In the course of the Senate’s ordinary business, the chaplain is a somewhat anonymous figure. After delivering a prayer when the Senate convenes each day, he fades from the public view and into the background of the daily debate.
But since the government shutdown began two weeks ago, business in the U.S. Senate has been anything but ordinary as have the prayers from Chaplain Barry Black.
“Deliver us from the hypocrisy of attempting to sound reasonable while being unreasonable,” Black appealed in one of his recent morning prayers that have been doled out like daily scoldings to the deadlocked Congress.
Black sat down with “Power Players” to discuss the critical tone of his recent prayers, explaining that he sees it as his job “to be gadfly of sorts” – spurring his congregation of senators to action.
“I’m not judging and I’m not scolding, actually,” Black said. “My responsibility as a pastor is to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable. I need to be a gadfly of sorts. … I think that I should reflect the challenges of the environment that I’m working in.”