I’ve always had a problem with organized religion. I can’t stand the corruption that accompanies institutionalized belief — no one group ever convinced me that they had things 100% figured out (although Pastafarianism comes pretty close). I wanted to pick and choose the bits I liked best from each practice and paste them together into my own doctrine — thanks to the internet, I can do just that! While visiting an awesomely irreverent bleeding-heart-liberal-Citadel-graduate (how does that happen?) I discovered to the Universal Life Church — these folks will ordain you as a minister instantly, online, for free. (My kind of theology!) Minutes after seeing my bud’s certificate hanging in a place of honor by the liquor cabinet (he said “either there or over the toilet”), I became an honest-to-no-god woman of the cloth — my cloth is leather!
This isn’t a joke — the folks at ULC take their mission very seriously. In 1959, the church began investing individuals with the power to preside over their own flocks — even (as in my case) a flock of one. They disagree with the idea that spiritual leadership should be an elitist profession or exclusive club, requiring the payment of thousands of dollars for a piece of paper consecrating one’s “ism.” Moreover, they don’t endorse a particular dogma or set of handed-down-by-an-invisible-man-in-the-sky-then-misinterpreted-by-a-bunch-of-zealots rules — ULC actively includes all denominations and convictions, christians and satanists, agnostics and atheists, the non-religious and anti-religious. Bringing people of ANY worldview together — a endearingly open-minded custom that more traditional churches seem to have overlooked.
I’m legally allowed to perform marriages, funerals, baptisms, exorcisms, and last rites (added to my resume, no less). I can even absolve others of their sins — so I hereby issue a decree of universal amnesty for all who subscribe to my blogs! Far from being a stunt or scam, ULC petitioned the Supreme Court to officially sanction online investiture, and won. I’m legit, baby — whether you like it or not! Those who argue that you need “advanced training” to proselytize should check their facts — not a single founder of a major religion had an advanced divinity degree. Jesus was a carpenter, the apostles were fishermen, Mohammed was a shepherd, and Buddha was a spoiled rich prince — so why not a professional-organizer–author–coach–photographer–speaker-cum-full-time-RVer?
And if you think I’m discounting your faith with my cynicism, please know that I’m not — I have no interest in devaluing your chapel, mosque, or synagogue by setting up my own virtual house of prayer. I’d simply like to have something that I (as a skeptical left-leaning agnostic) can believe in — and being a do-it-yourself kind of a gal, this seemed the best possible option! Besides, if a dipshit science fiction writer like L. Ron Hubbard can legally form a religious non-profit and have otherwise seemingly-intelligent people who ought to know better fall for his drivel (tithing millions of tax-free dollars a year to support his search for the mothership) — why can’t I have my own church? I’m not even asking for donations or 501(c)(3) status! The thing is, I truly do love what these people stand for. ULC has always fought for underdogs and the oppressed, offering assistance to those who’ve been marginalized and disenfranchised — you know, like churches are supposed to do. They consider all people universally equal and encourage folks to live their lives as they see fit — feeling that it’s up to each individual to determine what’s right, as long as it doesn’t infringe upon anyone else’s pursuit of happiness and is within the law. (Libertarian religion — now there’s a teaching I could worship!) They accept both evolution and same-sex marriage without question — promoting rational thought, “eternal progression” (what a great phrase), a fuller life for everyone, and doing that which is right. Most importantly, they embrace the precept that we’ve already been ordained by god, with or without the stupid certificate. (John 15:16 — you didn’t choose me, I chose you!) I’ve dedicated my life to searching for (then sharing as loudly and obnoxiously as possible) those universal truths that help us better understand each other — so formalizing things through ULC was a no-brainer!
I’m also in good company. My non-sectarian family includes celebrity ministers like Mel Blanc, Richard Branson, Johnny Carson, Cyd Charisse, Sammy Davis Jr., Abbie Hoffman, Denis Leary, Alanis Morissette, Paul Newman, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, Anthony Perkins, Jimmy Stewart, Sharon Stone, Hunter Thompson, John Waters, Mae West, and the Beatles — quite an interesting mix of free-thinkers. Of course, that jackass Glenn Beck is also in the crowd — but we’re tolerant of any ideology, no matter how moronic!
If (after all that) you’re interested in joining the congregation, come on in! The posts of high-priestess extraordinaire and official-sage-and-guru-in-perpetuity are already taken, but I’m accepting applications for acolytes, deacons, and molestation-free altar boys — as well as territorial prelates, apostolic exarchs, and auxiliary bishops. (I have no idea what those are, but I do love a ridiculously pretentious title!)
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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and RamonaCreel.com.
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