the interim.
Separation of state and church is how America was founded. This is another example of the erosion of America’s core values. We should be able to worship via internet.
Your history is wrong. There is /was no separation of church n state in constitution. Was in a letter by one of founding fathers. Our nation was built on a meld of both. Ignorance of this has, and is causing massive problems now.
1st Amendments states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
This is a separation of Church and state. The letter you are referring to simply coined the phrase, but it is very much in the US Constitution.
As you correctly pointed out, that is what the Constitution says, but that is NOT separation of church and State. The Constitution refers to the Government Creating their own religion or endorsing one over another. The later part prohibits the government from stopping an individuals right to worship as they see fit. The widely used term of Separation of Church and State came about based on a Supreme Court ruling and has been widely corrupted to fit anything that does not conform to a certain groups desires.
It is commonly called the establishment clause of the constitution and prohibits government from establishing its own religion or interfering in the free practice of religion among its citizens. It is clear and it is intentional.
Lexie B July 3, 2019 at 10:02 am " 1st Amendments states: ' ...establishment of religion... '" True. This is a tricky one. Most entities, including Cornell law school agree that "establishment" means to form something out of thin air, - e.g. The Church of Rich White Guys That Believe Money is a God, and also to pick one or another of existing religions. Thus government is restricted from making any religion the official religion of the country. What they were shooting for was to keep some ding-a-ling holy-roller type from making government do something because some deity said so. Some ding-dongs would like Salem to be commonplace. The second half about freedom to chose usually isn't contested.
Our lord gave us free will along with life, n what did we do but eat an apple n kill a brother, so who's to blame when things go bad, why mankind
It actually wasn’t an apple, but notice how even the Abrahamic god blames a woman, or should I say, a woman was to blame for our demise, that’s if you believe the tale. Since then, women have been given a bad rap. It’s what religion does, but many don’t get it, and yet still worship that god.
Woman wasn't to blame....the serpent was the liar. Adam's curse was that men would die. But the woman's curse was much more gruesome. It was to be symbiotically tied to the serpent. The meaning of which was that the woman would give birth only to watch the flesh of her progeny (her "seed") be slowly corrupted by aging of that flesh and to be eventually eaten by maggots (serpent's "seed"). Adam and Eve not only brought death but they also brought aging and corruption to all flesh entertwined with the devil's deceit.
You are too funny Kim. I know you really believe yourself, and that’s your weakness.
You don't believe in maggots Lion?
God hasn't given mankind free will. He gave mankind a choice. big diff
What's the big difference between having the ability to make choices and free will?
Our will is irrelevant. God's will is.
Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
Free will definition: The ability to choose, think, and act voluntarily.
Key word "choose". Sounds like a choice to me! :)
We have no free will but to choose. And we have no free will in that we shall go to the grave to await the judgement. And there is no free will in whether we will be judged.
Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Kimberly - You state "We have no free will but to choose". This says that free will is nothing but our ability to make a choice. How is this a response to your statement that free will and choice are different?
By the way, your statement is an almost exact quote from a Psychology Today article. I am not inclined to put any weight on their opinions when it comes to things of God.
Yes Rev. Christopher. Nicely put. It's the choices we make in life. Death has nothing to do with it, since the vast majority of us really don't know what will occur at the point we move from life to death. Some like to think they know, which leaves them open to FREE WILL.
God's will is that mankind has a choice. Mankind has no choice but to choose which gives the illusion of free will but it is not.
Kimberly - LOL
Kimberly, your Jesus guy is starting to look more fictional every day, much like your god.
Freewill ? Choices? What's the difference?
free will is action without consequences. A choice always has consequences. The consequences of how we choose will be given at the day of judgement. A day in which mankind has no alternative but to attend. So choose now. Once to die and then the judgement. That is God's will. Not our's.
Kimberly, where did you come up with Free Will not having consequences? Anyone who understands the laws of scientific research knows all action has consequence. There is no consequence without action. Very basic. You're priceless.
Free will is free....Did you miss that? Free will is doing whatever one desires. The laws of thermodynamics obviously do not apply.
Yes Kim, free will IS doing whatever one desires. Whatever one CHOOSES to do. And yes, Kimberly, it is free. It's called freedom. We have the freedom OF WILL to take action in any way, good, bad or indifferent, while we're alive. Beyond that it's kind of up in the air.
There are consequences no matter what we do. If we choose God, there are consequences. If we choose no God, there are consequences. If we choose more than one God there are consequences. If we choose inaction there are consequences. And yes, Kimberly, we will all die and, whether you approve or not, we will all go to the same place, wherever that may be. So PLEASE try to enjoy yourself while you're here. Bright blessings Kim.
Kim - you really can't just make up your own definitions for things. It doesn't sit well with the well education portion of our society.
Tell the true, you're really just trying to get a rise out of people by stating these things as though they were true, right?
Rev Christopher, if she isn't she's in big trouble.
Lori....the only consequence that matters is life or death. Therein lies the only choice we have and that isn't of our own free will. It is God's will.
Something that doesn’t exist Kim cannot have a will. Your god is as dead as John Cleese’s stuffed parrot.
Lion...The cosmos is dead. Not God. Look around and as far as we can see is nothing but lifelessness. Except here on earth. That is an impossibility. We shouldn't exist yet we do. The earth is a garden in which men grow. Soon to be harvested.
You are obviously one of those that says the universe can’t come from nothing, but god can.
Your inability to grasp science, logic, and reason, is not a valid argument against it.
Lion. God has ever existed but in a reality which has ever existed and populated by an innumerable Host that has ever been. Yet God is absolutely singularly God. But has never existed in some infinite void of nothingness to make the cosmos due to madness derived from an infinity of sensory deprivation. The cosmos has existed only since God made it. Not from madness or nothingness but built up from a substance we have yet to comprehend and it is held in existence by the power of His will which if removed all matter would dissipate like smoke from an extinguished candle. Science postulates the big bang and intuitively describes how the cosmos originated. It certainly wasn't a big tri-bang.
Kim, god has never existed. One day you will understand this.
“There’s simply no polite way to tell people they’ve dedicated their lives to an illusion” (Daniel Dennett)
Lion...…………...tell at least 10,000 years of humanity that God has never existed. Show me a civilization that has not acknowledged the existence of God in some form. The fact that they draped that acknowledgement in mystical accoutrements is beside the point. This in itself is objective evidence that God exists. And you know as well as I do that ancient peoples weren't stupid. Nor did they all live in caves. Your credibility against billions of human beings as intelligent as we are throughout history leaves something to be desired. Wiggle and jiggle all you want but these facts remain.
I’m not wiggling and jiggling Kim. As I’ve mentioned before, since mankind has had the ability to think and wonder, illogical thoughts have prevailed. The main thought is, why are we here, and, where did we come from, and mankind created gods to help them with that thought structure in a vain attempt to answer those questions.
