The boy is, on occasion, a master of understatement. Not easy for a Mexican. I understand. Drama runs in my Portuguese veins, too. You may have noticed.
Doonesbury cartoonist Gary Trudeau has been running a series which includes a woman chaplain. Another friend sent me a clip recently and said, "She reminds me of you."
Perhaps. It's just that the way Trudeau has drawn this character, I don't know too many Episcopal women - ordained or of the laity - who wouldn't respond very much like this chaplain.
Then again, I tend to keep company with some pretty smart, feisty, gutsy women.
I've been struggling to write something cogent about this holiday. Yes, it's important to remember our 'War Dead' - those who made the 'ultimate sacrifice' for 'liberty and justice for all'.
When I look at what's happening in Afghanistan and Iraq, the millions of dollars that are being poured into the wars in other places in the Middle East and The Holy Land, and compare that with the grinding poverty many people in our country live with as their daily reality, the inferior education many of our young people are being given which greatly imperils our future, and the insanity of "Drill, baby, drill" that has led to the greatest ecological crisis this country has ever faced, well . . . I wonder:
Did they die in vain?
Those questions send chills up and down my spine.
I don't have the answers, but I this to be true: Asking the questions and living into the answers are how we 'form a more perfect union' that our founders dreamed of.
We are far from perfect. We will never be perfect. We can only strive to be 'more perfect'.
The voice of Trudeau's woman chaplain is an important one in that process. With a few sharply drawn images and in pointed, razor-sharp but deeply human dialogue, we are given a startling portrait of the role of women and the reality of religion in These United States.
Religious pluralism is not only a cultural phenomenon - it is the reality of many American families.
The role and authority of women - religious and secular - will probably always be challenged.
I don't think those two statements are not connected in some way.
I especially like the dialogue between the doctor and the chaplain about the mental state of their patient.
But, the last one is my absolute favorite. Check them all out, but be sure to check out the last scene. (Click on the images to enlarge them for easier reading.)
Been there. Felt like that. Then again, tell the truth: haven't we all?
So, today, as you're enjoying your hot dogs or hamburgers or chicken, fish or veggie burgers or the grill, and you down another brewski or white wine or cola, do stop and think about those who have died in the service of this country.
And, perhaps, consider how your life is contributing to making this country a 'more perfect union'.
If you are of a mind, please do offer up a few wee prayers.
Because, while it's true - God does have your back - you never know.
She just might decide to sit around today, doing her nails at the start of the Summer Holiday and someone has to pick up the slack.