Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Reverend Kiapita

Today I became an ordained clergywoman in the Universal Life Church. This may present some problems later on if I ever want to pursue ordination in the Mennonite Church, but then again, so would my sexual history, so I'm not too concerned. Anyway, I've got more pressing matters to consider, such as the wedding I agreed to officiate in July.

The State of Illinois, where this wedding is to take place, requires the officiant to be a state official or recognized clergy in a religious body, and since I'm not a state official, becoming clergy seemed the way to go.

Now, there is one loophole in the law. If you belong of a faith tradition in which marriages are solemnized without clergy -- say, you're a Baha'i or a Quaker -- you can get married without the intercession of an officiant recognized by the state of Illinois. But if you just belong to the egalitarian humanist hippie league and you want to be legally married, you are required to have an officiant who is recognized by the state of Illinois.

This all reminds me that I don't believe the state should have any involvement in marriage at all. It ought to be a purely personal matter. But as long as there is no universal healthcare, the system of private property and inheritance prevails, and hospitals refuse visitation rights to non-family members, I will reluctantly work within the system I've been handed.

Who knows? Maybe I'll succumb completely and get a state-sanctioned marriage myself one of these days. Shared health benefits are so seductive.


Koko said...

Hi! Great to see you made it to Madison. What are you going to do now?

Also--great shoes!

Jeff said...

Hey Rev--nice to follow up your trip North. I concur with your statement about marriage and the state--to compliment that, the best idea I ever heard is for the state to avoid the question of marraige altogether and just recognize households of all kinds in allocating all those family type benefits--hopefully even including hippie communes and not worry about whether they will be together in perpetuity--which, I'm not so sure 'bout either.