That doesn’t mean to say that God exists, it just means that mankind has tried to fill in gaps in areas they don’t understand. It still does not mean any of those man made gods exist. Apart from the Sun god ?. I can see that one.
Lion, haven't you figured out yet that Kim is a troll-bot? You're not talking to a real person. This is hilarious.
Lion......that is a false presumption to think that ancient people were stupider simply because they lived a long time ago. Quite the opposite....ancient men living near the origin of mankind would have been as intelligent or more so than we are. Evolution is simply another religion filled with lies. Don't fall for it.
Kim, I never said ancient man was stupider, it's you that presumed I said that. Man evolved with the technology available to it. They did their best with everything available to them. However, just like even today, people had ideas, and some people used those ideas to satisfy their thoughts. Some, and possibly not all, decided that there must be something greater than themselves. Some of them decided to honor and worship this "something" because it helped them to fill the gap of things they didn't know anything about.
As time and cultures progressed, "many somethings", which today we call a deity, came into being. Hence, many deities were created such as the sun, moon, wind, sky etc. Our knowledge of today has, for the most part, removed all those deified objects and anthropomorphic deities.
Early man was not stupid, far from it. One could presume that modern man has become stupid for still hanging on to some of those silly cultural beliefs of undemonstrable deities. Please don't take that personally. Okay.....you can if you wish ? ......but I know you won't.
Lion...you said it again.....mankind didn't evolve with or without technology. That's just plain silly. Evolution presumes dumb to smart. Simple to complex. Falsely so. Ancient people did things that baffles science to this day. Most ancient religions took their deities from tales of eugenically bred warriors from before the flood. And as usual religion defined God to suit it's agenda. This isn't new. They preyed on the universally intuitive acknowledgement that God exists. Just as religion does today. That doesn't negate humanities acknowledgement. It shows religion is a human contrivance and actually proves God exists and that proof remains in the human genome in spite of technology. Just as you have observed.
David July 7, 2019 at 6:34 pm " Freewill ? Choices? What’s the difference? "
The difference is, well, like heaven and..., that other place. Have you ever talked yourself into a corner with someone. You know how off your argument is, and ultimately your antagonist puts the question to you, "If you had to choose between option 1, or option 2, which would you chose?" You know you're screwed either way, so what do you do? You flake and say "neither, I'd do blah-blah". (Something just as asinine as your argument.) So the scenario of an option 1 or an option 2 is choice. Picking neither is free will.
I can’t agree with everything you say Kim. You have your beliefs and I have mine. I don’t believe that god exists, and I don’t believe in your fallacious statement that the proof of god is implanted in some way in the human genome.
If it helps you in some way to believe that, I say go with it. There are much worse things to believe that historically have caused mayhem, death, and destruction, especially by Christians and Islamists.
Lionheart July 9, 2019 at 1:31 pm " It still does not mean any of those man made gods exist. Apart from the Sun god ?. I can see that one. "
Lionheart believes he sees a god. Outstanding!
Lion...Don't put words in my mouth. I said the acknowledgement of God's existence is hardwired into the human genome. I never said that was proof God exists. Nor is that a belief. It is an objective unambiguous factual observation.
That's a load of airy fairy fallacious bovine excrement Kim.
Kimberly just ignore this idiot for now. We are in the middle of getting him removed.
kimberly July 4, 2019 at 11:52 am " God hasn’t given mankind free will. He gave mankind a choice. big diff "
You seem to argue from predestination. Given that, I honor your beliefs. However, there are others here that view your use of "choice" as free will. That falls into the paradox unless they see life as pure randomness apart from an omniscient entity. Either path(as is others) is what one believes. And who are we to bless or curse another's faith?
It's quite evident we all end up in the grave. If that isn't predestination from birth I don't know what else would be. But the grave isn't death. It is a condition that precedes resurrection to judgement. What one does in the interval prior to the grave is irrelevant except for one deciding factor....life or death that has nothing to do with the grave and everything associated with judgement. The only choice given to men is life or death and not that of the grave. A choice that resides in the conscience. But in spite of that choice existing, mankind is predestined to choose and has no choice but to face the consequenses of choosing. In that sense there is no free will.
Those that are not sure where they stand in life, you have so much love in your heart that you could heal the world. So for now use this love to heal you. Let this feeling begin to change the way you think. Everyday we all have to swim, crawl then walk but not as hard with Forgiveness and Gratitude and God. The only thing you ever have control over is YOUR current thought. Now the piece of paper everyone is worried about to marry a couple is a visual and I don't think Jesus had a piece of paper to heal and love others. Fear is not a Leader and it looks like Tennessee is full of fear. Be still and know I am God.
Awareness is the first step in healing or changing the outcome.
Thank you, as I am a ULCM minister. And I have been following states that are on the rise of restricting religious beliefs. They have been trying to make Christianity the countries religion and they are trying to now teach religion in public schools, using religious beliefs to justify their views on abortion. The use of religious beliefs to discriminate on LBTGQ comunities. The question we must all ask as some try to make their religous views of a few the law of the land we must all strive for the freedoms of religion for all differing beliefs and discourage discrimination and keep the religous diversity of America alive including we ministers who are ordained online the right to practice our beliefs without hinderance and or State or Federal Government interferance and regulation. Thank you ULCM Lisa
The United States Was Founded On Religious Freedom, Christianity Has Always Been The Primary Religion In This Country; First Because Of One Individual This Country Took Prayer Out Of Schools, They Stopped Saying The Pledge Of Allegiance In School Because If The Words "Under God" This Country Has Always Catered To The Foreigners Who Come Here To Live And Don't Want To Learn Our Language And Honor Our Beliefs (Religious Or Otherwise) I Think It's High Time This County Stops Catering To All The Foreigners And Their Beliefs And Get back To The Basics Upon Which This Country Was Founded. If We Were To Move To Another Country Would They Take Prayer Out Of Their Schools And So Forth For Us Like We Have Been Doing For Them All These Years. If People From Others Countries Want To Reside Here Let Them Honor Our Beliefs Like We Would Have To Do If We Moved To Their Country. I Truly Love ANd Forgive Unconditionally And I Would Give My Life For Anyone, I Accept All People For Who They Are, But Our Country Must Set Boundries And Stick To Them Just As Other Countries Do.
My kids are still required top stand for the pledge every morning and at every awards night, plus a few other things. They can choose to speak or stay silent. I am surprised to hear that there are schools who don't do this everyday...??
I don’t see why they can’t just revert back to the original pledge that doesn’t include under god. That was just added during the communist scares in the 50s. Pretty ridiculous really.
Agreed. Fear does unusual things sometimes.
Toni, that is an idea fearful people use to convince other fearful people that Christianity is being stomped out by other religions. The pledge in schools is a red herring, a dog whistle to get those who are uninformed on their side. It's simply not true. Any student of history (without a Christian agenda) knows the United States was formed SPECIFICALLY to allow freedom of religion.
