All this comes about after I got off the phone with the local newspaper, Voices. Voices is THE thing to read around here. If you want to know what is going on, you must read Voices, or else you are hopelessly, shamefully lost. The rest of us will know how to properly pasture our horses, who got ticketed for drunk driving, who made Eagle Scout, and where the local school board is campaigning and you will be stuck getting second-hand rumors from the PTA. I'm just sayin'.
I called the Voices to discuss (read, complain) about a very distressing "Guest Sermon" column. Prior colleagues had used the space to write lovely sermons that were welcoming or thought-provoking, or at the least, just a little dull. But this past week, one new colleague used the space to write up "Ten Reasons Why The Pro-Life Movement is Winning". ouch. If I am Power Priest/Wonder Woman, it was as if I had discovered my own private Cheetah (Wonder Woman's nemesis). Yes, it was actually worse in the reading than it was in the title, and God only knows why the gentleman chose to submit this sermon and not the friendly one I am sure he prepared for the kids' homily.
I got phone calls from parishoners and comments chittering about this little parish, kinda like the noise that precedes the sending of the Bat-signal or the calls of "I am the master of the Universe!" (He-man. I don't remember what Wonder Woman used to shout...) End result: I did call Voices, and had a lovely conversation with the lady in charge. Essentially, it was a last-minute substitution made while she was away, so it was not properly vetted. Whoops. I do not envy the amount of phone mail she is currently wading through.
Just goes to show what sort of power words carry. We figured that out in the comic books ages ago. I certainly wish that more tough-talkers took lessons from, say, the Green Lantern, the Sandman, the Joker, Cheetah, Skeltor, Megatron, or any other great cartoon nemesis. Hard words hang tough. Usually, the bad guy sorta wishes he hadn't said them (in the end. Sometimes, the bad guy even gets redeemed! We'll ignore the times that the bad guy gets, say, dumped in the ocean a'la Megatron.)
And (to bring this back to Power Priest), I had a lovely discussion. I took several hours to dial down from my astonishment and anger, and to research the statements made in the sermon, and to decide whom to talk to. (Initial thoughts: call the newspaper! Call the priest! Call the state police! Call the diocese! And the other Diocese! Pull out sword of righteousness and make like Lucy Lawless!) which of course are systemically unhealthy. It took a while to de-triangle myself to the point I could make a healthy and reasonable response: speak to the editor in charge of the feature.
End result: one of Epiphany's sermons will be featured (the week after Easter, so look for a 'rousing' piece!). I got to speak calmly and persuasively. My points were made and understood, and no one was victimized. I felt all mighty and suave, but not crazed with madness. And best of all, I didn't even have to cause my wristlets to blow up. I've always wondered if that didn't sting, just a little.