Tuesday, April 21, 2009

So you want to marry your friends.

Early in my college career, fall 2005 as it would be, I began to realize that my faith as a Pastafarian could lead to some trouble down the road. If/When I choose to get married, how would I accommodate my pirate regalia, Barrels of Rum, and several lines of "ARG MATEY!" before I go and "plunder the booty" of the honey moon.

Well I did some research and found a way that I myself could become an ordained minister. Now, while I could not marry myself, I would be able to perform legal marriages in the state of New York *As well as several other states/counties/countries.*

Seeing as I am always one to go against the main stream religion, I grabbed my mouse and clicked away to the http://www.themonastery.org/ where I found I could become legally ordained 100% FREE! I just had to make sure I abide by all applicable governing laws, as well as these following rules.

The Universal Life Church | ULC is the only denomination in the world that opens its doors to all, and welcomes all who ask to Become an Ordained Minister. We are non-denominational. We support a full spectrum interfaith ministry. Over 20 million ministers have been ordained online throughout the world. We make no religious hurdles, no hoops to jump through, no tests of loyalty, no rings to kiss and no fees to pay. The Universal Life Church represents freedom, and to have freedom you can not make demands upon individuals. In the Universal Life Church Monastery everyone is equal - the same level of greatness is enjoyed by all. We will be your personal minister/consulate and advisor, with your consent at no charge to you. We ordain all who ask and welcome you to the Universal Life Church Monastery Ministries.

So basically, as long as I didn't discriminate against individuals for their beliefs, i was pretty much set! FABULOUS, since that is one of my main reasons for disliking organized religion. I signed up to receive my ordination certificate and it came a short time later.

Although I from time to time would mention my ordination, or would write letters as "Reverend Patrick Bernard Whelehan III" it went long unused, and ended up in the back of a folder in a closet. That is until my Fraternity brother and good friend "Petey Pop" was in need.

A little over a year ago, he managed to impregnate his girlfriend, and they were recently blessed with a little poop machine to call their own. Everything was going great for them, and they were working on becoming married in the future when everything with school, jobs, and having the baby began to settle down. Sadly the county of Allegheny in NY happens to have some pretty out their rules regarding children. It seems that if you excrete a baby out of wedlock, the Father is required by the state to pay child support. Thats cool right?
Well in Pete's case it most certainly wasn't. He and his Girlfriend had been living together for over a year, shared expenses, and when the baby came Pete was there to support. However Allegheny county didn't see it that way. If his support wasn't funneled through their hands *And $50+ removed each transaction for their "fees"* He was doing it wrong. Apparently wrong to the sum of several thousand dollars.

Pete was left with 2 options. Pay up all the money at once, or go to jail. Thats where I came in. Just a week or 2 ago they came to my house early in the morning to get married. It was a quick quaint service, with half sleeping witness's, but everyone was there and it was still a joyous occasion. Even the poop machine *who managed not to poop* was enjoying the wedding.

Earlier this week I got the call that the wedding was a success, they had the marriage certificate, and were happily set. Although they will do a more formal event in the future for the families and friends, this quick yet legal ceremony allowed them to keep living life, and to raise their beautiful child.

If you are interested in becoming ordained, I encourage you to check it out, and see what hoops you may have to jump through in your state or county. It is a great feeling to know you have made a couple happy.

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