Bruce Barlow is the original Renaissance Man. polymath, polyglot, polyclown, he's an ordained minister, a photographer, a writer, a traveler, a fine cook, and a wonderful father. He is not humble. Take him as he is, or leave now. The world will go on.
Here, Rev. Bruce talks about his ministry, and ceases to refer to himself in the third person.
I became a minister in April, 2012, when I ordained myself online for free. I had no real calling then, and just figured it would be a ridiculous thing for me to be a minister. The Universe had always been good to me, so I settled in to wait for a sign.
Sure enough, about 3 weeks later scientists announced the detection of the Higgs Boson at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. The man who theorized it, St. Peter Higgs, back in the 1980s had unfortunately called it "the God Particle." Much to his dismay, the name stuck. A prominent physicist, St. Lawrence Krauss, remarked that we could now refer to the Big Bang at the creation of the Universe as a "quantum burp." The Universe always gives you what you need, and so The Church of the Quantum Burp was born.
The Church has its own Hall of Saints, who include Peter Higgs, Lawrence Krauss, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Brian Greene, and Joni Mitchell, among others. We celebrate the creation of the Universe, and tend to make fun of organized religions.
The Church has a bunch of catchy phrases:
"Stars Died So That You Could Live." Every element in the Periodic Table that we loved in high school Chemistry heavier than Lithium was created in the centers of stars that had the courtesy to explode at the end of their lives. Carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, iron, uranium, gold - every element other than hydrogen, helium and lithium comes to us courtesy of a long-ago supernova. The atoms in your right hand probably come from a different exploded star than the ones in your left. About 200 million stars have exploded in the Milky Way galaxy since its formation. Did you know that there are 1.2 trillion tons of gold in the center of our own Sun right now? That's almost enough to pay off the National Debt.
"We Are Stardust." Well, we are. See above.
"Taste the Raspberry Universe." Scientists have found the chemical that makes raspberries taste like raspberries in large quantities at the center of the galxaxy. Ethyl Formate. Tasting the Raspberry Universe is the Church's way of asking us all to live in the present, in this moment.
"Toast Your Own Existence." With every breath you take, you breathe some of the same atoms that Caesar exhaled when he admonished his assasin Brutus on the steps of the Roman Senate. With every drink of anything with water, which is about everything, you drink some of the atoms your parents sweated when they were making you. It's true. I can do the math. So every time you drink somethig, take a moment and toast the miracle of your own existence. It might just taste a little like raspberries.
"I love the taste of the Universe in the morning. It tastes like...raspberries." A tribute to Robert Duvall in the movie "Apocalypse Now," when he plays Col. Kilgore, a goofy foot. He loved the smell of napalm in the morning. It smelled like...victory. "Someday this war's gonna end," he told his men.
"When Did the Creation End?" We think that's a trick question. It hasn't ended, and never will. What will your contribution be?
The Church tries not to take itself very seriously, but I stumble sometimes and think what seem to be deep thoughts. That's probably when I get in trouble.
The Church did great service in October, 2015. I have an "adopted daughter" in Ukraine, and Rev. Bruce traveled to Kiev to perform the wedding ceremony. I wrote it and translated it into Russian, which I have been studying, with the help of my teacher. I performed the ceremony speaking Russian, and pulled it off. The wedding is one of the great experiences of my life, so rich with love. I have two pretty young women marketing my wedding skills now in Kiev, while looking for their own husbands. My daughter and her husband are doing fine as newlyweds.
I'm contemplating a Church site of its own. I'm also contemplating becoming a television evangelist. I plan to stay away from Kool-Aid. And Guyana, for that matter.
A friend told me that I could make a lot of money off the Church. Nah, I replied, in the spirit of Jimmy Swaggert and Jim Bakker, I'm only in it for the chicks.