Congress’ Dueling Chaplains

Posted October 9, 2013 at 5:10pm

Nine days into the first government shutdown in 17 years, members of Congress are not the only ones who cannot seem to reach agreement.

Following Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black’s remarks last week, asking God to “save us from the madness” of the shutdown, Black lambasted members again Wednesday morning for denying death benefits to families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

“Forgive us for continuing to sow the wind even when hearing the sounds of the approaching whirlwind,” the former Navy chaplain said. “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.”

Black’s prayer contrasted with the offering from the House’s guest chaplain, Rev. Rob MacIlvaine, who praised members for their efforts.

“Father, I thank you for the heroic leadership that this House of Representatives has exemplified in the past week during this present crisis,” said MacIlvaine, who was sponsored by freshman Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla. “I thank you for the late nights, I thank you their heroic efforts to seek compromise and I thank you for the creative solutions they’ve proposed. And yet Lord at present, there is no solution.”