Monday, September 6, 2010

Mailbag Monday!

Peter writes, “What are ‘Butterfly kisses from Heaven’? Is this how Jesus was kissed in Matthew 26:49? Or Paul's holy kiss from Romans 16:16? Do you have to be a bishop to send them, or could I, too, send butterfly kisses from Heaven?”

Oh my dearest Peter! Are you so deprived of Radical Love or repressed that you have never experienced the joy of Butterfly Kisses from Heaven®!  We must amend this travesty! 

I am deeply impressed that you appear to have read your scripture – in particular the parts where gifts of Radical Love are offered in physical manifestation.  A kiss is a tremendously important piece of religious faith and life.  In fact, I went to seminary school with at least two others who saw it as their goal and mission to offer physical signs of love with all they came into contact – hugs, kisses, a caress here and there.  How terrible it is that we have created so many walls, making true signs of love horribly difficult to impose on our neighbor! 

Naturally, a Butterfly Kiss from Heaven is not a kiss of betrayal as you mockingly (I hope) propose from Mt. 26:49.  Judas was simply imposing his own worldview on Jesus, as the metaphor of the kiss would suggest in this passage.  However, Romans 16:16 is closer to what we in our Brave New Church understand as a Butterfly Kiss from Heaven.  Indeed, Paul desires the saints greet one another with the Kiss of Radical Love and Inclusion.  Paul’s Kiss suggested that each of the aforementioned saints were clearly PART of the community and not to exist OUTSIDE. Ampliatus,  Urbanus, Stachys, Apelles, the household of Aristobulus, Herodion, the household of Narcissus, Tryphena, Tryphosa, Persis, Rufus, Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brothers with them, Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas: All of these people bear such unfortunate and complicated names, perhaps implying unfortunate and complicated lives.  Perhaps each of these people struggled in society with identity, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, or political affiliations.  Paul was doing his very best to ensure they felt loved and cared for with a physical token of affection. 

A Butterfly Kiss is a token of inclusion and Love given from Heaven (where else?) through the proper authoritative succession of Bishops, which I choose to lovingly bestow upon pastors and laypeople alike.  Consider it my spiritual gift from me to you.  You, yourself may offer Butterfly Kisses from Heaven®, so long as you properly footnote me and the Divine as its official Source and Sponsor.

Butterfly Kisses from Heaven®,

Bishop Barbie

Someone writes, “Bishop is it important to use appropriate liturgical color for finger and toe nails?”

Yes.  Tis’ but the work of a moment and yet, liturgically polished nails yield a lifetime of spiritual gain.  

Russ writes, “After days and days and simply days of dithering indecision I have at last responded positively to you ‘friend request’ here at Facebook. The more I contemplated your missive, the more pitifully imploring it seemed and that is why I ultimately relented. I should hate to think my refusal for friends...hip is ever the cause of someone else's discomfort. I know that is entirely out of character for a theological conservative such as myself, much preferring the static designations of class oppression and social gender assignments (both vastly underrated by liberals) but I confess you do seem to have caught me in a moment of unaccountable weakness. Soon I shall revert to type and the world will regain it's proper sense of order. You, however, will remain pink, I think.”
(Similarly) Erma writes, "Your Esteemed Bishopess, I must confess that I have resisted being be-friended and reconciled with you.  I have been among the dissenters, not just lately, but lo, for many years now.  The Brave New Church has been patient with me, but I have been a stubborn German Lutheran type (must be the old Mother Mo' still in me), plotting and scheming for a return of the Retro Old Church.  But I have recently had my heart strangely warmed.  Reading your postings has, well, welcomed me.  And like you, I am vertically challenged.  Is there room for me, O highest of blond clericalness?"

Dearest Russ and Erma,

Oh, to dither about is a terrible state of affairs! I am so pleased you finally chose the best path: the path of Love and esteemed Friendship!  Thankfully our friendship is based on my imploring of your heart and not on so many “other matters” you choose to categorize so pitiably, such as "conservative" and the like.  Truly, can we just all not be people to one another in Love and Friendship?  It is to those things I will hold you firmly to account!  In fact, we here at the Higgins Road Offices have weekly Accountability Small Groups dedicated specifically to acts of Love!  Weekly, we gather together in our trusted small groups and banter about with rich woven tapestries of descriptions about our Acts of Love committed against others!  Where we have not Loved enough, proper reeducation is imperative and there is a beneficent group of elderly German women who assist on a volunteer basis.  It appears as though Erma was gripped in Holy Love by one of these volunteers and she quickly realized it would be Love or our volunteer that would soon conquer all and so she joined us here in the Brave New Church on our mission to Love the world!    

As for my Pinkness, it is a new title I shall consider adding to my list of credentials. Are you aware of any sort of Pinkness Qualifying Program I may seek? Naturally, it must be the sort of program that puts forth my commitment to Free Love, Radical Inclusion, and Tolerance - but then again, that is what being Pink is all about, is it not?  We here at the Main Office have put together a research committee who currently study around the clock in order to present a Pink Social Statement at our next Church Wide Assembly.  There is a faction of us who deeply believe Pink should be the proper liturgical color of the ELCA.  Once this has been decided by the proper scriptural authorities and delegates, we shall move on to name an ELCA-Wide Tree, Bird, and Insect.   

