The Reverend Carl Johnson? Not a chance in hell – I always despised the term “reverend” used as a title for a person. Reverend means one to be revered – and there is only one to be revered according to the Hebrew and Christian holy texts – that is god. The word “reverend” is found only once in the King James version of the bible: “He sent redemption unto His people: he hath commanded his covenant forever: holy and reverend is his name.” (Psalm 111:9)
There is not a person in history that I would deem worthy of being revered. Even Mother Theresa considered herself a servant, and refused the banquet when she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, insisting that the monetary award be given to the poor.
Hell, I am not even a pastor or a teacher: “But all their works they do to be seen of men: for they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the chief place at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the salutations in the marketplaces, and to be called of men, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your teacher, and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father on the earth: for one is your Father, even he who is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your master, even the Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled; and whosoever shall humble himself shall be exalted” (Mt. 23:5-12).
I would not even feign to teach, for what can I teach other than that what I know, and what I thought I knew yesterday is not what I know today, and what I know I only learned through filtered eyeglasses.
I am not even religious in the least, rarely speaking about my own spiritual beliefs other than to call out the hypocrisy of others that bandy about titles and engage in a system of damning others that do not follow a particular moral code. So if you are looking for a title, call me brother, or asshole, whichever is more befitting at the time.
Yes, this is real. I am a bona-fide minister. I joined the ranks of Conan O’Brien, Sir Ian McKellen, Bryan Cranston, Richard Branson, and yes, even Johnny Carson. Not to mention over 20 million others in the church that has surpassed Catholicism in ordinations. I don’t know if that is true, but it sounds good, and now that it is on the internet, it will gain some veracity.
So, those that know me must ask, what would possess me to become ordained? Was it a lark? Partly. Was there a true supernatural religious experience? Nah, I gave up on supernatural experiences a long time ago. My most profound religious experiences occur when I am in the mountains or the desert, experiencing nature.
However, I have friends that have difficulty finding a minister to perform marriage ceremonies due to their sexual preferences. A civil union before a county clerk or some elected politician just does not cut it for some people. Now I am decidedly of the opinion that there is little difference between the Last Rites and Marriage – but far be it from me to judge. People must be allowed to make their own mistakes, and if I can profit on the side, why not? There is also the benefit of special parking privileges at the hospital and local jail.
But I suppose the biggest benefit is my ability to respond to the person that makes a particularly ignorant or unintelligent comment, I can counter with an intelligent answer, and flout my credentials as an ordained minister, such as they might be.