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Sunday
Nov042012

Which ULC is for Witches? Check before you apply

I just want to warn everyone.  Make sure you check which ULC you are applying to before you put in a request.  This Blog post relates to an experience I had in 2012, and I am updating the post to reflect all the feedback I has gotten over it for the last 2 years.
 
I made an application to the ULC not having looked closely at which one I was applying to.  This is what happened... 
I filled out their application on the ULC site and then changed my mind and decided not to buy the paperwork.
Tonight I just got a very upsetting phone call from the people at ULC.  They called about my application and asked me what faith I am. When  I told them I am Pagan, the man on the phone began to rant and rave at me about how it is a criminal act in PA to become ordained if you are not Christian.  And about how they would take me to court if I tried again.  The man told me to, "Take my trash and peddle it elsewhere."
I have to say I was very upset by this phone call.  It is by no means the first time I have heard such things coming from a person of another faith, but I was truly ruffled by the raw venom and hatred in this man's voice and deeply upset by his threats as my 4 year old daughter was sitting on my lap during the call.  I told the man to have a nice day and hung up.  
I have since combed through Pennsylvania's "TITLE 23 - DOMESTIC RELATIONS" laws to find this restriction, and I can't find it.  What I did find was this:
1. General rule.--The following are authorized to solemnize marriages between persons that produce a marriage license issued under this part: ... A minister, priest or rabbi of any regularly established church or congregation.
-and-
2. Religious organizations.--Every religious society, religious institution or religious organization in this Commonwealth may join persons together in marriage when at least one of the persons is a member of the society, institution or organization, according to the rules and customs of the society, institution or organization.
I'm no law student.  I'm sure there are hundreds of places I could not even begin to know to look for these things.  It had just honestly never occurred to me that I would get that kind of response after reading this on their company's LinkenIn site, 
"The Universal Life Church (ULC) is the only denomination in the world that opens its doors to all, welcomes all who ask to Become an Ordained Minister and grants it without question... We strongly believe in the rights of all people to practice their beliefs, regardless of what those beliefs are, as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others and are within the law."
(http://www.linkedin.com/in/universallifechurch)
But the overarching point here is not about who can do what.  The reason I am writing this is because I felt safe to file... and now I had to talk to my daughter about how some people get mad when you don't believe in the same thing they do.  I was hoping to wait that conversation until school age.  So if you are Pagan, and thinking about getting ordained...  Make sure you check where you are before you file.
)O(

Reader Comments (10)

I'm not sure why this happened to you, but I have been Ordained through the ULC for i think about 9 years or so now. I signed up as a pagan and so did my partner at the time . We had no problems and the guys out there were very nice and sent us extra stuff when they messed up our order . I would highly suggest that you contact them about this person that called you ( do you know the name of the guy that called you?) Because they are really an amazing group and have helped many pagans get ordained.

November 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDallas

I will definitely be following up...

I installed and call recording app on my phone to try out for a friend a month or so back... and I'm going to see if I caught his name on the call... I will definitely be following up on this. So keep and eye out for a followup post on the blog.

Thank you so much for your insite. It is nice to know that it was the right company to choose and I just got a bad experience.

November 5, 2012 | Registered CommenterWitch's Sigil

I can tell you straight up, that's not Amy of Univeral Life Church!! Whoever called you, saw you on the list on the site and went after you. I too am pagan, and am ordained through ULC. That person (you should report him) is violating all rules of the true ULC site. Amy would never treat you that way. Period!! In fact, she's a terrific person, and she means business. There is another site that professes to be ULC but you have to be careful, its a loathsome site that is mimicking the REAL ULC. Universal Life Church is a decent organization, with real education. Please, if you wish to try again, go to Universal Life Church. I promise you, its worth it.

November 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLynda

I agree that this should never have happened. I do hope that you follow up on this and since he threatened to report you,you might add that the civil liberties union might be willing to look in on this case (should the ULC not come through with this for you. I too am ordained,in fact many pagans were ordained without hassle. This sounds like an isolated case. I do know of one instance when I tried to ask (many years ago) a specific question about the legalities of performing a proper marriage and I was not given anything but an abrupt answer and left to figure the rest out for myself. You should have never been treated like this and you deserve the same respect as christians who also request ordination.

December 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDee Dee

Also I would like to add this as well. Contact Selena Fox at Circle Sanctuary at Mount Horeb Wisconsin. They have championed pagans rights for as long as I can remember. This is huge and if you do not get results and a proper apology from this person or the church then,,I would also suggest doing a web search of pagan anti defemation groups. Selena is one name I came up with and I have always been impressed with their "Lady Liberty League". ULC church really needs to screen their potential workers there and make sure this never happens again. It is one thing for this man to be misinformed. It is another to make threats to potential ministers.His comments are hurtful and borderlines contacting an attorney. It might also help to mention that your child was in your presence to hear these hurtful words. Tell this story they way you told it to us. Tell this story to Selena Fox and see what she comes up with or suggests. Hugs to you and I know you will make a wonderful Pagan minister! Many blessings! And a Blessed Yule to all!

December 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDee Dee

I just got off the phone with Selena Fox at circle sanctuary. In order to persue this further, here is what she asked for to help understand the situation better. Here is the contact information you need to have when you write her. Write her at www.circlesanctuary.org/liberty
She asks for the following contact information: Your phone number,E-mail,and more specifics about who you talked with and the contact information of the person. If you wish to do something about this I would suggest that you reach her at the address I had already provided.
For the general address liberty@circle sanctuary.org
Circle Sanctuary's phone number is 1-608-924-2216.
I wish you all the best and good luck with this. Stay strong and many blessings!

December 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDee Dee

One more thing,ULC is usually accepting of most faith belief systems including Paganism,this may be an isolated case where you got an employee who may be misinformed about our belief system and chose a very poor way to express his lack of knowledge in our faith. Good luck in your quest for knowledge.

December 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDee Dee

I want to clarify a few things. There is the Universal Life church (the original out of Modesto California), there is a split group called the ULC Monestary. Not affiliated with each other. They split over issues I don't really want to know. Anyway...there is yet another ULC at this website: http://www.ulcnetwork.com/
That site is probably the one you signed on with and got the phone call from Florida. I didn't the same thing just to test the waters. I've been a ULC Minister (OG Modesto church) since 2010 and they are nothing but nice people. I have heard the same about the ULC Monestary as well.
The ulcnetwork.com is affiliated with a rip off site claiming to be the "true ULC" and are a loosely based Christian organization.
Sorry that you got all mixed up with the wrong site.

January 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRevJohnG

Wow, great post. I am surprised to read this. My boyfriend was ordained by Universal Life Church so that he could marry his sister and her husband. He didn't have any problems at all. I am also a Pagan and I get a lot of crap from other people about my beliefs. Thanks so much for sharing.

March 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlauren

I know this is a bit late. But I just discovered this thread. A couple of your readers are right. There are many different ULC sites out there. The one from Florida is the Universal Life Church World Headquarters and is a splinter group that is kind of radical in it's methods. They claim to an all Christian based church.
The original Universal Life Church is from Modesto, CA and several other sprout offs are the Universal Life Church Seminary and the Universal Live Church Monastery. All are in the west US area. These are the ones you should check out. They have WICCA and other pagan members and are a daily part of the cites. They are not just tolerated they are active members. You had a bad experience with a bad apple.
I'm just asking you to check out the sites I've mentioned and if you like what you saw post a follow up. Unfortunately all things have a good and a bad. In this case your first impression was with the bad.
Thank You and although I am ordained by the ULC I am not affiliated with them other than that.

September 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJack P

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