I am so thankful to the Divine Goodness in Heaven for your new friendships!  Erma, I do believe that over time you will come to bask in the glow of Holy Friendship and Truth, abandoning your scheming ways.  We who are vertically challenged must stick together, unwavering in our dedication to show the world how we all can be of great value in the world, regardless of height!  I am willing to take upon this cross for your sake.  It is good and right to see how my Holy Persistence wears down the resistance of even the hardest of hearts.  Love and Friendship win again!  

Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,
Bishop Barbie

Steve writes, “'ELCA' and denominationalism are both so passe. What we need is some new branding. I suggest THIS CHURCH. (Saw it in some social statements, resolutions, and from your own mouth as PB.) THIS CHURCH. Or is that too exclusive, implying no other churches? Please advise, Your Accessoriness”

Oh my Dearest Steven! 

Passé?  I am both at once disturbed and perturbed in the first place that you neglected the French accent mark for the term!  My goodness, what are we? Internationally uneducated cretins? 

But as for the central point of your question, which I deign to answer with clarity, truth, and Love:

Certainly not!  While denominationalism may fade away, the ELCA shall remain – and of course may never be deemed passé!  We are the source and pinnacle of Love in this world!  We are committed to weaving a rich tapestry of Love and Friendship among the masses!  


Where there is political strife, we shall use Letterhead! 

Where there is Israel, we shall send Bishops!

Where there is Hunger, we shall have Banquets!

Where there is marriage, we shall have equity!

Where there is scripture, we shall have concord!


My, my, to think that our holy Denomination shall pass away is to imagine the American dollar would fall into disuse! 


We here at the Home Offices are working tirelessly to rebrand and reengage in today’s culture!  Bishop Hanson ensures that every public meeting includes a rainbow array of humanity, and that within that rainbow every gender type, prototype, orientation, creed, and religion are equally represented!  Our culture today wants equality over truth, and our brand must relay that message at all costs!


As I mentioned previously, I believe Pink may be the proper color for us, but we still seek an ELCA flag, bird, tree, insect, and flower.  Have we missed any major or minor categories? 


In essence, the ELCA is committed to functioning as state within a state.  A light until the states, even.  We shall be political!  We shall be independent!  We shall go to battle until only Love remains!


Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,

Bishop Barbie


Mike writes, “Oh great Bishop Barbie, May we all bask in your pinkness and the reflected glory of your mighty pectoral cross. I, a poor wretched sinner, humbly beseech you to answer my two questions:

First, we have many who desire not to continue in the ELCA’s conversation and are joining LCMC or attending the dreadful gathering that shall not be named. How can we teach them the errors of their ways? Looking to the days of Elijah and Elisha I was wondering if we should we pray for fire to come down from heaven or bears to smite them.

Secondly, because your spiritual gifts lie in theology, church governance and fashion, what color was Joseph’s coat?

Dearest Mike,

You are so precious in my sight!  It seems you noticed my new bejeweled pectoral wear, bestowed upon me by foreign dignitaries!  Indeed, it is encrusted with Love!  We are anxiously awaiting a Synod Assembly, Church Wide Assembly, or other public event to display these diplomatic gifts!

My new cross was especially created to match Joseph’s Coat which is carefully being held in a temperature controlled environment in our basement libraries.  Perhaps you will see the color and fine fashion design at our next Assembly – particularly during our Eucharistic fashion show?

But onto your most important of questions, which we here at the Home Office find very important and seek to hear all of your questions in truth and Love!

You asked regarding the dreadful actions of “alternative” “denominational” “options.”  After 40+ hours of meditation (which I do hope you participated in), Bishop Hanson and I finally came to holy clarity of mind.  We decided to ignore such antics.  To pray for fire or bears as the ancient prophets did would be to play right into the hand of poor ecumenical form.  Just as Elisha and Elijah are lifted up as examples of how NOT to engage with your darling neighbors who differ from you in thought, word, and deed, we here at Higgins have exegeted their stories into action:  We shall Love them back home! 

By ignoring their behavior and clear misunderstandings of the message of Divine Love we have come to embrace, we shall bring them back to the fold.  These heathens seem to think that absolute truth is a thing to be grasped, but like Christ we here at the ELCA do not grasp at Absolute Truth (read Philippians 2:5-7!).  It is an unholy sin to reach toward the Divine notions of right and wrong or other moralities.  So until the eschaton we trust all things are right and good!  The Divine will be so pleased we did not differentiate so as to grasp at Divine absolute truth and fall terribly into sin!

Simply ignore their troublesome behavior, Mike.  One day, Love shall win over all and we shall be enveloped by true Love in the Divine!  Stay tuned for an upcoming post to support our Bishop Hanson’s letter during the week of “alternative denominational activities.”

Thank you for blessing me with your delightful and honest question!

Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,

Bishop Barbie


Now, my darlings, I do realize there are a few questions sent that have gone unanswered!  Fear not, my Pets, these holy questions shall receive the attention and response deserved in short order!  However, I have many committee and task-force meetings to attend this day and so, in short order, must take my leave.  I entrust the above answers shall keep you whetted for the time being?

Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,

Bishop Barbie

No comments:

Post a Comment