Senate Chaplain's Prayer: 'Deliver Us From Hypocrisy'
Barry C. Black holds nothing back in daily invocations
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2013 7:42 AM CDT
Senate Chaplain Barry Black poses for a portrait in his office on Capital Hill in Washington Friday, July 9, 2010.   (AP Photo/Drew Angerer)

(Newser) – For at least one minute every morning, the Senate has to listen to Barry C. Black, the Senate chaplain, as he offers up his daily prayer. And Black, a former Navy rear admiral, has been taking advantage of that fact. For the past week, as the government shutdown has dragged on, the morning invocation has been more like a reprimand for the lawmakers, the New York Times reports. Sample line: "We acknowledge our transgressions, our shortcomings, our smugness, our selfishness, and our pride. Deliver us from the hypocrisy of attempting to sound reasonable while being unreasonable."

Black, who has been in the nonpartisan position for 10 years and won't say what his own political leanings are, has at least succeeded in getting the senators' attention. After he mentioned lawmakers' "stubborn pride" and "blunders" in Friday's prayer, an apologetic Harry Reid acknowledged that the Senate hasn't been very gentle or compromising of late. And apparently the House of Representatives is taking notice, too: It has its own chaplain, but invited Black to give Friday's invocation. In other Senate theatrics, C-SPAN2 probably owes Ted Cruz a thank-you note: His 21-hour non-filibuster caused a fivefold jump in the cable channel's ratings from the day prior, the Times reports.

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Oct 7, 2013 1:58 PM CDT
Why does our goveernment need a "shaman" to perform verbal rituals that are not being heard by anyone other than those in attendance? We should really get rid of this position. It's useless and is a waste of money. If our politicians need "guidance" let them go to their own specific supernatural tax-exempt clubhouse for it.
Oct 7, 2013 11:59 AM CDT
That's rich, a so-called "man of God" preaching about "hypocrisy". How many hypocrites are there in church, reverand?
Oct 7, 2013 11:41 AM CDT
Good for you Admiral. I guess it was a lot better and more heart felt than listening to Sen. Cruz recite Ham and Green Eggs.