Let us Pray.
Almighty God, father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, revealed to us so powerfully in your Son, Jesus Christ, we thank you for showering your blessings upon this our beloved nation. Bless all here present, and all across this great land, who work hard for the day when a greater portion of your justice, and a more ample measure of your care for the poor and suffering, may prevail in these United States. Help us to see that a society’s greatness is found above all in the respect it shows for the weakest and neediest among us.
We beseech you, almighty God to shed your grace on this noble experiment in ordered liberty, which began with the confident assertion of inalienable rights bestowed upon us by you: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Thus do we praise you for the gift of life. Grant us the courage to defend it, life, without which no other rights are secure. We ask your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected. Strengthen our sick and our elders waiting to see your holy face at life’s end, that they may be accompanied by true compassion and cherished with the dignity due those who are infirm and fragile.
We praise and thank you for the gift of liberty. May this land of the free never lack those brave enough to defend our basic freedoms. Renew in all our people a profound respect for religious liberty: the first, most cherished freedom bequeathed upon us at our Founding. May our liberty be in harmony with truth; freedom ordered in goodness and justice. Help us live our freedom in faith, hope, and love. Make us ever-grateful for those who, for over two centuries, have given their lives in freedom’s defense; we commend their noble souls to your eternal care, as even now we beg the protection of your mighty arm upon our men and women in uniform.
We praise and thank you for granting us the life and the liberty by which we can pursue happiness. Show us anew that happiness is found only in respecting the laws of nature and of nature’s God. Empower us with your grace so that we might resist the temptation to replace the moral law with idols of our own making, or to remake those institutions you have given us for the nurturing of life and community. May we welcome those who yearn to breathe free and to pursue happiness in this land of freedom, adding their gifts to those whose families have lived here for centuries.
We praise and thank you for the American genius of government of the people, by the people and for the people. Oh God of wisdom, justice, and might, we ask your guidance for those who govern us: President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, Congress, the Supreme Court, and all those, including Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan, who seek to serve the common good by seeking public office. Make them all worthy to serve you by serving our country. Help them remember that the only just government is the government that serves its citizens rather than itself. With your grace, may all Americans choose wisely as we consider the future course of public policy.
And finally Lord, we beseech your benediction on all of us who depart from here this evening, and on all those, in every land, who yearn to conduct their lives in freedom and justice. We beg you to remember, as we pledge to remember, those who are not free; those who suffer for freedom’s cause; those who are poor, out of work, needy, sick, or alone; those who are persecuted for their religious convictions, those still ravaged by war.
Someone deliver me from the over-verbose self-inflated, self-important followers of this desert-god-schmuck!
Skirt wearing, funky lid having freak...
It's just the token preacher that will be a part of any big, showy political event that is primarily designed to appeal to swing voters. Somehow I doubt that anyone Obama would choose to fill that role would have much appeal to this crowd. I've more important things to get pissed off about.
The pandering, the pandering. What useless and utter nonsense. It makes me want to pull my hair out and scream!!
Agreed, TFA. Incidentally, I went to your blog and commented on the Second Amendment entry. Under an alias I wrote: "Keeping and freely using the internet is covered by the First Amendment, hopefully. As for the 2nd, the wording makes it clear that it was mainly to apply to the times, as keeping a militia was very much on the founders' minds. They could not have anticipated public availability of assault weapons. All of it turns on the 'militia' clause, and the interpretation of the amendment was just waiting for the far right wingnut ideologues on the Supreme Court to interpret this as meaning we could keep any old gun we want. Oddly, Scalia is the justice who keeps carping on literal construction. Ironically, the only 'militias' we have today are groups who protest, e.g. having to pay taxes, folks who have been known to fight the government by, e.g. filing false liens against government property, lands and improvements on them that they only 'own' vicariously, in the sense that their taxes 'built them' (you should pardon the current phraseology growing from an Obama speech taken out of context). Fair is fair they might say, since the government puts liens on their own homes. A more reasonable interpretation of the Amendment is that we should only possess those guns necessary for sports, including hunting."
Here, I would add this: Another type of militia claims the right to bear arms of any type, and the incident in Waco a few years ago suggests a bleed-over from the First to Second Amendments: people like David Koresh. When a couple of government agents were shot in the siege of the Church compound, the attorney-general ordered an assault, causing a Branch Davidian conflagration. Someone must have wanted to get home by Christmas. This is the same way the LAPD shut down the Symbionese Liberation Army after they let Patricia Hearst go. Their safe house was torched. But think: we will never, ever know how well either group was armed, or how much ammo they had for the weapons they held.
James, thanks for the reply. BTW, I don't have a blog!! You must have posted your comment on a blog with somebody else in mind.
Speaking of gun rights, just the other day I listened to a very informative talk on the Center Stage podcast from the Center for Inquiry. Some very interesting history about past gun regulations and also about the ideological problems with our current gun control debate. You may be interested....
I thought it was your blog because there was a link 'neath your posted comment.
I think you were referring to my blog, I just post a link at the bottom of my comments in case someone wants to check it out. Thanks for doing so!
In the interest of not sending this thread further away from the original topic, I'll just say that I responded to what you posted in the comments and I look forward to hearing from you again.
@TFA - thanks for the gun rights links, I'll have to check those out.