Real v.s Fake Credentials

From Under the Editor's Rock
"Real" VS. "Fake" Credentials

Minister's License There's some Internet sites that provide a free Minister's License, and some people may have questions over not only their legality, but what they may actually be worth (which many may assume is nothing), because alternative religions like Neo-Paganism and Trads like Wicca don't have seminaries of their own and aren't exactly welcome in the established ones, so many on us welcome this convience as legitimate. Well, the practice of Simony is an ancient, honored and cherished tradition of the Xtian churches - even some Popes engaged in it. The first problem is the difference between "real" and "fake", which is smaller than one might think - the gray area is growing. On first glance, "You get what you pay for", free quickie religious certificates shouldn't mean much and should be worthess. Some quickie certificates can cost alot, but mean just as much,or just as little as the ones that are "Free"! Those people spent years in seminary or Bible College learning all about the minutia of Christian Theology, Law, Dogma, Creeds and History certainly don't thnk they're worth anything at all. Congress isn't supposed to endorse a state religion, so they should stay out of what is, and what is not, an "acceptable" Religious credential, and for the most part, it does ! Because there's no government sponsered religion then they're not supposed to determine what is valid or not in matters of religion. "Separation of Church and State" is a misnomer, it's not described that way in the Constitution. Its source is from legislation Thomas Jefferson introduced in Virginia, and only approxiamately describes the situation in the U.S. Those quickie licnses are considered to be as just as valid, and are recognized as such by most hospitals and other institutions as any other one. One of the "The Church of All Worlds Inc" Founders, Oberon Zell, actually went to seminary to get his Doctor of Divinity D.D., so one may deduce from that what he thinks about mail order degrees and ordinations...

Some of the first mail-order Minister's certificates were issued by the Universal Life Church, and over the years the "donation" has varied between various denominations from Free to $10.00 or more. The catch seems simple enough, they want you to continue buying various other certificates for things like "Certified Psychic Healer/..Registered Massage Therapist, "Doctor of Divinity", "Bishop", "Priest", "Prioress", "Activities Director" and other nice sounding, but supposedly empty titles at premium prices. However, alledgedly, there's a further hidden catch - If you have a ULC Congregation and it ends then its assets revert to the ULC. Yes, I have a PULC Minister's License, mainly for emergencies. Others have found legitimate reasons for doing so as well. But, less than the United States Supreme Court has said that these things are VALID certificates as far as they are concerned, and can be e-mailed ! (Just make sure to make and keep a hard copy) Whether or not a ULC congregation can tax exempt homes, cars and other expensive property is something else entirely - their past extravagent liberties with the tax laws has resulted in the IRS looking alot more closely at them...

Doctor of Divinity In these days of Photoshopped images, the certificate itself can look beautiful, have all the right seals and signatures, etc. and still be "forged", or as "fake" as a three dollar bill, in some people's eyes. Some say that only an organized church or religious corporation has the legitimate right or privilege to hand out titles and degrees. A College Degree in Medicine or other profession is closely examined by the Authorities, but Religion and its titles aren't. In the era of "We don't need No stinking Bodges !" some people still do. This doesn't mean you can take an organization's certificate and just cut and paste your name on to it - there's still copyright matters to consider.

I didn't even need Photoshop for the "Minister's License" example, its just a combination of "MS Paint" and "Staroffice 5.1", with some "" tricks thrown in for good measure. Edwardian and Old English fonts made them look very good ! In gray relief, it looks solemn and official, (Imagine what "gold" relief would look like? Its not that hard to change it !), but the only legitimacy behind it is my sincere desire to "Make It So !". One could always raise approximately $100.00 and form a non-profit corporation so your certificates are more "legitimate", because they're issued under the authority of the Board of Directors, and a nice corporate seal, but it's still just you -- and it just duplicates what Bishop Hensley and his ULC have already done !

If you are or were a Scion under CAW or iCAW you can use the Minister Certificate if you choose to. Keep in mind that WE know who qualifies for this so no funny business ! I'd like you to tell me that you're an Associate so I can create a directory. I'm also interested in creating a Directory of CAWTN Nests that form.More about that scheme later on...

This 'Rap page was last updated on: Thursday, 16-Feb-17 18:29:02 PST.

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