Bishop Kirk Smith of Arizona is someone of whom I’ve always been wary, and not just because little David Virtue doesn’t like him. After all, little David Virtue doesn’t really like anybody, and how seriously can you take a blogger whose birth was accompanied by an EPA warning?
No, I am proud to say that my mistrust of the Prelate of Phoenix is based on far firmer ground than simply the whimsical opinions of a man whose greatest ministerial accomplishments have been a dubious doctorate and tax-exempt status. Rather it rests upon incontrovertible fact - namely that it’s impossibly for any Conservative Teacher of my caliber to not feel nervous around Bishops who don’t regularly threaten to abandon the organization to which they swore loyalty. Besides, in my estimation just because Bishop Smith's studied theology and has a pointy hat doesn’t mean anything when compared with the true prestige associated with knowing all about property theft.
Consequently I’ve got to admit to being surprised when learning earlier this week of Bishop Smith having organized a trip south of the border for not only himself, but for thirty-nine of his closest purple-clad colleagues. Having engaged in numerous such short-term missionary trips myself, and being personally experienced in the rich financial blessings accompanying these journeys if one is prepared to faithfully bring back a few suitcases for some fine men who just happen to conduct their business in parking-lots, the audacity of using not just one, but forty men of god to undertake such a transaction was breathtaking. Indeed, I even found myself feeling a twinge of jealousy at having been omitted from being part of such an awesomely profitable venture, and hurt that having clearly embraced my pioneering missionary strategies the Apostate Liberal Episcopal church was now denying me due credit – or at least a cut on the profits.
Clearly my hurt at this rejection was apparent, and at our morning Ministry Team Meeting. I was asked what was the matter. Bishop Quinine immediately brought some comfort by explaining the ministry trip included women, and since I’m fortunately not as desperate for numbers as little Jack Iker there would have been no way I could have compromised Biblical injunctions against sharing ministry with anyone not equipped with a penis and a prostate. Meanwhile Brother Richthofen and his friends from Seminary began laughing, and explained the startling news that Bishop Smith’s trip had nothing to do with smuggling anything.
Stunned as I was at this revelation, I was still not so devoid of my senses as to give voice to my next suspicion: as befits her important Biblical ministry of keeping me warm at night Consuella was seated at my right hand, and I didn’t feel like having my jaw broken in return for suggesting the Bishops were simply looking for cheap domestic staff. Nothing, however, could have prepared me for the truth – the Bishops had travelled to Mexico in order to understand something of the world of those who risk their lives to cross the border, and to remember those who had died in pursuit of better life for themselves and their loved ones.
Dearly Beloved Sinners! Of all that I’ve ever heard (and made-up) about Episcopalian Leaders this must surely take the cake! A Bishop showing compassion with the poor and insignificant of this world???!! Anyone would think they were trying to follow Jesus – and you’ve only got to look at the Gospels to see where that ended up: He may have been the Son of God but it’s certainly not as if His kind of carry on ever managed to get Him first-class seats and a lucrative speaking tour with Rick Warren, did it now?
No, the next thing we’ll see is +Arizona’s intelligent compassion translating into the crazy notion that foreigners have the same rights as Christians to share in the great American dream of freedom, opportunity, and prosperity. After which it’s only a matter of time before something really dangerous happens – like the Holy Spirit inspiring the Church to realize their are more important things than helping rich and powerful male heterosexuals worship a god made in their own image.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.