||[Aug. 14th, 2007|12:44 pm]
Last week, one of the WGN radio people announced that he paid a "nominal" fee to become a minister through one of the many ordination mills on the internet because a friend of his wanted him to preform a real marriage ceremony in a bit of a tongue in cheek manner and he needed ministerial credentials to be allowed to preform a real marriage ceremony.|
On a whim, I decided to see what that nominal fee might have been, and found that at least one place ordains anyone for free (although if you want the paper to prove to a county clerk you are a minister and so can conduct weddings/funerals ... etc., there's where the nominal fee comes in, and if you want other religious supplies they just happen to sell them too).
Well, anyway, that got me thinking about the nature of religions and how if you actually took these ordination mills seriously, they kinda turn the more organized religions upside down. In the organized religions they have prescribed ceremonies which the ordination mills do not. The ceremonies, if done with the original intent in mind, are a sort of container for the spiritual. I have a bit of a problem with religious ceremonies in general in that sheer repetition of any ceremony tends toward people starting to do it mindlessly through rote. At that point, without having the meaning of what that the ceremony symbolizes in mind, the spiritual aspect starts to become lost, but I digress.
Now if you want to take one of these ordination mills seriously (ah, go ahead, consider these churches, perhaps following the Wiccan Rede, "do as you will, as long as it harms none" for how they conduct their ceremonies and consider them real churches for the sake of argument ... I dare you. consider it, ok? you doing it? alright, I'll continue in any case), as I said above it turns things inside out. There are no mandatory or set ceremonies for those ordained to be forced to preform. Nor is there any set doctrine for them to preach. The onus of providing a container (the ceremonies and doctrine) for the spiritual switch to the individual minister of those ordination mills rather than being upon the doctrine/traditions of a traditional religion.
Ah, just one of my musings for today. I don't really have any farther to go with that, and I really need to get some other work done now.