I am now an ordained minister.
A friend of mine asked if I could officiate her wedding. I told her, as an atheist, I would have to become a judge first. Could she wait that long? No, and, thanks to the internet, she didn't have to.
After about 15 seconds on the Universal Life Church website, with little more than my name and address, I became an ordained minister, capable of marrying and giving last rights. For only $34.99 more, I can get
an "Emergency Communion Kit" that includes:
- A sturdy and elegant carrying case, with cross embellishment.
- 20 mini communion cups, in a cup dispenser. (shot glasses)
- A secure, snap-shut aluminum host box. (cracker box)
- A leak-proof juice cup. (which I assume also holds wine).
Basically a communal hip flask.
But I'm not limited to priesthood. The Universal Life Church website allows me to pick whatever I want - rabbi, priest, imam, animist, buddha. I could even start my own religion, like my Holideist friend did.
Which leads me to the drawbacks of the multidenominational ministry. The library alone can be cumbersome. I'll have to push out my wife's clothing to make room for my new robes. I'm going to need a photojournalist's vest just to carry all the requisite symbols, beads, relics, and assorted knickknacks And then there's the memorization, in several languages. It's not all fun and games. It's a responsibility. I've been called. I have an opportunity to give back to the human race.
It may appear that I'm taking this lightly. Not at all. I was raised Unitarian. I believe all religions have validity. Maybe I'm the first of a new line of uberpriests - those who can minister anywhere in the world, to any person, of any faith, bringing the joy and soul-healing power of spiritualism to the masses. The Monastery of Babel! The Unity of All!
That's the length I'll go to to help a friend. And who knows? Maybe when the next big hurricane hits, I'll be glad I have that emergency communion kit.
Did I mention I'm an atheist? I am so going to hell.