WARNING: If you have strong religious beliefs you might want to avoid reading this story. It is guaranteed to piss off almost every known religion.
What started me on the journey toward wanting to watch my wife with another man was an advertisement in a magazine. It was in "Argosy" a man's magazine that is no longer around. God, I don't even want to dwell on how long ago that was, but the memory of that ad still stands clear in my mind.
"Become an ordained minister. Start your own church and reap the spiritual benefits of bringing The Word to your congregation. You will also be eligible for the tax benefits that all religious organizations are entitled to.
For a limited time only the Chicago Archdiocese of The Church of The New Truth is accepting applications for the issuance of charters to establish our presence in areas were we currently have no ministries.
Send $10.00 to:
The Church of The New Truth
Office of Spiritual Enlightenment
Post Office Box 222
Act now while your area is still available."
Now it needs to be understood that I am a stone agnostic, but I got to thinking about what a kick it would be to be an ordained minister and have my own church. I knew it was a scam, but I thought that I could get a hundred dollars worth of fun out of my $10.00 application fee. And I did!
Six weeks after I mailed in my fee I received a packet in the mail. It contained a Certificate of Ordination; a wallet sized identification card that said I was a minister and a booklet telling me how to go about setting up my church; where to file the necessary papers with the local governments and most importantly - the things I could do to use my church to avoid paying taxes.
I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but as I read that booklet I saw that it was an open invitation to become a tax fraud case when the IRS got my return. It told me how to use my house as a church which would allow me to escape having to pay property taxes and how I could claim my personal vehicle and vehicle expenses as a deduction. The biggie was that I should give all my paycheck from my regular job to the church as tithing, claim it on Schedule A as cash contribution to the church and then turn around and have the church give it back to me as my wages for being the pastor of the church as those wages were taxed at a much lower rate. I could just see the IRS agent rubbing his hands with glee as he read that return. No, I would use my ordination for entertainment purposes only.
I started out by telling the guys I worked with that I had "found God" and was going to start my own church. I showed them my certificate of ordination and then asked them if they would like to join my church. They laughed, as I knew they would, and then one of them asked why, with so many established religions already out there, should they join my church.
"Because the established churches spread a false gospel" I said, "They all, every last one of them are steering you down the wrong path."
"How do you figure that?"
"They all preach against sin."
"It is all just so wrong! Let me ask you a couple of questions. Do you consider yourself a Christian?"
"Do you believe in Jesus?"
"Do you accept that Christ died for your sins?"
"I suppose so."
"Then answer me this. If Christ died for your sins and you don't sin are you not saying that Christ died in vain?"
"What the hell are you saying?"
"The other churches are preaching against sin; my church preaches for it! The doctrine of my church is that we must -- MUST -- sin in order to validate the death of Christ!"
I got a loud "Amen brother: from Sam Taylor and Bennie Kotlarz took off his cap, put a quarter in it and passed it around as a collection plate and my ministry was off and running.
Four the next several months the guys would come to me every Monday morning for confession. Sam Taylor started it. The first Monday following my "sermon" Sam came up to me and asked me where the confessional was. He caught me off guard with that and I said, "What?"
"A booth where I can confess my sins."
Suddenly I caught on and said, "No confessional booths in the Church of the New Truth Sam. Sins are not to be hidden away like someone's dirty laundry. Sins belong out in the light of day for every one to see. Sins are to be celebrated as an affirmation that our Lord did not waste his life. Tell us Sam; tell us about your sin."
"I was at Rooney's Pub Saturday night and Mary Ellen McFee was there. I bought her some drinks and danced with her and talked her into going out into the parking lot with me. She gave me a hell of a blow job and then took me home with her and fucked me on her living room couch while her husband was asleep in the next room."
"Where's the sin in that?" asked Eddie Catron.
"I drank the last six bottles of beer he had in the fridge."
"Oh you slimy bastard!"
From then on it was like the old radio show "Can You Top This." Every Monday the guys would come to work and confess to some sin or other and then it was a case of the first liar not having a chance. Bennie would always end the session by passing his hat as a collection plate and I actually ended up getting a return on my $10.00 investment. In four months the Church of the New Truth collected $11.36 in Bennie's hat.
Like most jokes the Church of the New Truth became stale and my certificate of ordination got pushed to the back of one of my drawers and was forgotten.
Several years and two failed marriages later I was working for a job shop in a small town just outside of Detroit. My co-workers were a bunch of hard drinking party animals and most nights after work we would hit a bar just down the street from the shop. Things never got outrageous at the bar during the week because we all had to be at work the next day, but Friday nights were a different story.
There were a couple of manufacturing plants in the area and a lot of the office girls would stop at the bar after work. The place had a live band on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and a decent sized dance floor so the office girls were never left alone by the guys (but then really, wasn't that what they came in for?). It was basically the same group in there every Friday and after a while everybody knew everybody else. There were enough 'transients' to keep the group lively and interesting, but there was always the "core" group and it hardly ever changed.
One Friday night I was sitting at a table with three of the guys I worked with and four girls from the wheel plant and the subject of religion came up. I had had several beers and was in a good mood and I dumped the Church of the New Truth and its philosophy on the table and got a bunch of laughs. And then Stella, one of the girls, asked me, "Are you really an ordained minister?" Even after all those years I still had the wallet sized card that said I was an ordained minister in the Church of the New Truth in my billfold and I took it out and handed it to Stella. She looked at it and said:
"Does this mean that you can perform marriages?"
"Of course" I said, even though I knew that in order to do so I needed to be registered with the State which I wasn't. The card was passed around the table and when it got back to me I put it away and forgot it.
The following Friday was Vern's birthday and so we celebrated it at the bar and by midnight no one was feeling any pain. Vern came up to me with Gloria, a girl who worked across the street in the real estate office and said:
"Rev, we want to get married."
Vern and Gloria were both 'blotto' and I was just far enough along myself to go along with the program. I said, "You need a ring." Vern called Candy, the barmaid, over and asked her to get him the pull ring from a beer can. Then I told him we needed two witnesses so he asked Candy to stick around for a minute and he called Bill Miglio over. By then we had drawn a crowd so I turned it into a big production. I went through the wedding ceremony, or as much of it as I could remember in my drunken state, and when I got to the part about if there was anyone who knew why the two shouldn't be married Ray Hendrickson yelled out:
"She promised me a blow job so she can't be married until I get it."
I said, "Vern, would you mind if she cheats on you from time to time?" and he said "Fuck no."
"There you have it Ray. She'll get to you sooner or later."
Vern slipped the pull tab on Gloria's finger and I pronounced them man and wife and to the cheers of everyone there the two of them left the bar and headed down the street to the motel to begin their honeymoon.
Wednesday night at the bar Vern and Gloria came up to me and Gloria said, "Rev, we need to get divorced. I kind of forgot that I'm already married."
"No problem. The Church of the New Truth does not believe that the State has any right to meddle in the personal lives of private citizens so the Church has its own ceremony for ending the relationships we help establish. How about it Vern, you want this divorce?"
"Hell no. She's just too good in bed."
"That shouldn't be a problem. You said she could cheat on you with Ray so she can just cheat on her husband with you."
"Works for me."
"How about you Gloria?"
"I can do that."
"Okay, face each other and hold both hands. Gloria, I want you to say, "I don't want to be married to you anymore so I divorce you" and then let go of Vern's right hand. Vern, when she has dropped your right hand you say the same thing and drop her right hand."
.... There is more of this story ...