See, U.S. Const., amend. 1. We have the freedom of religion to practice, or not practice, the religion of our choice. The Government may not found or prefer any religion. People came here on the promise of free exercise of religion, not the government forcing religion on anyone. If you want someone to honor "our" beliefs, which beliefs are you honoring? There are hundreds of Christian denominations, which one do you pick? That's why our government stays out of religious arguments like this. Our country set boundaries. You just don't like the boundaries set in the Constitution. Which we shall not change.
The "under God" in the pledge was added during the anti-Communist craziness of the 50s, and IMO doesn't belong in it. Our founding fathers were Deists, not necessarily Christians, and the language in the founding documents is absolutely clear that the government does not have the right to establish ANY religion or religious requirement for any citizen. Children "meet at the flagpole" and pray at school all the time. Every school and government meeting I've been in still says the pledge. The difference is that you don't get to require either of those things. To say "they took it out" is disingenuous. "They" may have stopped practices that should never have been permitted in the first place, but nobody is barring anyone from practicing any religion -- except the defendants in the lawsuit described in this original post and some conservative Christians who attempt to bar Muslims, Pagans and others from the free exercise of their religious beliefs.
Tracy, very good and well presented.
You're right that this country was founded on religious freedom. But Christianity was never the official religion of the government.
Freedom to worship in any way one chooses, or to not worship at all, was a freedom enshrined in our constitution by the Framers, some of whom we're not Christian.
The words "under God" we're not part of the pledge of allegiance when it was written in the 1800s. Those words were added in the 1950s and have been controversial ever since because they turned a declaration of patriotism into a declaration of faith. And, the government has no business in the matters of faith of we, the people.
Well said, Madison!
(And lest we forget, this site is UNIVERSAL Life Church . . . not "Christian" Life Church. Why are some of us resorting to attack-and-belittle tactics more akin to a dogfight than to respectful exchange between members of the same Human Tribe who may disagree with some of the others' perspectives? Seems especially out of place here . . . Just sayin'.)
I don't know where to start to respond to this post. It is so full of historic inaccuracies it boggles the mind. Let's start at the beginning. It was the original "Foreigners" the Pilgrims/ Puritans ,etc. etc. that came here who first ignored and then persecuted and destroyed the indigenous religious beliefs, language and social mores that started this whole "Christian Nation" mythology. We are a nation of "Foreigners" and should revel in the creativity and energy that diversity bestows on us. Where's your family from, Mr. " Biddinger"? May I see your papers pleeeease?
Isn't what makes this country great is that we DON'T do what other countries do?
How very religicist are you. Are you a ULCM? If so, maybe you need to go to a right-wing, conservative seminary that teaches only the"cherry picked" Bible and leave us--the ULCM's-- alone.
Your point of view would be more persuasive if you could actually define "our beliefs" as they pertain to U.S. citizens.
Thomas Biddinger, I think you might want to read up on the history of The Pledge of Allegiance.
The words "Under God" was added decades after it was originally written. And then removed, because of the separation of church and state. A person of any nationality is not required to believe in any dirty.
And frankly, the whole idea of requiring 6 year old kids to swear their loyalty to their country, when they have no idea what the words even mean;
"I pledge a legion to the flag of the United States of America, and to the public for Richard Stands, one naked individual, with liver tea and justice for all."
Sounds like Facism/Communism/Naziism/whicheversworse-ism to me.
"Richard Stands 2020!"
Don't know how to edit - auto corrected "Diety" to "Dirty".
Damn! So are you saying it isn’t Richard Stands?
Reminds me of: Our father, Rich Hart in heaven ...
Always thought that was a weird name for a god!
I don't "pledge allegiance" to any "flag" . . . I pledge allegiance to Integrity, Respect; Compassion; Kindness,;Freedom, Love, Truth (hard to agree on one definition of "Truth", lol!), and "Paying It Forward". Soppy values, all . . .targets of ridicule often . . . but worth living and dying for.
Thomas, you are aware that the country was founded by foreigners, right? That the founding fathers specifically made sure that no specific religion was the "primary religion"? That Judaism, and Islam, were specifically not only allowed, but encouraged. You do know that, right?
The beliefs we have, are inclusion and acceptance, honoring and respecting others' customs and beliefs.
That's what it means to be American.
Amazing how you think Christianity is the primary religion, considering the founding Fathers were primarily Deists. They all voted on the separation of church and state (even if those specific wards are not used, they are the intent).
While Christians are a majority of this country, there are many different Christian religions. Individually, none is a majority. There are nearly as many Agnostic/Atheists are there in the largest Christian sects.
The Pledge of Allegiance had no "Under God" until 1954, when it was added. Frankly, it's unconstitutional for that change to have been made.
We didn't take prayer out of school for immigrants, we did it because it was the right thing to do. Children can still pray in school, they just need to make sure hey aren't interfering with the education of the other children. What you can't have is a government led prayer.
The person most responsible for taking mandantory prayer out of schools was Madalyn Murray O'Hair, a white atheist born in Pennsylvania. I happen to agree with her. If your school takes government funding to run then you have no business making children pray to any God. Government shouldn't get involved with religion nor should religion get involved with government.
No one has the right to take away my right to pray, anywhere, at any time, not matter if they fund the schools (or other entity). Where in the Constitution does is say otherwise?
Of course not Christopher. No one has the right to stop someone watching paint dry if they so wish. So basically, if someone wants to talk to a floor, wall, or ceiling they should be allowed to do it. I totally support you.
Lionheart - I was replying to Rusty.
Rev. Christopher - you can pray when you want. And that goes for kids in any schools (within reason). There is no more forced public governmental prayer in schools. Understand the history.
Anna - I understand the history better than most. Murray v. Curlett was filed in Baltimore, and changed my school days in Baltimore forever. If you weren't there, you shouldn't tell someone to understand the history. I lived it. People say that it didn't take prayer out of schools, only made it non-mandatory. That's not what really happened. We were not allowed to pray in school after that, just so that we wouldn't offend anyone.
If someone is offended by prayer they shouldn't go to a Muslim country. If someone is offended by our prayer they should go to a Muslim country. I'm so sick and tired of all this PC crap. Being offended is a fact of everyday life. get over it.
Thomas, Your use of capitalization is rather distracting. Also, we did set boundaries. It is in the 1st amendment. Our government (created by a large group of people) shall not establish or select an official religion nor shall it prevent the expression of any (unless that interferes with other rights). So... it is already settled. You sound like you don't like that outcome. You may certainly say so (and did) but for it to change the Constitution would need to be changed. You can read about how to do that in the Constitution.
Screw Tennessee! We all have a right to exist and live happily here...far-reaching conservatives who don’t like governmental interference but do the same to unfairly restrict the rights of others...I wish I could add my name to this lawsuit!
