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A Satirical Essay

By David W. Virtue

The Word of Frank

1. That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Episcopal Church.
2. The life in ECUSA appeared for a season, we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the brief life, all too brief, which was with Frank and appeared to the House of Bishops with much blinding and diverse light.

3. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us and be inclusive and not excluded, for that would be a crying shame and cause many of us to be sad, for we believe in collegiality above all else. And our fellowship is with one another and it is here that we Dance the Circle Dance of Dispossession when the House of Bishops gather, in order to dispossess ourselves of all bad thoughts and rejuvenate our karmas.
4. I write these “gracious” words to make our common joy complete.
5. This is the message we have heard from Sufi Rumi and declare unto you: Sufi is light; and in him there is no darkness at all for he dwelleth on a plain beyond good and evil where we all hope one day to dwell, for truly there is no darkness in that place.
6. If we claim to have fellowship with the beloved Sufi and yet continue to walk in the darkness of absolutism where there is no pluriform thinking, we lie and do not live by the many pluriform truths of which I am a great advocate.
7. But if we walk in the transcendent light of Sufi, as he is in the light, we have collegiality with one another; and the thoughts of Sufi Rumi purifies us from all bad thoughts and raises us up beyond good and evil so we don’t have to worry about those narrow-minded orthodox types who still inhabit my church. For truly there is a GREATER truth which inhabiteth Otis of the Charles and Vickie of the Gene pool who embrace many of their own species, much to their delight and ours.
8. If we proclaim to be without error, and I am rarely wrong, we deceive ourselves only if we do not see things my way, and the truth is not in you.
9. If we confess that it is my way or it will be the highway, we will be liberated from the bondage of believing in sin which only causes us unnecessary guilt which I have banished as being bad for your karma and aura. For there are many truths and I know most of them.
10. If you have not embraced pluriform truths and wish to live in the narrow confines of single truths there will ultimately be no place for you among the House of Purple, for you will feel out of place because of your narrow-minded thinking. Therefore you will cry a lot and feel excluded, and I would not wish that.

Chapter 2

1. My dear ECUSANs, I write this to you so that you will not fall into the habit of believing in personal sin, for truly there are only bad thoughts and they can be brushed aside if you perform acts of mercy. Think good thoughts, for I have banished the bad and the attendant guilt. If you do have bad thoughts speak to me and I will absolve you of all psychological guilt feelings, for that is all they are. And I will speak to Sufi in your defense for he is the Righteous One.
2. And there is no need for atonement, for Mel doth have it wrong. Think triumphantly and you will be triumphant. Think good thoughts and goodness will flow from you.
3. For truly if you obey me, you will be right, and things will go smoothly for you.
4. The bishop who says “I know you, Frank” but does not do what I command is a liar and shall receive a private visit from David Booth Beers and he WILL demonstrate that the truth is not in you, and verily he will invoke the Dennis Canon and you shall be very much afraid. I, Frank have spoken and my words will not be gracious unto you.
5. But if everyone obeys my word, my love and that of Sufi Rumi will be made complete with a large and bounteous check from the many and diverse Trust Funds that I have at my disposal, and verily you shall never go without. That is how you know you belong to me.
6. Whoever claims to live in me, must walk as I do, and good things shall flow bounteously from me to you, and you shall want for nothing.
7. Dear friends, none of this is new, for I have been preaching pluriformity for years, it is very old and goes back to Lambeth ’98 where I made public my ‘pluriform truths’ speech at a press conference. This is old news, but let me refresh you just in case you don’t get the message and ill befalls you.
8. Yet in a way I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in me and my revisionist pals in the HoB, because the old exclusive, fundamentalist, narrow ‘light’ of the gospel is slowly being extinguished and the new light of Sufi Rumi shineth, and this light inhabiteth me and it will, if you accept it and come with me to a plain beyond good and evil, find yourself shining as the noonday sun passing over a gay bathhouse in Niagara, New York which was closed down for it was no longer a ‘safe place’ and many did catch the dreaded disease.
9. Anyone who claims to be in the light, and I hope that is all 100 diocesan bishops, but still loves orthodoxy, is still in the darkness.
10. Whoever loves his brother bishop (and you have your choice of eros, philia, storge or agape, but Frankly I prefer the first), will not cause his fellow bishop to stumble, otherwise he will be forced to stand in a corner at an Oasis meeting in the Diocese of Newark and there have his bottom smacked by Louie of the Earnest.
11. But whoever hates his brother bishop is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness and he will no longer Dance the Circle Dance of Dispossession with us and will find (Sufi forbid), a presentment against him and face the wrath of his fellow bishops, because it is very clear the darkness of narrow-minded orthodoxy has blinded him.
12. I write to you dear children of ECUSA, because I want to banish all bad thoughts on account of the name of my friend Sufi who knoweth all things.
13. I write to you fathers in God, because you have known me from the beginning and I can speak out of many sides of my mouth, and make words mean what I want them to mean and not mean, and when all else fails I can resolve it all in ‘mystery’ which we can all embrace, even as I am embraced by you. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the narrowness of exclusive thinking. I write to you, dear children, because you are easily indoctrinated by the new thinking much proclaimed in our modern textbooks from Episcopal Publishing Houses and other publishing places of pluriformity.

Do Not Love the Orthodox

14. Do not love the orthodox or anything they believe any more. If anyone loves the orthodox, the love of myself and Sufi Rumi is not in him.
15. For everything in orthodox thinking – the cravings for absolute truth, the lust for true spirituality and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from me and Suff, but from the Bible and that is subject to many interpretations, and I have used many in the course of my lifetime.
16. For the church, The Episcopal Church may be passing away, but the Episcopalian who does my will and that of Suff will live forever, or until the money runs out and I have to take out a mortgage on 815 2nd avenue, but that will be long after I am dead and gone to live with Suff on his plain of happiness.

Warnings Against Orthodoxy

17. Dear children of ECUSA, many think this is the last hour of our beloved church, but it is not so. We may have a cash flow problem but it is temporary, and if the markets continue to rise we can live off the interest of the Trust Funds for years and the Church Pension Fund floweth like the Hudson River forever and ever. I may no longer travel First Class and be reduced to Business Class in my peregrinations around the globe as I promote my inclusive, affirming, pan-everything notion of mission, but I will suffer the hardship for your sake and my gospel.
18. The orthodox went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us and believed the new religion; but their going showed that none of them REALLY belonged to us because they could not accept pluriform truths, of which I am its foremost advocate. Their very narrowness was their undoing, for they could not see the big picture which now includes Vickie of the Gene pool.
19. But you have been anointed by me when you became bishop. I laid my hands on your head and said you belonged to me and the Dennis Canon, and behold you do….until you die…or you will face the Title IV Review Committee.
20. Who is the liar? It is the bishop who denies my authority and that Suff is the Liberator of our narrowness and exclusivity. Such a man is the antiSuff, he denies me and Suff and that is unforgivable. No one who denies my inclusive thinking has Suff in him; whoever acknowledges me, Frank of the Flexible Wrist, gets a night in my New York City Penthouse, dinner at Club 21…and that’s a bargain.
21. Therefore, see that what you have heard from the beginning, or 1998, remains in you. If it does, you will remain my friend forever and ever and I will be a ‘safe place’ for you and you shall never be attacked by narrow uninclusive bishops like Duncan of the Pitts.
22. I write so you won’t be lead astray by Iker of the Fortress mentality, for the anointing you have received from me remains with you, and you do not need anyone else to teach you, for my anointing is real, not counterfeit as some wretched cyber journalist says to you. So remain in me, for I am your liberator and friend.



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