Episode 3: Marrying off your friends

An open-door philosophy, a SEO battle and a guerrilla wedding at a New York City landmark: Welcome to the crazy world of online ordination, where you can start a church, then make money by enabling people to officiate their friends’ weddings. And at a time in American life when the role of religion is becoming more malleable and individualized by the day, it’s (almost) all legal.

Hosted by Eric Brandner and Davin Coburn, The Underscore is a podcast exploring and explaining the quirky side of American culture.

On this week’s podcast, we look at where these online ministries originated, how Google search results became a major battle ground in modern-day religion, and the way one Brooklyn-based entrepreneur has carved out a unique spot in his friends’ lives—by performing their weddings.

POD EXTRA

  • Want to legally officiate a friend’s wedding? Here’s how.

GUESTS

Thanks to Narratively CEO Noah Rosenberg, The Daily Dot staff writer Aaron Sankin (whose story on the Universal Life Church in The Kernel magazine was an inspiration for this episode) and filmmaker Joe Greenberg for joining the podcast.

MUSIC

The Underscore’s theme music is a mashup by Gunnbladez and Stereo Surgeon.

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