You can add your name. Nothing prevents you from adding a claim to this suit.
Thank you! We are behind this. Tennessee should concentrate more on preventing child marriage and inbreeding.
As a ulc minister I'm saddened by this I'm behind repealing this law as a minister I'm proud to be part of the ulc ministry
Hey, ULC ~ When you're done with the lawsuit in TN, please come do the same for NORTH CAROLINA and VIRGINIA!!! I've only recently heard and read that NC precludes Online-ordained Officiants/Ministers from doing weddings here . . . But I've been officiating weddings in NC (and some in TN in the 1990's, as well as in SC, GA, FL and VA) for TWENTY-THREE YEARS . . . and I have no intention to stop doing so until aging and/or health issues may compel me to step down.
In NC, I don't know whether this is "policy", or "Statute Law" . . . but the wording of the contested paragraph is very much subject to interpretation . . . said interpretation being slanted narrowly and restrictively to excluding those of us who did/do not find it necessary to have completed "Divinity School" or other State-approved training to be considered validly vetted Officiants/Ministers to solemnize/legalize marriage between individuals..
I am not ~ nor do I desire to be ~ a "pastor" of a church. My "Ministry" is restricted to officiating Weddings and similar ceremonies, Baby Dedications/Christenings/Baptisms, a few funerals, and counseling through my Marriage & Life Counseling service. I was a "Born-Again Christian"/Spirit filled, for 24 years. But then "God enlarged my coasts" . . . and I shed the skin of Christianity for a more expansive "spiritual" perspective . . . Even my concept of "God" has expanded and shifted. I find my perspective now much more inclusive and less judgmental ~ more detached and accepting of many things. It feels good!
NC allows ULC ministers to officiate.
Rev Bird ~ I would like to hear more ~ with some articles, etc. if available. I first started checking this when a potential bride challenged me on it, worried that if I married them, they would not be legally married, lol. (Never mind that I have done thousnds of ceremonies over 23 years in multiple states!)
Like I said, I plan to continue doing what I've been doing, and love it . . . But all witten material I've been able to glean so far states or suggests that NC does NOT allow ULC ministers to officiate. But I'd love to hear more . . . And thank you.
Sorry about the delay getting back with you. And I am not a lawyer, just a common man trying to understand legal jargon.
My initial answer was based upon NC Statutes Chapter 51, Article 1(1) a which states "In the presence of an ordained minister of any religious denomination, a minister authorized by a church, or a magistrate". Article 1.1 goes on to validate marriages by ULC ministers before 3 July 1981. That section neither validates or invalidates weddings by ULC ministers after that date. There are arguments that by not specifically validating weddings after that date that the law leaves ULC weddings invalid (see Duncan v Duncan, NC Court of Appeals, Feb 2014)
In State v Lynch (1980) a North Carolina court found that a marriage performed by a ULC minister was invalid. While that case did not specifically state ULC marriages in general were not valid, the outcome of the case strongly suggested so. NC Court of Appeals decision in Duncan v Duncan (18 Feb 2014) seems to support that weddings performed by ULC officiants are not valid.
While I do not like the answer, it would appear that a marriage performed by a ULC minister likely does not meet requirements of NC law.
So.... if the Registrar where the ceremony is performed accepts the finalized license, the couple is considered married. However, if the marriage should be challenged for any reason, it may be invalidated by the courts.
Again, not an answer I like, and I would love if someone can show where this is not correct.
We all wish you well with the lawsuit.
Lion dear....this is politics. Tennessee has wedding chapel kiosks there who make a significant sum of money on weddings and my guess is that our weddings are interfering with their money making enterprise. I've been to a wedding chapel wedding in Tennessee. Kinda like the wedding chapel in "Kill Bill". boy...that was a movie I enjoyed...."wiggle your big toe".
And who knows what belief the people have that do the weddings in these chapels. Most of them is only a show and makes big money from it. That's how they make a living. I am not in Tennessee but in Alabama. I am not far from these so called wedding chapels. If a friend or someone wants me to perform a wedding for them in my belief it should be my right. That in my opinion is freedom to believe as we wish. I believe in the same God as many others, pray the same way and worship my Lord Jesus Christ. Just because I dont go to one of their judgemental churches doesn't mean I am not a Christian. We all have rights to believe as we wish.
Kimberly Religion is not Politics. For God is up and beyond any politics or politician. So we should never compare Religion to politics. God is great, Amen Rev.LaVerne Parks Jr
Religion has always been politics. What is war?
War is hell
War is not created by God. War is created by greedy sinners. Than God's people are called upon to do the work of the greedy. So no if you feel that Religion is politics. Than you are not a true follower of God's word.
War is an extension of politics.
In the beginning wasn’t there a war in heaven, which according to Kim is Hell, if that’s what war is?
Lion....it wasn't a war as much as a struggle. The devil and his angels got tired of being dinosaur herders and decided it was beneath them so they went home to heaven only to be kicked back to their assigned task which they haven't done since out of bitterness and pride which eventually killed off the dinosaurs and destroyed the saurian ecosystem. The ass kicking they got was enough to initiate their eventual replacement by the creation of mankind and the earth's terraforming to accommodate man as recorded in the Genesis event. The original cosmic creation was a test of the devil to see if they would remain loyal to God. They didn't and "fell". Mankind has not "fallen" as religion tries to tell us. We have no shame in that respect.
And you honestly believe all these things Kim...right?
I really don’t mean this to sound rude, but if you do, I honestly think your age is starting to catch up with you.
Kimberly - got to the part about dinosaur herding and nearly fell out of my chair...LAUGHING!!!
It is a rather hilarious way of viewing beings capable of destroying an entire universe. Dinosaurs and that prehistoric ecosystem were of gigantic size to act as biomatter repositories to be harvested for fossil fuels. Seeing the "big picture" takes a unique perspective. Obviously, you've never thought beyond your own little circle of experiences.
Thank you ULC for defending our first amendment rights!
Laverne, religion is politics. God is NOT religion. That's the difference. God transcends human religion. God is the center and all religions revolve around the center. None is completely, 100 percent perfect. For some people, politics and power is their religion, minus God.
I am hopeful this lawsuit is successful. Bright blessings to ULC.
Minor factual error: Gutenberg did NOT invent movable type or the printing press. Its use in China predates him. However, the Chinese version printed whole words (logograms) at once, because of the way that the Chinese language is written. His adaptation was to use the items to produce LETTERS. Other than that: may the lawsuit be successful.
given the degree to which modern, valuable IP is stolen from the US by China, no-one with two cents worth of a clue gives a rats ass about the Chinese not getting the credit for long expired zero value IP.
Additionally, the Chinese system of 1 non reusable character per word is so inefficient, and I daresay 'STUPID', when compared to our multi reusable characters per word system ("alphabet") that all china's old world technology related to linguistics is rendered without a scintilla of value or usefulness in modern technologically advanced society.
