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THC-Ministry Opens in East Peoria, Illinois
Announcing the opening of The Church of Khidr; providing the services and the sacraments of a cannabis ministry.
(PRWEB) January 22, 2005 -- Announcing the opening of The Church of Khidr; providing the services and the sacraments of a cannabis ministry. Ordainment and anointment by appointment. We make every home a Sanctuary.
We're a full service cannabis ministry that provides marriages and fellowship for those who use cannabis as their Sacrament. The ministry is non-denominational and focuses on spirituality and the mystical perspective of Life.
"...Free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship shall forever be guaranteed..." Illinois State Constitution, Article I, Sec. 3.
"Provided by God, Protected by Law." Rev. Roger Christie, THC-Ministry
The Church of Khidr is a member of The Hawai'i Cannabis Ministry, www.thc-ministry.org (http://www.thc-ministry.org) of Hilo, Hawai'i and The Amsterdam Cannabis Ministry, www.thc-ministry.net, (http://www.thc-ministry.net,) of Amsterdam, Netherlands. We have over 30,000 members in forty nations and are growing daily. Mahalo and aloha.
Rev. Joe Johnson
01-23-2005, 09:29 PM
I smell a scam.
I clicked on the Hawaiian ministry link and came across this:
You can receive the complete Cannabis Sanctuary Kit & Legal Defense Package via our secure online system for a suggested donation of $200.00.
Our Kit Really Works!!! - Read the Testimonials
YOU MUST BE AT LEAST 21 YRS OF AGE and we recommend that you be an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church at www.ulc.org (http://www.ulc.org) to finalize your defense.
Of course, at this “Church” website, there are kits to buy to ordain yourself as a minister.
We should all hurry, because the Complete Ministry Package is on sale right now:
I wrote this about those ordaining places last year:
Call me Father Joe
The Church has always been very good at adopting aspects of its surrounding culture. In the early centuries following Christ as it spread west the Church literally stamped the mark of the cross on the standing stones of Europe. In recent years the Church has become increasingly fascinated with technology. The Australian Bible Society provides the SMS Bible where users can share bible passages via mobile phone (‘4 God so luvd da world’); the Church of England recently advertised for the position of ‘web pastor’ for its new virtual parish or ‘i-church’. These manifestations of cultural assimilation have rightly appeared credible, usually because they have been initiated by orthodox denominations or mission agencies. This perception of credibility is currently under threat with the rapid proliferation of online ordination.
Online ordination, WTF? It all started with the fact that I needed a proper job. I have a theology degree and a strange attraction to the clergy (in a Platonic way) and decided to investigate the possibility of attending a seminary college via correspondence. On the off-chance I started my research by Googling ‘online ordination’ and was surprised by the returns.
‘Over 20 million ULC ministers ordained since 1959’ said the Universal Life Church, ‘You can become a legally ordained minister, instantly, online, at this website. The Universal Life Church is totally non-denominational, interfaith and welcomes all religions. After you fill out the ordination form, you will receive a pop-up instant credential, which serves as your receipt of your ordination. Print it immediately.’ Further on were numerous other online institutions offering similar ordinations. Some, like the ULC followed a multi-faith stance, others had a particular focus like the Pagan Church of the Holy Grove; the World Christianship Ministries is even reserved for those with an exclusive faith in Jesus.
So what exactly does free, instant online ordination allow you to do? Well, depending on varying state laws ordination brings with it the right to officiate at a wedding ceremony or make weddings, funerals and baptisms into a business. This sounded kind of fun, especially when I read that British rockster Robbie Williams had undergone such an ordination in order to perform the marriage ceremony of his buddy Billy Morrison of The Cult. Alanis Morissette has also been ordained in order, ‘to marry some of my gay friends.’ In itself this appears perfectly reasonable, especially to people like myself who have always been slightly uneasy with the need for both priestly intermediaries and endless amounts of bogus red tape. However, look a little deeper and things begin appear slightly murky.
For the very reasonable sum of $65 the Universal Life Church will sell you a Masters Degree in Religion. With seemingly little understanding of the academic hierarchy you can buy a Doctor of Divinity for $35. This honorary degree accredited by the International Accrediting Association allows its purchaser, ‘to use the title Dr. in front of your name and D.D. after your name. Please remember, this is equal in the eyes of the law to any other Doctor of Divinity Degree issued by any other institution of higher learning.’ But before you think any old Joe (like myself) can handle such an esteemed qualification potential buyers are reminded to, ‘carry yourself in a professional manner and speak appropriately in order to show yourself as worthy of your higher rung on the ladder of social respectability and public leadership as well as a position of honor in our society.’ Out of the eight different degrees available, the D.D. is the bestseller. What initially appeared as a bit of fun at the expense of regular ministers began to take on the flavor of fraud.
Tax is perhaps the most concerning issue surrounding online ordination. While individually ordained ministers pay the same tax as everyone else, those engaged as ‘active clergy’ can apply for generous tax-exemption benefits. In this respect the call of ULC to ‘start your own ministry’ can be seen as a blatant tax scam. ULC rightly highlight the illegal nature of such activity and directs ministers with tax questions to purchase a copy of the ‘Zondervan Ministers Tax and Financial Planning Guide.’ However, several tax-related questions are addressed on the website’s FAQ as well as the frivolous such as, ‘Can the congregation pay directly for the minister’s clothing?’ to the more concerning, ‘Can a congregation start a nursery and if so does it need a state license?’ Intrigued as to whether such issues were simply the theoretical pastime of online Reverends with nothing better to do I consulted off the record an acquaintance who is a bona fide Baptist minister as to whether he had come across any such potentially dubious activity. ‘It’s rampant,’ was his reply.
There are three main interpretations that can be made about online ordination. It can be seen as a bit of fun, about which I doubt anyone would have a problem. On a deeper, spiritual level it can be seen as a way of establishing a more direct relationship with whichever image of God we have without the often unsavoury aspects of institutional religion; this too seems unproblematic. If, however, online ordination is being used as a way of fraudulently engaging in business practice, obtaining academic qualifications and avoiding tax it certainly is a problem.
In the meantime just call me Father Joe.
01-24-2005, 01:18 PM
I actually found the website extremely helpful. After consulting state and federal offices for months, I had come to the conclusion that the "legally ordained" bit in the legislature was a circus ring designed to weed out anyone who wasn't of the major standing religions. Honestly...another human can't ordain you, it takes the All that is One, or God, or whatever you want to call it that. I'm extremely happy someone actually took the time to set that up for other people. Can it be abused? Not really, according to its own two tenets...to protect the freedom of religion, and to do what is right without hurting others. If you're using it for fraud or tax evasion, then you're not living up to the second one for sure.
As far as the THC Ministry goes, it's not a fraud or a sham. The "suggested donation" is to help with costs incurred for running the website and assembling the materials you're requesting. Not everyone gives that much; the people who do donate that much do it because they know they're helping out other people by doing it. Send an email to Roger Christie and ask him if a donation is required to receive their package.
[ January 24, 2005, 02:20 PM: Message edited by: silentwolfxvx ]
02-06-2005, 06:01 PM
if your legally ordained can you still be drafted?
02-06-2005, 06:04 PM
excuse me, if you're legally ordained can you still be drafted? (i hate to have bad grammer with so many writers about)
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