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Meet the Senate Chaplain, a voice of reason

Amidst the madness and chaos resulting from the government shutdown, perhaps lawmakers should really listen to the prayers of one person on the Senate floor.

It’s time now to clear the air, and, as we’ve been reporting, this shutdown is no trifling matter. It’s not a pin-prick, nor is it “just like a weekend” when some government facilities are closed, as Senator Ted Cruz has suggested.

For millions of Americans, this is going to prove catastrophic, and if Mr. Cruz and his kamikaze caucus won’t listen to fellow lawmakers, then maybe they should pay attention to the Senate Chaplain, because here’s how he led prayers on Monday, just hours before the shutdown:

“As our nation stumbles toward a seemingly unavoidable government shutdown, keep our lawmakers from sowing to the wind, thereby risking, reaping the whirlwind…May they remember that all that is necessary for unintended catastrophic consequences is for good people to do nothing.”

Sadly, that prayer was not answered. Instead, the “unintended catastrophic consequences” are now piling up: for children who were awaiting cancer treatment, for nursing mothers, for vulnerable youngsters in Head Start programs, for those elderly folk whose Meals on Wheels have already been slashed because of the sequester–for these people the shutdown isn’t just another political fight. It may actually be the difference between life and death.

And so, after the Chaplain’s first prayer was not answered, he got up again on Tuesday and sought to intercede for the victims of this shutdown, praying that those in positions of power would have their consciences stirred by the suffering that they have caused.

“During this legislative stalemate, help our lawmakers to test all things by their conscience. Seeking to do right as you give them the ability to see it. Stir their hearts, making them bold to follow your ways.”

But, as of now, that prayer, too, remains unanswered. And so this led the Senate Chaplain to plead even more earnestly that this madness will come to an end.

“Have mercy on us, O God, and save us from the madness. We acknowledge our transgressions, our shortcomings, our smugness, our selfishness, and our pride. Create in us clean hearts, O God, and renew a right spirit within us.”

Amen, and may God bring them to their senses.