Logograms suck ass.
To Mr. Bender I would say his comments sound remarkably intolerant and unlike most on this website.
You minor error is this: This article did not state that Gutenberg invented the printing press. It merely stated that he utilized it to print the Bible.
Tennessee removed our abilities however handed this to more politicians. It is beyond me as to why they think the politicians have more qualifications than we do. Sevier county should have also been included, I believe local monies helped in this decision from the state.
It was the wedding chapel industry that has pushed Tennessee in this direction. There's a bunch of them down there.
I am a native Tennessean. It’s a great state. I’m also a ULC minister. I have performed a small number of weddings, requested by good friends and family. The TN code specifically names the UCL in their prohibition. I do not charge for my service and do not intend to. It is unfortunate that TN has chosen to directly mix church and state in their ruling. My Grandfather was also a minister in TN. I believe he was ordained by the Church of God. He learned to read by struggling with his Bible. He had no other qualifications than to be “called to preach”. He was a great man who served his God in a mighty way. I hope that we prevail and become recognized by the Great State of Tennessee.
Reverend Donald Linville
Interesting that this was filed in US District court instead of TN state court. This puts the law suit on a faster track. If ULC loses, ULC can appeal the case to the US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit and eventually to SCOTUS. I think it is highly unlikely that ULC would lose if it ever got as far as SCOTUS.
I believe I've read some spells pertaining to this. I'll look for them, and cast them, in favor of ULCM. I hope other Wiccans who are ULC ministers will do the same. This is not so-called black magic, but protection magick. And don't forget, us Wiccans are not the ones who turn the other cheek, when it comes to protecting ourselves, and our own. Blessed be!
Great comments one and all, living in a formidable shithole myself where politics and politicians are run by people who couldn’t get or hold a proper job,(Kanada)) I, as a total non-believer of anything that is supposed to be “supreme” hope this lawsuit bodes well for our church, there is to much, do it my way in society that this can’t be ignored.
What is ULC Monastery doing to help ministers that have weddings scheduled for this summer? This lawsuit could take years to resolve, and there are thousands of ministers that can no longer tell couples that their weddings are legally valid. Other online-churches are offering solutions.
I bet some of those couples can afford to drive or take a bus with their minister, if not the whole wedding party, to at least the closest town, hotel, field (or whatever floats their boat), on the other side of the state line, to have their wedding, and get licensed. We have to do what we have to do, even when it isn't convenient.
Curious about this as well. I have one scheduled and dont know what to tell the couple.
ULC could petition the US District court to issue a stay on the enforcement of the new law, thus grandfathering in the weddings that have already been scheduled. Another way to get around the law is to look for loopholes in the text of the law. It may be possible for in-person re-ordination if a group of ministers gather in person with an official from ULC headquarters. If each minister thus re-ordained in person were to be conferred with the power to do other re-ordinations, eventually most if not all ULC ministers in TN, at least with upcoming weddings, could have legal ordination status by the time the weddings are scheduled. ULC ministers should not have to do this but it may be a way out at least for some
The law is not only inconvenient and idiotic, it is also unconstitutional.
Your last sentence says it all.
Thank you for this. Is there a schedule for the bus tour travelling throughout the state?
I am an Ordained Minister thru Universal Life Church and I have 7 Tennessee Weddings scheduled in the next 8 months. TN seems to be trying to regulate Religion or Ban it!!
When I perform a ceremony, I try to make it a special day for my couples, at their home, at the park, the lake, on the beach, the forest, where ever they choose. My ceremonies are about two people that love each other and trust me to officiate their wedding, to the best of my ability. Most of my weddings have a prayer and are religious ceremonies. Some want to be married but do not want to mention God. That is fine too. If they love each other, the day is about them.
We do not discriminate and do not hesitate to marry a couple. We have performed, Man & Woman Marriage; Same Sex Marriage; Vow Renewals; Blended Weddings; Weddings for couples that have been married before; Bi Racial as well as many other nationalities. I am not a strictly Black or White Heterosexual Wedding Minister. I AM A WEDDING MINISTER PERIOD. Like Love, I do not judge.
Hopefully, Universal Life Church will win their law suit and I will be trying to be part of that. Universal Life Church has asked the state of TN to prolong passing the law until their law suit is settled. The ban/law is supposed to go into effect next Monday, July 1. 2019.
You missed the point entirely. This was a political move by the state in favor of wedding chapel kiosks who charge big money for the privilege of getting married. Contrary to common understanding, Tennessee has a lot of recreational areas where these wedding chapels are located and people pay big money to get married there. On the other end of the pendulum, there are a lot of back woods people getting married at these same chapels who choose a much cheaper option offered. Its a business large enough to be protected by the state.
I agree with you one hundred percent! I also am an ordained minister, although I joined Universal Church prior to the internet. I have been performing weddings for the last 25 years. You nailed it with your comment!
This is an attempt at striking people who are not cis gender and straight. Make no mistake. Who can't get married at a church in TN? Gay people, that's who! Poor people, that's who! Can they go to the courthouse? Finally gay marriage is legal! But what if they want a traditional ceremony? And pastors block them? This is nothing but an attempt to take away the rights of more vulnerable populations, and it pisses me off.
Yes, I want to add my name in support of this lawsuit. How?
just because something is legal doesn't make it right.
So who died and made you God? Might not be right for you, but...
Jesus died for us, she's right and you can't handle it.
You AND Kim/Kimberly absolutely suck at graciousness and good will.
Simply put, we are spirits having human experiences. Not the other way around. No spirit in the Universe is greater than another as we are all children of the same Universe or Great Ongoing Dynamic if you see things through an atheist eye. All spirits have the right to ordinate the commitment of one spirit to another for matrimony. Tennessee is therefore a vast and impudent joke for what spirits has Tennessee ever raised to existence other than sour mash whiskeys? Foolishness.
I live in Cookeville TN. I'm known as Brother Paul. Studied religions searching for truth and meaning. I and my friends are of the same mind. God is love, and truth. We are a congress and congratulation. However TN has desided to take our freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and possibly our freedom to peaceful gathering. I became ordained to help marrie my friends that doesn't want to have a stanger preform the ceremony and or a preacher that they do not believe in the same way. I also have a Transgender god son that most traditional preachers will not preform his wedding when he meets his partner for life. I promised him I would proform his wedding. Now the sate has taken that from him and I as well. I am starting to see how to get a permit to demonstrate and see what I can do to help raise awareness and show opposition. Would appreciate any help. Gods bless and good tidings. Love you, mean it.
Trule yours Paul Ford
Willing to testify at the injunction hearing. As well as any other way I can.
How about going to bat for us in stubborn of Virginia too that would be great?
