Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
So Cardinal Dolan prayed at the RNC last night and one can presume that we will hear something almost identical at the DNC when the Cardinal prays there.
With firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, let us pray. Almighty God, Father of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus, we beg your continued blessings on this sanctuary of freedom, and on all of those who proudly call America home,” he began. “We ask your benediction upon those yet to be born, and on those who are about to see you at the end of this life. Bless those families whose ancestors arrived on these shores generations ago, as well as those families that have come recently, to build a better future while weaving their lives into the rich tapestry of America.
We lift up to your loving care those afflicted by the recent storms, drought, and fire. We ask for the grace to stand in solidarity with all those who suffer. May we strive to include your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free in the production and prosperity of a people so richly blessed.
O God of wisdom, justice, and might, we ask your guidance for those who govern us, and on those who would govern us: the president, and vice president, the Congress, the Supreme Court, and on all those who seek to serve the common good by seeking public office, especially Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan. Make them all worthy to serve you by serving our country. And help them remember that the only just government is the government that serves its citizens rather than itself.
Almighty God, who gives us the sacred and inalienable gift of life, we thank you as well for the singular gift of liberty. Renew in all of our people a respect for religious freedom in full, that first most cherished freedom. Make us truly free by tethering freedom to truth and ordering freedom to goodness. Help us live our freedom in faith, hope and love, prudently and with justice, courageously and in a spirit of moderation. Enkindle in our hearts a new sense of responsibility for freedom’s cause and make us ever grateful for all those who for more than two centuries have given their lives in freedom’s defense. We commend their noble souls to your eternal care as even now we beg your mighty hand upon our beloved men and women in uniform. May we know the truth of your creation, respecting the laws of nature and nature’s God and not seek to replace it with idols of our own making.
Give us the good sense not to cast aside the boundaries of righteous living you first inscribed on our hearts even before inscribing them on tablets of stone. May you mend our every flaw, confirming our soul in self control, our liberty in law. We pray for all those who seek honest labor as we thank you for the spirit of generosity to those in need [with] which you so richly blessed this nation. We beseech your blessing on all who depart this evening and on all those in every land who seek to conduct their lives in freedom.
Most of all, Almighty God, we thank you for the great gift of our beloved country. For we are indeed one nation under God, and in God we trust. Dear God, bless America, you who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.
Cardinal Dolan did not choose to use the occasion of his prayer as a frying pan to the back of the head. These pastoral types can be that way some times.
If, as I suspect we hear the same prayer at the DNC, you might think that there would be no controversy. Sure, His Eminence does vaguely mention "life" and "religious freedom," but not in any way so specific that it cannot be rationalized away. This is the way the Cardinal decided to go and I can respect it. A prayer is a prayer and not punch in the face.
But I can still imagine some people having a problem with this prayer. Let me channel the type.
He didn't mention Mohammed. In a time where Muslims are being dragged from their homes by tea-partiers, I cannot believe he would omit that. Why just Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus? This is a dog-whistle if ever heard one.
What about the environment? The Cardinal mentions nature's laws and nature's God, but what about nature itself? Why didn't he pray for nature itself? Global Warming!! Gaia!!
Oh, and really. Are we supposed to think that a magic sky creature actually wrote on stone tablets? Sheesh.
And I will not pray to a God that doesn't exist for those very people in blood soaked uniforms who spread American imperialism throughout the world!
And what about non-believers?
And so on.
What did I miss?