Friday, November 11, 2005

Multiple Geographic Personality Disorder

I received an unexpected package in the mail yesterday. It added another feature to what is a confused and confusing part of my life here in California, USA. Confusing? How's that, you say? Give me a minute, and allow me to confuse you.

According to the U.S. government, I am a non-resident alien because of my visa status. This has always seemed a little odd. I do, after all, live here, don't I? I buy groceries, cook my food, and even sleep here. But, technically, I am a non-resident. I think this means that they expect me to go back to where I came from, real soon.

But the government of the state of California, however, is quite clear that I live here, at least for the purpose of driving. My truck needs to have California plates and insurance, and I need to have a California driver's license, if I have been residing (or living) with a California address for more than a few weeks.

Does this make me a Canadian, but not an American, but also a Californian?

According to the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church USA, because my bishop is the bishop of Rupert's Land I am therefore canonically resident in the Diocese of Rupert's Land, despite the fact that I think I live in Davis, California. I am, however, licensed by the bishop of Northern California to preside here. So I act like a priest in California, but without the benefits, like pension or health insurance. This is the same in Canada – I am a priest of the Anglican Church of Canada, but because I don't reside in Canada . . . wait . . . because I don't *live* in Canada, I don't qualify for any benefits there, either. All this despite the fact that I have the distinguished privilege of being under the authority of two bishops!

So, I'm both an Anglican priest and an Episcopal priest, but without the full benefits of being either one.

So, that package I got in the mail yesterday? It came from the Vital Statistics Agency of the Government of Manitoba. It included a "Certificate of Registration to Solemnize Marriages," complete with a how-to manual called "Clergy Guide for Registering Marriages." I am now an agent of the government of the Province of Manitoba, despite the fact that I don't live there, I only reside there. I think.

So, I guess I live here, but I reside there. No wait – I don't live here, I just drive here. Or is it that I don't live here, or there, I just marry people there?

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3 Comments:

Anonymous catherine said...

Good grief that is extremely circular.

Sunday, November 13, 2005 7:14:00 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

I'm still shaking my brains... Governments, what do they know?!

Sunday, November 13, 2005 8:00:00 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

I can tell you on your blog... My brother Pete and his wife Julie are having a baby in June!! I just can't post it until he tells the rest of the family! Exciting news to me, maybe not others :-)

Sunday, November 13, 2005 1:57:00 PM  

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