The problem we have in this country today is the people have got away from the church. And God. They don't believe there is a God and they have allowed the government to take prayer out of our schools and courts. People go to church put don't here the paster they're getting away from the Bible and the law of God. In my way of thinking we need to wake up and not worry about other countries and there believings just ours.our country was founded on God,freedom,faith,love. So forgive not bend love not hate and put God frist back where he belongs in the schools,courts,church's. Rev. Don E. Houston
Absolutely not taking ANY steps backward. No.
I am in Alabama not far from Tennessee where a lot of these wedding chapels exist. I have just become a ULC Minister. I hope there is no problems like this here. I am calling the Courthouse today to see what they say. I have friends that ask me if I can do the ceremony. I told them yes so guess I need to check with the courts and see if my freedom of religion matters.
Billy - As an AL resident and ULC Minister - Bama has no problem with us. I have personally talked to our "then" Judge of Probate (where Marriage Licenses get sent) - just to let him know who I am and where I come from. I went to seminary at a college that no longer exists - so my "degree" was not really worth the paper it was printed on. I have performed numerous ceremonies - in both AL and TN (as I live close to the TN line and have friends and family there).
I support your lawsuit. I hope you win.
I am proud of ULC! I am an ordained minister in TN! I became ordained because I have friends and family that are in the LGBT community and I know how people in the south are. I think this law is just a way to block "Gay" marriage. And until we can stop calling it "Gay" marriage instead of just marriage, it will be looked at differently. There is one thing about the comments that I'm not sure is known. There are a lot of wedding chapels in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area that are for real. However, most of their ministers are also ordained online as well. So it is hurting them and I'm sure it will effect tourism there. ULC has my full support and if I can do anything, please let me know!!!!!
Hello I'm reverend Benjamin stokes from Blackpool, England, UK.i am very interested in getting to know other ministers from the UK, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org a very big hello to all ULC ministers god
Hopefully one day ULCM will be recognised in the UK. I hope ministers oddained by ULCM from the UK will contact me. That way we can all get together and fight for the ULCM to be recognised in the UK, my email is email@example.com I have a meeting with the archbishop of the open episcopal church uk tomorrow morning hopefully I have more news then. God bless.
If someone needs to pop across state lines and have a wedding done in MS, so far Mississippi hasn't done anything too off the wall about online ordinations.
I guess if the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster can be recognized as a real religion/church, there ain't NO legitimate reason not to give the same recognition to ULC. ?
I don't berlieve the cFSM is recognized anyplace as anything but a joke.
The Church of Green (still in development) fully supports ULC in this and we will be writing up this attack on religious freedom in several places. PA also greatly restricts the ability to perform marriages.http://thechurchofgreen.com (Groundhogpress.com)
How is it that a Clerk, who is not a minister can perform marriages in Tennessee while the state is banning Ordained Ministers who receive their Ordination online? This is tantamount to regulating freedom of religion!!!
What is hard for me to understand, is how they are trying to ban those ordained by UCLM and other internet churches from preforming ceremonies/weddings that would then be legal in the state (because they are recognizing the "church") requiring a marriage license is not a Religious Requirement, It is a document required by the government. Therefore, it shouldn't matter as long as the person who preforms the wedding is recognized and licensed within the state (this is where those little chapels come into play... Most of those are not "church chapels" they are businesses for profit and as such they pay taxes to the state... You have an ordained UCLM minister, even if they haven't gone through the tax exempting process of forming their own branch church and forming a non profit... Who would offer a beautiful wedding to locals, tourists, and be all inclusive of whom they join together (within the backwards restrictions still practiced in some states)... And that takes away the states tax money made off the revenue of those chapels (it also takes away county revenues).
They are disguising greed and politics, behind a veil of their definition of religion, they are trying to make it seem as if they are not wanting to recognize the UCLM ministers as wedding officiants, because there isn't a mega church in the state with UCLM on it... But justices of the peace, clerk's, and other non religiously ordain persons can and do preform weddings (in their roles/jobs) judges preform them and judges are governmental not religion appointed... So to me this is fully an attack on UCLM (and freedom.of religion) in the name of greed and over-reach, backed by the ones who are allowed by religion/office/or business to charge excessive fees as well as discriminate in their "preforming of weddings".
Charge a license fee of 45.00 a year to be a licensed officiant, if it is about the money, but don't hide greed and politics in "protecting religion" by saying you don't agree with the church because it welcomes all and is based online.
It is my hope that UCLM is successful in countering this, and can get a hold on the ban while it is being adjudicated, so ministers with UCLM can still preform recognized ceremonies.
Having been born and partially raised in TN, I love the state, but their policies and politics and beliefs I do not always share... In fact, I disagree with a great many, having seen so many I love affected negatively by those same policies and beliefs.
Good Luck UCLM! And all our TN members!
I agree with all the points of freedom of speech .. what the country was founded on and so forth..... BUT in reality and spiritually one needs neither this appointment from our church or any other church or denomination... WHY YOU ASK .. answer Is simple .... Christ didn’t “ordain “ per say pastors and minister’s alike or even have a name ..He just said to go spread the word.. ONCE we accept Christ into our believing heart and confess from our believing mouth that Jesus is lord we are saved ... and at that point we are given a “MEASURE “ of the spirit .. HOW MUCH IS DECIDED BY CHRIST AND THE SPIRIT ..... then we are guided to our GIFT may it be WISDOM .. TEACHING .. MINISTERING ...CARING ...INTERPRETER OF TONGUES TO THE LEAST AS PAUL PUT IT .. SPEAKING IN TONGUES ... the spirit decides who will become a minister and your ministry is a reflection of the spirits will and Christ’s as well !!
Could you please fight this same fight in Virginia, for those of us here who are not recognized by the establishment?
I find all the above comments to be quite interesting. Most people who make comments on blogs have an agenda. Most are either right or left wing radicals and most are Christians. Being a Christian does not give you or anyone else the right to tell other people how, who, or what they should worship. Christianity spread worldwide as a result of intimidation and murder. So called missionaries have taken advantage of people they considered beneath them. These people were considered savages. I don't believe God would approve of this type of behavior in any way, form, or fashion. Of course, as a Christian myself, I am speaking though my heart. Some may think through my butt. I guess I just put myself into my own comment making position. Sorry!
No one marries you....no Priest, Rabbi, be it a Pastor, Reverend, Justice of Peace, Ship Captain, Minister or simply a wedding Officiant ......you marry each other. Religion is not always the bond of which marriage lies upon. I am a believer of God and everything that follows through Him, as I was born and raised Catholic, but know well in my heart that everyone is entitled to their beliefs. You can speak about nonsense all you want Tennessee, but in the end, it’s a private matter, between two loving individuals...and yes, I’m an ordained wedding officiant through ULCM.
Sorry...sort of new here. Got ordained last year but have been quite busy with a daughter getting ready for college sooo....you know the rest. LOL My question is, are there other states other than TN that have an issue with ULC ordained ministers?
