Senate Chaplain Explains His Congress-Criticizing Prayers to CNN

The Senate’s non-partisan chaplain Barry Black has taken to chiding Congress as of late for its inaction in ending the government shutdown — or, “madness,” as he called it during one prayer. Thursday morning, he appeared on CNN to accept a heaping amount of praise from CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield.

“Wouldn’t it be really nice to be able to hear someone stand up in Congress and speak from the heart, somebody guided by faith and conscience? Wow!” began Banfield’s introduction. “There is someone exactly like that.”

The show then played clips of Barry’s recent Senate prayers, in which he asked God to “deliver us from the hypocrisy” and “forgive [lawmakers] the blunders they have committed.”

“Amen!” Banfield declared. “Thank you, thank you, thank you for saying these things. I wish they had more of an effect.” She asked: “If you are able to counsel regularly individual members about the kind of language they use, the kind of blame they throw around and the personal responsibility they do not take — especially when they use words like terrorist and hostage and gun to their heads — how do you operate in the halls of Congress with these people?”

Black explained that he teaches a bible study course to senators on a weekly basis, and, if given the opportunity, he will point to various quotes from the Book of Proverbs that give insight to how “the power of words have consequences” and that they ought to be “responsible stewards of their verbiage.”

Asked whether he’s hopeful the shutdown “crisis” will end without any further damage, the chaplain recalled his time as a college student in Alabama during the 1960s civil rights movement hearing a local preacher tell him that “we shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” Such optimism is “contagious,” he added, and so, “if you persevere inevitably a productive harvest will come.”

Banfield concluded the interview: “I am going to put a picture of you up in my office and I want you to meet my children at some point and I just want to personally say, thank you for being you and joining us on the program today.”

Say, do you think Ashleigh Banfield is appreciative of the good chaplain’s work?

Watch below, via CNN:

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