The Universal Life Church (ULC) has been around for more than 50 years. Over the course of these five decades, our legal team has gathered a large collection of legal cases, case law, and legal analysis, positions and settlements, of which we have been party to on many occasions. Throughout those years of litigation, the ULC has been a focal point for much of the legal proceedings that have established and protected our religious freedoms. With extensive legal research, we have compiled this archive of online Universal Life Church legal cases. We intend to establish ourselves as an authority on the Constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion, protections from religious persecution, and the legal proceedings that have paved the way forward.
The United States Bill of Rights reads “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….”. This is known as the Free Exercise Clause, and it is the very foundation of the concept of Freedom of Religion in the United States and the passage of the constitution that allows online churches like the Universal Life Church to exist. We vow to never let any party jeopardize the existence or practice of this clause, and to ensure that all legally-ordained Universal Life Church ministers are granted the same rights as ministers of conventional churches.
This site is intended to be a repository of information pertaining to the court cases, rulings, and attorney general opinions that the ULC has been involved in, but it contains other resources as well. Read the below summaries of the many pages this site contains for information about these resources.
Religious Law Blog – A blog that discusses current issues in laws involving religion and religious customs, as well as cases or legal updates in involving the ULC. Check our blog regularly to read about these issues, which we pull from all over the world.
Universal Life Church Legal Case Database – A collection of legal cases involving the Universal Life Church; this database offers the best look into the legal history of the world’s largest online ministry you will ever find.
A “How To” For Getting Ordained - Are you interested in becoming legally ordained but aren’t sure how to go about doing so? This page is the only guide you’ll ever need to getting ordained online.
Guide to Performing Weddings – One of the most important legal privileges given to Universal Life Church ministers once they get ordained is the right to officiate wedding ceremonies. Learn how to perform a wedding here.
Guide To Starting A Church – Though they are an extreme minority, a handful of Universal Life Church ministers decide that they want to start their own independent ministries. This page offers guidance on how any ULC minister can do just that.
Free ULC Downloads – The Universal Life Church staff has prepared a number of free downloadable PDF guides on pragmatic topics. These include a name change guide that ULC wedding officiants should send to every couple whose wedding they officiate and a collection of sample documents that you can use to help you start your own church.
The Universal Life Church (ULC) believes that all religions are equally valid and shall be respected as just in the eyes of God and Man. One of the main tenets of the Universal Life Church is respect for all religions and all people. We must all find our own path in life, through the teachings of whichever religion meets our individual needs. Regardless of what deity you worship, we must remember that we’re all human beings, we’re in this together, and only by working together can we build a better future for ourselves and our children. This concept forms the very foundation of the beliefs of the Universal Life Church. That is why one of our central statements of belief is “We Are All Children of the Same Universe”.
By respecting all of the world’s religions, and treating them as being equally valid, we are taking modern religion to the next level – one where cooperation and passion for the evolution of spirituality of the individual, and not adherence to restrictive and frequently hateful dogma, is paramount. We are dedicated to the Constitutional protection of all faiths and will gladly file suit against anyone who attempts to infringe upon our ministers’ rights.
Another goal of the Universal Life Church is more of a concept and one that we believe strongly in – that of Ecumenical Reconciliation. We strongly believe that all faiths have many commonalities – those historical, textual, emotional and spiritual truisms that bring people together. Faith is very personal and individually important, and yet people of faith all believe that life for themselves and all other sentient beings is better with god than without. To that end, since this central theme is paramount for the concept of Freedom of Religion, we believe that Ecumenical Reconciliation is crucial for the advancement of mankind.
We are also introducing a new, broader look at freedom of religion in America through the eyes of the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause within the Constitution and will be bringing new articles, blogs and analysis to show where we’ve been and where we’re going with these crucial concepts that threads their way through the fabric of American life.
Same-sex marriage is an issue that has recently gained considerable momentum. While the US federal government only recognizes heterosexual marriages, nine states allow marriages between homosexual couples. Most states, however, prohibit marriage between same-sex couples. We at the Universal Life Church support equal rights and feel that the following legal case is worth while to blog about. …[Read More]…
The number of people turning away from traditional churches has never been higher in our society. However, interest in spirituality itself is continuing to increase, and many people are seeking a more personal spiritual path. Following a flock just doesn’t have the same depth of meaning that most people today are searching for in their …[Read More]…
British Prime Minister Announces Plans to Allow Gay Weddings in Churches British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to announce plans to allow gay marriage inside British churches within the next week. This development shows that Cameron, who began his first term as Prime Minister in 2010, has made a 180 degree turn on his …[Read More]…
Freedom From Religion Foundation Sues the Internal Revenue Service The Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist group from Madison, Wisc., filed a lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service last week for not cracking down on churches who endorse political candidates. Foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor cited concerns about churches receiving preferential treatment over other non …[Read More]…
The solemnization of marriages by Universal Life Church ministers has generated disagreement among many in the legal community in recent decades. Each state in the union has a slightly different set of rules about who has the authority to perform marriages. Few states’ statutes on marriages have been as hotly contested, however, as the state …[Read More]…