Where do people go when they die? Those who are religious believe people either go to Heaven or Hell. People, of course, want to go to Heaven when they die although some people jokingly say they want to go to Hell because all their friends are down there. Part of my education was in a Catholic school but even though I did well in religious studies, I am generally an atheist, which means a person who does not believe in any God. I sometimes go to Midnight Mass in a Catholic church on Christmas Eve but I generally believe in human evolution. Many of my friends are Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims but we never discuss religion.
Last week, the Speaker of the House in the US Congress, Nancy Pelosi, used a religious expression which I really liked. She was paying tribute to her good friend, Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings, who died two weeks ago. To "pay tribute" means to praise someone in public. People often pay tribute to the dead. Pelosi said Cummings was now dancing with the angels. In fact, this is an expression Cummings used many times. Pelosi was repeating his favourite quote. If you are dancing with the angels, it means you have gone to Heaven after your death and are with the angels. By using this expression, Pelosi meant that Cummings had gone to Heaven.
Cummings, who often sparred (argued) with Donald Trump, once told the president: "Mr. President, you're now 70-something, I'm 60-something. Very soon you and I will be dancing with the angels." Cummings died at the age of 68. He used the expression again in the US Congress when he was criticizing a former Trump lawyer by saying: "When we're dancing with the angels, the question will be asked what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact?" He meant when people die, others will ask whether they did anything to protect democracy.
上星期，美國眾議院議長蘭茜．佩洛西用了一個宗教的習語，我很喜歡。她在向她的一位好友致敬（paying tribute），就是於兩周前過世的民主黨眾議員以利亞．卡明斯。To pay tribute意即在公開場合向某人表達敬意。人們很常向死者致敬（paying tribute）。佩洛西說，卡明斯現正dancing with the angels。事實上，卡明斯曾經用過這個習語很多遍，佩洛西是在重複他很喜歡的一句話。若你是dancing with the angels，即是說你死後上了天堂，正與天使共舞。用上這個習語，佩洛西是想說卡明斯已上了天堂。
常常與特朗普爭論（sparred）的卡明斯，有一次跟總統說：「總統先生，你現在七十多歲，我六十多歲，很快你和我都將要跟天使共舞（dancing with the angels）了。」卡明斯終年六十八歲。他在美國國會批評特朗普的一位前律師時，再次用到這個習語：「當我們與天使共舞（dancing with the angels）之時，將會被問到，我們究竟做過甚麼去確保我們的民主完好無損？」他的意思是，當人們死的時候，別人就會問到底他們做過甚麼去捍衞民主。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