Rear Admiral Barry C. Black, USN (Ret.), according to Wikipedia “is the 62nd Chaplain of the United States Senate. He was elected to this position on June 27, 2003, becoming the first African American and the first Seventh-day Adventist to hold this office.” Wikipedia also reported the following statements the chaplain made during the government shutdown –
During the 16 day United States federal government shutdown of 2013, his invocations began to garner widespread national attention. On Oct. 1, the first day of the shutdown, he prayed for divine guidance to, “Strengthen our weakness, replacing cynicism with faith and cowardice with courage.” On Oct. 3, he prayed, “Save us from the madness. 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”
During his prayer, on Oct. 4, 2013, the day after officers from the U.S. Capitol Police shot and killed a woman who had used her car in an attempt to breach federal grounds; Black noted that the officers were not being paid because of the government shutdown. Like other government workers, he too is unpaid during the shutdown, stating, “I’m being remunerated from above. And that’s pretty special.” On the fourth day of the shutdown, he also prayed, regarding the senators, “Remove from them that stubborn pride which imagines itself to be above and beyond criticism,” he said. “Forgive them the blunders they have committed.”
On day nine, prompted by news of the delay of death benefits for military families, Black prayed, “It’s time for our lawmakers to say ‘Enough is enough'”, and asked that God, “cover our shame with the robe of Your righteousness.” On day eleven, Black prayed to, “give our lawmakers the wisdom to distinguish between truth and error... Give them a hatred of all hypocrisy, deceit and shame as they seek to replace them with gentleness, patience and truth,” he prayed.
The chaplain’s benevolent prayers were answered – a person whose craft is in helping others believe in their faith and in the power of prayer. The government shutdown has ended but the result was again short-sighted – the extension ends on January 15, 2014 while the debt limit expires Feb.7.
Black is a native of Baltimore, MD., is married and has three sons. He served in the United States Navy for 27 years (1997-2003).
Black has received national attention due to his prayers in the Senate chamber and was the “Power Player” of the week recently on the Fox political program “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace."
It is obvious that Congress, unfortunately led by Republicans, continue their wicked ways in making American lives stressful and President Obama’s second term as wretched as possible. Barry Black, in knowing this, will continue his prayers in hope for a better tomorrow on behalf of America.