Just checked and found PA has eased up a bit. I believe the Commonwealth now fully recognizes the ULC and just requires registration with a county clerk. I think the same is true for all ministers who wish to perform Commonwealth recognized marriages. PA was also one of the last states to accept common law marriages - my wife and I came in under that rather than go through a government clerk. You had to be living openly as husband and wife before a certain date, I think it was around 1990. BTW, if you log in as a minister here you will see a US map which links to all the state laws.
Thank you, ULCM, for defending America's unique freedom of religion and freedom from religion! What do Xtians not understand about "Congress shall make no law...?"
When the constitution and bill of rights were written, they pertained to federal institutions, not to the individual state governments. However, in the more recent McDonald case, SCOTUS decided that the US Constitution applies to the states as well. It stands to reason that no state can violate the individual rights of US citizens, including freedom of religion.
Lisa, I believe the monastery maintains a list of states where we are authorized. Some, such as PA don't appear to be doing it purely for venal purposes as TN is.
Ministers, ordained online or other way's are doing the Lord's Work of helping couples achieve a legal union!!! So what's the problem? Thank You ULC for standing up to these anti spiritual Zealots!!!!
No one has the right to dictate what I believe or who I can love. The major ideal behind our constitution is freedom. I demand this right for myself and for you whatever your beliefs as long as no one else's rights, privileges, or well being is diminished. Along with rights come responsibility we have towards our brothers and sisters. Thank you for using your responsibility to us all.
I have a legal 501 (c) (3) that makes my Church as a non-profit. Since all I have to do is summit a letter to the County office saying I'm have been authorize by the Secretary to preform weddings then my name is consider legal. I also have a notary stamp to further make it legal in my State. If by chance that so-called other religious groups seek to bare me I should warm them that the picture that you see carries a pitch fork. The Catholic Church of Rome would have had a legal seat in the UN if they had the money to put into the UN. They are still consider a separate and their priests report first to Rome and the Catholic Church property in the US is consider to be part of Rome. Just like any foreign government has.
Thank you for doing this. I currently live in Shelby County, TN. I have not been able to register to perform marriages in my county. Please keep me/us posted to the outcome of this.
Just to inform you. A federal judge in Nashville has stopped the law from taking effect as of now until later this year while all sides are being reviewed. Here is the link to the latest news. I too am in shelby county.
Thank you for pursuing this! While not in TN, it's easy to see how the attitude of governments and legislators in TN could be shared by legislators and officials in other states. Thank you!
I guess for $25.00 you too can be an "ordained" preacher and avoid the education requirements. How about adding another $25 and become a practicing surgeon.
Hey Paul this is Pastor Ronnie from Tennessee I'm not understanding your comment directly are you on the ulcm taking part in the comments about what's going on because you want to be derogatory towards those members of Ulcm or are you asking a question as to the validity of those members of Ulcm. Either way I do have this comment in regards to a lot of the other comments that are on here the law in most States that the lawmakers are falling back to trying to say is grounds for those ordained through ulc m not being valid is because the law states that it has to be a deliberate and conscious act to become an ordained minister I don't know how much more deliberate and conscious of an act you have to make short of coming on the you LCM website and professing your desire to become an ordained minister I believe that anyone that does that has to honestly have a true calling in a religious regard and belief of their choice and every person has the right to congregate with others and express and discuss their shared beliefs and faith and it be called whatever religion it is they want to call it and I don't know of a specific Doctrine or education that in the beginning of time as we know it as we've been told that required anyone to study in order to become a person of faith until the days of the Romans when the Catholic faith studied and professed and created Doctrine in order for people to follow that religion and then religion dictated politics and now politics is trying to dictate religion however in the Constitution we have the first thing which is the freedom to express ourselves by religion speech and press and no one politician or otherwise can delete that right I was born into a Methodist Family raised up through the Baptist Church baptized in a Catholic Church I've attended Protestant Pentecostal Church of Christ and in this I haven't found anyone in my entire life who's any better than the next so therefore I chose to become ordained online because I believe that a person only needs to have faith that there is one God creator you have you believe it in your mind in your heart and you live that everyday through your actions and interactions with others it's not about what title of religion you put in front of it that makes it right
Excellent statement(s), Pastor Ronnie. Thank you.!
Thank you Reverend charnley and I also noticed some of your comments early in the post and I agree with your conversation as well as your ideals and beliefs we can't criticize any one person over being right or wrong because who's to say anybody is right or wrong we can only either accept or deny to agree
Lion heart. What happened in your life to not believe in God? I know something had to happen because we all were made to worship him. The only reason we were created was to love and worship God. So what has happened in your life for you not to believe. As a minister I would love to speak to you about it.
Its very simple Dean, I gained an education. I now class myself as a secular humanist, if classification is really necessary.
Stating we were born to love and worship a god, and “we were all made to worship him”, are in fact fallacious statements with no demonstrable grounds whatsoever to support them. They are all based on a belief structure, which is no different to any other belief structure of any other religion.
Thank you for our question.
"I know something had to happen because we all were made to worship him." Vanity is an ugly trait in a god... I'm with Rev LionH ;-)
That is most noble of you Sir. May the love of your honor, integrity, and reason, affect others searching for freedom of thought. ?
Sitting in a garage makes you no more a car than sitting in a church makes you a christian.
This church has given the religious freedom for so many to where people can express their beliefs and worship how they choose (including ceremonies) because so many of the "organized" religions and/or denominations have shunned them or have a really narrow way of thinking. I feel this is an absolute wonderful organization that will bring joy to many for years to come. I am proud to be an ordained minister through this church as well. One who has been shunned from other traditional churches.
Thank you for your wonderful way you express the importance of the ULC mission. I wholeheartedly believe in the mission. I haven’t been a reverend very long but because my son and his now wife was only able to be married by the law because of church doctrine, I will have the honor to bless this marriage in a short ceremony. It’s my first and I am nervous but I know God will be with all of us. Tennessee needs to see the wonderful light ULC is.
for the gentlemen that do not believe why are you even on here speaking about ordain if you do not belie ve anything if you do not beleive in a God i guess u have made yourself not one single soul has came back and explained to you what happens after death.. so you do not know no one knows but i choose to believe and if its not once i have gone on then it gave me peace love and joy while i was here and if there is then either way i have won the battle guess u love living in the physical and spiritual eternity with no joy do not knock anyone for the way they choose to believe if you are your own God guess u are having the perfect life since you can make the storms and calm them as well good lok since you do not believe in blessings
Good work ULC..keep the ba@tards honest and make sure that the rights of all are defended..not just a few belonging to what they deem to be the "right" religions...
Fight the good fight..
To all who say that God doesn't exist or the he does all you need to do is start looking at money from around the world and you will notice something interesting it all mentioned God in one form or another. With humanity and respect Rarity
Please help me understand your comment. Are you attempting to suggesti that because some monetary systems have the word “God” on paper money or coinage that this is proof of a God?
