- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black delivered an unusually blunt message during his opening prayer Tuesday, urging lawmakers to do something about gun violence after a mass shooting at a Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee.

The chaplain said that “when babies die at a church school, it is time for us to move beyond thoughts and prayers.”

Mr. Black rebuked lawmakers from the Senate floor after the shooter killed three elementary school students and three school employees on Monday.

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing,” the chaplain said.

Some lawmakers say there is nothing Congress can do. 

Rep. Tim Burchett, Tennessee Republican, told reporters the shooting was a “horrible” situation but that Congress would only “mess things up,” according to USA Today.

“We’re not gonna fix it,” Mr. Burchett said Tuesday. “Criminals are gonna be criminals.”

It was unusual for the chaplain, who is 74 and the first Black American to hold the post, to wade directly into the news of the day in his opening prayers. But he’s done it before, urging Congress to “save us from the madness” during a spending stalemate in 2013.

During President Trump’s second impeachment trial, he referred to lawmakers becoming jurors and asked God to “give them a civility built upon integrity that brings consistency in their beliefs and actions.”

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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