Ordination by Mail Ministry
United States of America
In 1974 a ministry which ordained
people in a simple manner by
by other means, sued the United States Government. The suit was over
However, when the Federal Judge ruled in the ministry's favor on taxes
he also ruled on the legality of receiving ordination in a simple
Here is part of the Federal Judge's decision concerning simple
"The Court must then address itself to the defendant's second
that the ordination of ministers, the granting of church charters, and
the issuance of Honorary Doctor of Divinity certificates by plaintiff
substantial activities which do not further any religious purpose.
ordination of ministers and the chartering of churches are accepted
of religious organizations. The defendant impliedly admits that
on Page 5 of its Memorandum in Support of its Requested Instructions.
fact that the plaintiff distributed ministers credentials and Honorary
Doctor of Divinity certificates is of no moment. Such activity may be
to mass conversions at a typical revival or religious crusade. Neither
this Court, nor any branch of this Government, will consider the merits
or fallacies of a religion. Nor will the Court compare the beliefs,
and practices of a newly organized religion with those of an older,
established religion. Nor will the Court praise or condemn a religion,
however excellent or fanatical or preposterous it may seem. Were the
to do so, it would impinge upon the guarantees of the First Amendment."
COMMENT: As a result of this Federal Judge's ruling, ministries
by mail ordained clergy have been flourishing throughout the United
and in many other countries throughout the world.