Chaplain Barry C. Black is anything but content with the federal government shutdown. In fact, the Seventh-day Adventist and former Navy rear admiral has been taking to the Senate floor during opening prayers in recent days to let politicians know that he believes the political showdown is rooted in “stubborn pride” and “smugness.”
“Save us from the madness,” Black, 65, said late last week.
The faith leader has delivered repeated blows to the 100 senators in the chamber during each day since the shutdown began, The New York Times reports. On Friday, alone, he hit back at what he called “prideful” behavior and asked for forgiveness for the leaders’ “blunders.”
“We acknowledge our transgressions, our shortcomings, our smugness, our selfishness and our pride,” he said. “Deliver us from the hypocrisy of attempting to sound reasonable while being unreasonable.”
Watch some highlights from his invocations, below:
Black, like other federal employees considered non-essential, isn’t being paid and his Bible study classes for senators and staffers four times per week have been cancelled (it’s unclear if the prayers violate volunteerism restrictions that are placed upon non-essential personnel), the Times notes.
The chaplain has served the Senate since 2003 and is known for keeping his political views vague. In an interview with the Times, he said that he relies upon a “biblical perspective” in crafting his opinions.
“Let’s just say I’m liberal on some and conservative on others,” Black said. “But it’s obvious the Bible condemns some things in a very forceful and overt way, and I would go along with that condemnation.”
Black maintains that politicians are playing “a very dangerous game.” His prayers reflect these themes, as he hopes politicians can come together to let “cooler heads prevail.”
(H/T: New York Times)