No state may make a law that interferes with a citizen's right to practice their religion in any way they deem appropriate.
Obviously, Tennessee's politicians do not agree with you.
Rev. Greanya----its time WE THE PEOPLE need to stand up for our rights--government has got out of hand and sad but we let it--its time to make them understand THEY WORK FOR US---not their party---if WE do nothing we will become sheep---the people need to wake up
I was told no by a county in New York State. I wish we could get support from the church for this these types of issues.
As a ULC ordinate in Tennessee I want to Thank You For your efforts. This is an Unconstitutional Law, hands down, and implemented in near secrecy. The general public only found out about it a few weeks before its implementation once and long after it was passed. I am happy to share that the response by the citizenry of this state has been overwhelmingly negative.
A judge in TN has given us a reprieve:
I had posted the same link earlier and comment to someone else's remark on here so I'm going to assume that we just have to wait till the end of the year to see if there's going to be what the final decision or outcome will be however it can be appealed regardless of the decision and it can end up in the Supreme Court and I know once it does go to the Supreme Court it will be found in favor of the First Amendment and a violation of the First Amendment therefore it will not be upheld so I don't believe that this is going to go anywhere with any state to be able to make the decision to limit who can and cannot be ordained or by what means
Why would the purpose of the law be to sanctify marriage when about 90%+ of never married Tennesseans are sexually experienced before turning 20. I'm not so sure a ceremony sanctifies such sinners. Same goes for the rest of the U. S. of A.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I hesitate saying anything because I am not fond of debate, so feel free NOT to reply. First off, in response to the initial article about taking this case to court, I say BRAVO to ULC for standing up for its ministers. Were the first Christians ordained as ministers? No. They were people who accepted Christ and were told to go out and minister to others. I think many of us did this internet thing so we could offer services to others, like marriages, and many of us could have gone to various theological schools and been ordained that way. Did the 1st Christians go to a school? No. We can debate the issue, but our Constitution says we have the freedom to worship as we see fit. So, another BRAVO to ULC. I could see this going to the Supreme Court.
I had noticed a debate here regarding the existence of God. I firmly believe that a person is entitled to their beliefs, and don't think it is necessary for one person to argue against another persons beliefs. At least not when it comes to religion. I have a lot of arguments against the Catholic church, but I also have friends and family who are devout Catholics. To try to change them just isn't right. They are good, caring people. Why would I want to change that by casting seeds of doubt in their minds?
If you don't believe in God, any God, fine. That's your belief. But to tell someone who believes that they are wrong isn't right. Faith is just that, Faith, the belief in something not seen. We know that thoughts exist even though we can't see them. We believe dreams exist even though we can't share them. Physicists believe there are particles of atoms so tiny we many never be able to know what they look like, but they know they exist. Why? Because of reaction. An atom moves certain ways because the particles within react to each other and to particles of other atoms. Likewise, we behave certain ways because of how we react to what is around us. And our belief, or non-belief in a God and angels and demons makes us react certain ways. I choose to believe in the message of Christ because it makes me feel good now, and because it gives me hope for an after-life. If you are atheist, you can have a good life. But when you die, you may not have that after-life. Maybe. Who knows? The dead don't send postcards. All I'm saying, I guess, is to let people believe what they want as long as they're not hurting someone else. And I know that statement can open up a new can of worms, But as I said when I started, I'm not looking for debate. I'm tired of debate. It's time for compromise and acceptance.
From the Apostles the first Deacons where ordained by the laying on of hands. People like Stephen who was later martyred. Or Phoebe who carried Paul's :etter to Rome. Peter laid hands on his successor as Bishop of Rome who has then ordaining other Bishops to succeed him and create new diocese who in turn ordain priests.
That's it then. Joe Biden is handing down the priesthood to all those he lays his hands on. I always knew there was more to it. Just think, all those little girls have been ordained. Who'd have known it? We've all been conned. We were all thinking bad things about him.
Peter was never the "Bishop of Rome" and did not start the Catholic church. Jesus was speaking of HIS church and of his return to assemble the elect. A very few with whom he and/or God dealt with directly. The apostles, Paul, Enoch, Noah, the prophets, David, Ruth, etc. All recorded in the pages of the Bible. Jesus' church will be comprised of people who can no longer die. It will not be an "immortal church".
David - Where in the Bible does it talk about Peter being Bishop of ROme?
Peter calls Jesus Bishop. NOT himself. One must also realize that Peter's letters were not of a generic nature. They were written with that specific generation in mind. One must read much of the New Testament from that perspective rather than attempting to make it generic then apply it to one's agenda. It is because of such mis-application of the biblical writings that religious organizations have perpetrated many heretical teachings upon their membership. And one is that religious organizations have usurped the gospel these biblical men preached to completion in a pretense that Jesus' people failed in the great commission he gave them. Consequently such organizations are liars and in taking money to continue their existence become not only liars but thieves.
IDEA!!!!! Let some of ULCs ministers come to Nashville for a couple of days and other cities and ordain in person. Another online university just did the same thing but only for one day just a few hours. While your waiting on lawsuit to pass.
This was a political attempt to stop LGBTQ and Wican activity with legislation.
Hardly. It was an attempt to enhance the business of the TN Wedding Chapel business. Nothing more. The agenda was money, not a bunch of letters.
I am a ULC Minister living in East TN and I am so thankful for ULC taking up the fight for our First Amendment Protections.
I believe that we ALL have the right to believe what we choose, WITHOUT prejudice OR judgement. PERIOD.
We do not and should never for each of us to believe what we choose just because we choose. I believe we all have the right, and responsibility, to learn the truth. We cannot just create each our own. Yet even that isn't the essence of religion.
Doing as our faiths actually teach would do wonders, but never forget the Christian scriptures do advocate possessing, bearing, and making use of weaponry, as in if the Hebrews had followed instructions to the letter there would be no problems with the Palestinians today. If the Muslims in the U. S. of A. that I know followed the strict codes of Islam, there'd be quite a bit more rape, enslavement, and murder in the name of Allah (aihtiram) than there already is. There probably are no innocent cultures, not even yours, or mine, or theirs, no matters what we believe, or why.
The Tennessee legislature should re-read the Scopes trial...Peace...Tom B
Tennessee has adopted a marriage standard for those who do recognize a marriage ceremony as an event during a regular church gathering during which a couple stands and announces to fellow parishioners their intent to live together as wife and husband. No person of religious authority required. The way the law is worded, two people can invite two witness to watch them wander out of earshot and return pronouncing their marriage, no religious representative required. Or, so I've been told. This new law seems nothing but farce that will encourage sex outside marriage, hence yet another Tennessean adherence to satanity. (Intentionally not capitalized because satan does not deserve it, like politicians).