Senate chaplain Rear Admiral Barry C. Black has emerged as the voice of conscience during the government shutdown, as his prayers opening sessions of congress have become an increasingly tough sermon on cynicism, cowardice, and “the unfortunate dialectic of us versus them.”
The chaplain’s prayers escalated in their severity as the shutdown loomed, culminating in this entreaty to God on the first full day of the shutdown: “Deliver us from the hypocrisy of attempting to sound reasonable by being unreasonable. Remove the burdens of those who are the collateral damage of this government shutdown, we pray in your merciful name. Amen.”
On her show on Thursday, Rachel Maddow gave the 20-year Navy veteran with the booming, baritone voice, who has been in his present position for a decade, a well deserved high five.
“If the shutdown needs a hero, I think we’ve got one.”