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Ordination by Mail Ministry
vs
United States of America
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In 1974 a ministry which ordained people in a simple manner by mail, and by other means, sued the United States Government. The suit was over taxes. 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 manner.


Here is part of the Federal Judge's decision concerning simple ordination.

"The Court must then address itself to the defendant's second conclusion: that the ordination of ministers, the granting of church charters, and the issuance of Honorary Doctor of Divinity certificates by plaintiff are substantial activities which do not further any religious purpose. Certainly the ordination of ministers and the chartering of churches are accepted activities of religious organizations. The defendant impliedly admits that same on Page 5 of its Memorandum in Support of its Requested Instructions. The fact that the plaintiff distributed ministers credentials and Honorary Doctor of Divinity certificates is of no moment. Such activity may be analogized 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, dogmas, and practices of a newly organized religion with those of an older, more established religion. Nor will the Court praise or condemn a religion, however excellent or fanatical or preposterous it may seem. Were the Court to do so, it would impinge upon the guarantees of the First Amendment."

COMMENT: As a result of this Federal Judge's ruling, ministries started by mail ordained clergy have been flourishing throughout the United States, and in many other countries throughout the world.

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