What shall it be? Yes, of course, the one that all aspirants to a lifetime of achievement will treasure and fondly remember years later. I shall become a Man of God.
Mind you, having stated it as baldly as that, it does feel somewhat uncomfortable. In fact, now I come to think about it, it seems utterly wrong, ludicrous and risible. I shall explain why this notion is worthy of never being achieved and that it truly belongs in my anti bucket-list set 101 Things I Refuse To Do Before I Die and consequently why I shall defy the recommendation from Bucket List Journey to
There is a certain social cachet in being a signed-up religious professional, no doubt. At any street accident, one can push through the gaping crowds with the helpful cry "Let me through, I am here to save this man's soul" and then, when the press arrive, it will be your beaming face that makes it to the front page. You will be given first choice of the chocolate biscuits at social gatherings. You can wear long flowing robes, affect a thick bushy beard (sorry, not for the ladies) and smile benignly at passers-by. People will ask for your advice and benedictions. They may even wish to confess their sins - and who knows what you may learn as a result.
How does one go about becoming ordained? To the dedicated bucket-lister, no problem at all. One finds an appropriate internet vendor and purchases a certificate. For example, you can join the Universal Life Church, hand over $29.99 and look what you receive in return:
- Ordination Credential (Minister License)
- 1 ULC Wallet License
- 1 Black Clergy Badge
- 1 Parking Hanger
- 1 Minister Window Cling
- 1 Press Pass-Parking Placard
- 1 ULC Bumper Sticker with symbols
- 1 Minister Bumper Sticker
Not only a certificate to hang on the wall and a mini version for the wallet but free parking. This alone must justify your seeking out your calling in this way. You can park anywhere you like - on a double yellow outside the supermarket, say, - and when the wardens come round you merely indicate the hanger or placard or bumper sticker, accept their stammered apologies and make some sort of sign over them1 before driving off leaving them still kneeling on the pavement.
But why pay anything at all? Here's a certificate that looks totally believable which I knocked out in my shed, with a little help from this site and it didn't cost me a bean.
Rather spiffing, no? I could therefore tick off this one from my bucket-list, if it were ever on it in the first place. And that is the reason why this form of 'ordination' is utterly without worth. You can have all the fancy certificates, parking hangers (what is that, I wonder) and bumper stickers you like, you can declare yourself to be a Cardinal, an anti-Pope, a Grand Enlightened Master of Solomon, a Chief Rabbit or High Priest & Archimandrite of Great Cthulhu, perhaps all of them at once if you have a really large certificate, but it means nothing.
Of course our friends at Bucket List Journey might have meant a real ordination - spending years studying the religion of your choice, learning ancient languages, writing scholarly essays on abstruse matters of theology, debating weighty matters of morality with your peers and working at a congregation, school or mission, before finally you receive an affirmation of your elevation to the ranks of the confirmed clergy at a ceremony in front of your fellow worshippers. Somehow, given the dedication and work that is required, not to mention some sort of suitability for this role in the first place, I don't think so. I think they had in mind the strange laws of the United States of America by which anyone can call themselves a minister of religion and thereby solemnise marriages and the like. All you really need is a certificate and people have to call you 'Reverend' - by law! Isn't it fantastic? Yes, it is. Is is worthy of our respect? No.
1. I know the sort of sign you are thinking of and you disgust me. Put your thought to higher things.
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