apparently Fuggles, Maggie, and I are “ilk”

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The Rev. Dr. B. William Barth tells me so:

I read the Jan. 19 Lincoln Journal Star article, “Go online, get ordained,” with a mixture of anger, judgment and deep sadness.

To me, Mary Kay Wood and all of her ilk have demeaned and cheapened the ministry of the church by her frivolous “pay for paper” certificate to perform weddings. The young couple that asked her to do this betrayed their total lack of understanding of the church, its ministry and 2,000 years of tradition. How sad for us all. And today, these people aren’t alone. Their number is growing, I am afraid.

Who am I to speak thus? I spent five years in two seminaries earning two master’s degrees. I have been ordained for over 41 years and am still active in ministry in my church. In addition, I have a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland and have spent over 30 years as a marriage and family therapist licensed in Maryland, before moving back to Nebraska.

Over the years I have performed many, many weddings, have logged countless hours in the therapy room. This “ordination by Internet” business is a travesty.

I am sure the ceremony was very sweet, even “meaningful.” I know how hard marriage can be and I wish the couple well. But I would ask Ms. Wood to retire from her new career and advise her son to do likewise. A little damage control here!

But, on the other hand, maybe they are on to something. I have been thinking of a third career myself. I’ll bet there is a place where I can get licensed to become a brain surgeon with just the click of my mouse. I’m sure there are plenty of folk looking for a cheap and easy lobotomy. This could be a lot of fun!

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