The government shutdown that has affected Pentagon employees and contractors, and now set off a mini-scandal over military death benefits that aren’t being paid out.
The image of families not receiving their promised payments after their loved one was killed fighting for America was too much for Senate Chaplain Barry Black, a retired rear admiral and the former chief of Navy chaplains.
Black delivered a stern message to both the Senate and the House during his morning prayer at the start of Wednesday’s session — with Congress locked in a bitter stalemate over how to reopen the government and avoid a debt default: “Enough is enough.”
Reporters and bloggers often filter out the news from a speaker’s remarks, and then add context. Then there are rare occasions when it’s best for journalists to get out of the way and let the reader soak it in, capital letters and all. This is one of those times. Here is Black’s morning prayer, as it landed in my inbox from the Senate Periodicals Press Gallery:
THE CHAPLAIN: “LET US PRAY. O GOD, IN WHOSE PRESENCE OUR SOULS TAKE DELIGHT, TO WHOM IN AFFLICTION WE CALL, FORGIVE US FOR CONTINUING TO SOW TO THE WIND EVEN WHEN HEARING THE SOUNDS OF THE APPROACHING WHIRLWIND.
“LORD, WHEN OUR FEDERAL SHUTDOWN DELAYS PAYMENTS OF DEATH BENEFITS TO THE FAMILIES OF CHILDREN DYING ON FAR-AWAY BATTLEFIELDS, IT’S TIME FOR OUR LAWMAKERS TO SAY, ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.’
“COVER OUR SHAME WITH THE ROBE OF YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. FORGIVE US, REFORM US, AND MAKE US WHOLE. WE PRAY IN YOUR MERCIFUL NAME. AMEN”
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