Letter #8 from a Protestant minister:

Pastor Pitstop was very upset when he realized that, by calling The Catholic Church the “Mother of harlots” he was describing his own denomination as a “harlot”.  He was insulted, frankly, by being made to consider that the Padded-Pew Perkmistianists, a splinter of a faction of a denomination founded four or five hundred years ago by a former Catholic priest, would be described, in his own words, as a “harlot”.

He kindly wrote to share his thoughts:

Dear Catholic Fundamentalism:

I don’t know who you people are, or what you are trying to do.  All I know is, you have upset me.  It is wrong to upset people.  Very wrong. Jesus was a great peacemaker.  He said we should love one another. And, here you are, making some of us feel badly about what we believe.  I have been a Padded-Pew Perkmistianist my whole life.  My father before me was a Padded-Pew Perkmistianist pastor. 

It was his father, also a  Padded-Pew Perkmistianist, who led the fight against the Plain-Pew Perkmistianists.  They based their entire faith on the fact that since Jesus was never reported to have spoken to people sitting on cushions, those who would be most faithful to His Words would not have cushions on their pews.

We thought it was ridiculous to put obedience to an imaginary command ahead of our congregations’  comfort. My grandfather, the first Pastor Pitstop, began the battle for religious comfort and freedom.  The denomination was divided, “T’is a fatal fracture, never to be healed.” was how the first of the three Pastor Pitstops described it.  The real battle, behind the scenes, was for control of the Perkmistianist Endowment Fund. 

First, the lower court divided it, equally, between the Padded-Pew and the Plain-Pew Perkmistianists.  Then, an appeal was filed by a separatist group, led by an upstart convert, an ambulance chasing attorney.  He thought the denomination that he was beginning, the Stand Tall For Services Perkmistianists, had a right to fully one third of the huge, Perkmistianist Endowment.  That huge fund, it was discovered, owned almost one fourth of the entire Union Pacific Railroad, the result of an inheritance bestowed by the sudden death of an original stockholder’s widow whose unusually ample posterior inclined her sympathies toward the Plain-Pew Perkmistianists.  With stock splits, acquisitions, and the normal course of business, The Perkmistianist Endowment Fund found that it owned substantial interests in vast tracts of land, mines, factories, steamships, docks, railroad stations, and, of course, a large part of the Union Pacific.

More appeals were filed as the size of the fund became more public knowledge.  The courts threw up their hands.  One Superior Court Judge was actually insulting. “These are not substantial theological issues.  They are simply demands for money by clergymen too lazy to get real jobs.  The Court finds that your arguments are so patently designed for self-enrichment as to bring embarrassment to the entire Christian Community.” 

Then, the Court announced an astonishing decision behind closed doors:  “If you three main litigants do not resolve this by unifying, then I will declare that every member of the Perkmistianist Denomination has the right to make a claim.  I will give every Perkmistianist this choice:  to remain in one of the Perkmistianist Churches or receive his or her percentage of The Endowment, about ten thousand dollars per congregant.”

In less than fifteen minutes, long years of theological disputation disappeared.  “It’s a miracle!” agreed all involved.  The three main branches of The Perkmistianist Tree stayed somewhat together.  So did The Endowment Fund, accessible only by the heads of the Three Branches.  As Grandpa Pitstop said, as he led finalization of this remarkable ecumenical movement:  “We can’t have every Perkmistianist being his own church.   Only a few of us can have our own churches.  If we carry any sect in Protestantism to its logical conclusion, everyone would have their own church and none of us clergy would have a job.”

A new name was chosen for our ancient denomination that reached all the way back to the 1870s. Our legal name has since been “The Separated United Reform Brethren Perkmistianist Church of the Entirety.”  Each branch was able to use its original name if desired.  That’s why I, as my fathers before me, are still known as Padded-Pew Perkmistianists.

So, you can see, our denomination has a rich, theological history.  We had many profound thinkers and top-notch attorneys dealing with real big issues.  While you guys had St. Peter and Paul, along with Augustine, Aquinas, Pascal and all those people, our founders were real smart, too.  Really, they were!   Getting access to that Endowment Fund took real genius!  I do not see why you Catholics would not think our church is just as good as The Catholic Church.  We believe in Jesus, but we don’t get hung up on a lot of details, like celibate clergy, forgiving sins, being chaste, or the Real Presence, or lack of same, in our Communion.

It is wrong for you people at Catholic Fundamentalism to think we aren’t just as good as you are.  We are.  We are just as good as you are in every way.  Our only problem is this:  so many people were allowed to make withdrawals from The Perkmistianist Endowment Fund that, now, there’s no money left.  And, our churches no longer have enough members to provide sufficient income to keep our bills paid in a timely fashion.

I think you Catholics should, to be truly ecumenical, recognize your duty to provide us with the inter-denominational donations we need to maintain our vital ministry.  You might wonder what our “vital ministry” is?  Well, we send missionaries to Latin America to free the people from religious oppression.  While you Catholics are trying to stop abortion, we’re fighting for religious freedom.  Isn’t that important, too?   Isn’t what we’re doing important, especially if we believe it is?

Can’t we all just get along?


Pastor Travis Pitstop