... somehow I don't think Fred & Ethel Mertz had poor, poor +Mark Lawrence in mind when they performed this adenoidal classic at the Washington Mayflower Hotel: mind you the mayo really has curdled down in Charleston since those halcyon days, hasn’t it My Beloved Sinners? For those of you unaware of the latest development in the sorry, sorry tale of what happens when a Bishop proves to have taken his vows with his fingers crossed I recommend getting up to speed by going here immediately. Mind you, I’ve always said +-Lawrence and I have more in common than might first meet the eye, and not just because no one’s ever seen the two of us in the same photograph. There’s a curious similarity between the mess in which he’s currently managed to land himself and an incident in my own inspiring journey with god. Let me explain:
As a younger man, prior to the spirit’s recognition of my undeniable and inherent gifts as a Bible Teacher and Doctrinal Leader, I enjoyed – as you’d expect – a highly distinguished military career. Many is the sermon in which I’ve covered over a lack of preparation with thrilling anecdotes of the bravery I displayed in defence of My Country, although in +-Mark’s case the uncanny parallel between us relates to a different aspect of my courageous service; namely the small matter of my dishonourable discharge.
In order to understand you’ll first have to pay attention while I explain what things were like in Korea during early ’52. God-forsaken Commies were poised to destroy everything Christians held sacred, and field hospitals like the 4077th were utterly bereft of the Exegetical Expository Bible Teaching so crucial for the preservation of life. Everywhere you looked young Korean girls were dying from thermo-mammarial myocardial infarction simply for want of enough twinky Australian ex-gay pseudo-therapists to warm them, and with spineless red liberals like Senator Joe McCarthy pulling all the strings in the White House my call for a moderate response involving uncontained nuclear warfare went unheeded.
It was then that, in the way that will now be so familiar to all of you Sinners sitting faithfully at my feet, inspiration placed her hand on my wise and fearless shoulders, and I realized the solution lay not in bloodshed, but in Conversion. Rather than kill all the Commies (as entertaining as that might sound) what we needed to do was introduce them to the joys and freedom of Llissez-faire capitalism. That way rather than wasting all their energy doing the evil things Commies call fun, like organizing gymnastic displays in praise of the Beloved Leader, they could start engaging in righteousness-nurturing Christian activities, like inventing junk bonds, or selling Florida swamp-land to trusting retirees.
Yet my senior officers saw things differently. Rather than heed my brilliant advice, they told me to “follow orders”. That’s right, My Beloved Sinners, they actually believed that being part of a hierarchical organization involved something called a “chain of command”, and that having sworn to serve and obey with loyalty and respect I was in someway bound to take my vow seriously! Exactly like the apostate TEC have unjustly been expecting +-Lawrence to respect those to whom he promised obedience!!!!
What follows in my inspiring journey of faith is something of which only those laboring under the delusion that a man of Doctrinal Inerrancy is answerable to anything other than himself and his own preconceptions could fail to respect. Like Bishop Mark, when faced with the choice between keeping my word and doing what I really wanted to, I took the only option available to a Conservative Leader: I did what I felt like. Which in this instance involved teaching the North Koreans an important lesson about Capitalism and the Free Market by selling them armaments and military secrets –a lesson which a few legalist apostate liberals in the Pentagon had the temerity to label “high treason”, but which Orthodox South Carolinians and their fan base will instantly recognize as my having fearlessly followed a higher authority of my own inspired invention.
What I find most charming, however, about +-Lawrence’s move is the insistence his departure from the Episcopal Church automatically means everyone else in South Carolina – both clergy and laity – have also left. Even though it’s patently obvious not all of them agree with him. It reminds me of something I once taught a much more enlightened commanding officer of mine to say during a much earlier stage of my service: “L'État, c'est moi”. Although in Bishop Lawrence’s case I’m more than a little worried that he actually believes it.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.