- The Washington Times - Monday, October 7, 2013

The Senate chaplain isn’t pulling any punches during daily prayer, bluntly calling the chaos on Capitol Hill an ugly showcase of pride, smugness and hypocrisy — and he’s pleading for the Almighty to step in and smooth the name-calling.

“We acknowledge our transgressions, our shortcomings, our smugness, our selfishness and our pride,” said chaplain Barry Black, a Seventh-day Adventist and a former Navy rear admiral, during one recently delivered morning prayer, The New York Times reported. “Deliver us from the hypocrisy of attempting to sound reasonable while being unreasonable.”

Mr. Black, the Senate’s official chaplain for a decade, has used the morning invocation as a public dressing down of the Senate members for about a week now.

It’s a stark contrast to the Senate infighting that has led tea party types to label Democrats as socialists, and liberals to return the favor by condemning the conservative faction as extortionists.

The chaplain even used the Thursday shooting on Capitol Hill — when police shot and killed a woman after a madcap vehicle chase through the city streets — to deliver his political message, noting during prayer that the officers involved in the event weren’t being paid because of the government shutdown.

“Remove from them that stubborn pride, which imagines itself to be above and beyond criticism,” he said, The Times reported. “Forgive them the blunders they have committed.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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