The Latest Religious Loophole: Dishonesty Made Easy

The Latest Religious Loophole: Dishonesty Made Easy October 19, 2021

For parents looking for a way to keep their children unprotected becoming an ordained minister may just be the way to go.

That’s what Ohio mom Kristen Grant did so she could help other parents qualify for a religious exemption—169 students so far.

Becoming an ordained minister through the Universal Life Church is quick and easy. Just follow this link and you are on your way.

From an ethical standpoint, using this tactic to prevent children from wearing masks is wrong on so many levels.

I’d liken this story to the equivalent of a get spiritual quick scheme. In minutes one can easily become an ordained minister and enjoy many of the perks granted to ministers under the American constitution. / Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

From a religious standpoint, perhaps not. Cheap, fast and easy is quickly becoming synonymous with the modern way of life, even when it comes to spiritual growth. We’re all familiar with what people call “get rich quick schemes.” I’d liken this story to the equivalent of a get spiritual quick scheme. In minutes one can easily become an ordained minister and enjoy many of the perks granted to ministers under the American constitution.

This latest religious perk allows people to stick it to the government and leave their children unprotected at the same time.

Note to readers: This blog is based on a true story, but I don’t advise becoming a minister to circumvent mask and vaccine mandates.

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About Scott R Stahlecker
Scott Stahlecker is a former minister, a member of the Clergy Project, and writes for Thinkadelics about the joys and benefits of living as a freethinker. He is the author of the novel Blind Guides, Picking Wings Off Butterflies and How to Escape Religion Guilt Free. You can read more about the author here.

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2 responses to “The Latest Religious Loophole: Dishonesty Made Easy”

  1. As someone who bought one of these kinds of ordinations, I’m outraged! 🙂

    Seriously though the only reason anyone I’ve ever known gets ordained like this is to be able to officiate weddings for friends and family. It’s ridiculous that the only people able to perform weddings outside of public officials are those in “good standing” with a religion, but if they want to impose a silly requirement, I’ll come up with an equally silly way to meet it.

    Legally, I don’t think clergy, whether of the conventional or instant kind have any special legal powers to exempt anyone from masking or vaccine requirements.

    Anyone can assert a religious reason for exemption on their own and it is not contingent on your belief being held as orthodox belief by any organized faith. It simply has to be “sincerely held”. Governments are in no way bound to accept them, and one of the factors they have been using is whether the person can actually articulate any cohesive reasoning behind their religious objection. Some will mention something about fetal cell lines but don’t know the first thing about the issue and the fact that a dozen or more common drugs they take should also be rejected then.

    This school has no legal leg to stand on to require a minister to sign off on a mask objection. The school simply didn’t want to cooperate with the public health measures and looked for some flimsy form of public relations and legal cover. If anything, Grant’s participation in their objection would probably undermine the student’s cases in any serious review. She has no ministerial connection to them whatsoever, no idea what their own supposed religious beliefs are and stated she has a policy of signing the forms for anyone who asks based on what she admits are political reasons, not religious ones.

  2. Outraged and articulate I’d say your are. Overall, your comments flush out our government’s role in extending religions an enormous amount of power in civil matters. It highlights that fact that separation of religion and politics as pretty much nonexistent.

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