Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Food for Thought

I usually don't dabble in politics on this blog, if for no other reason than the simple fact that few people can talk politics anymore in a civil tone of voice. There has been much bewailing of vice, avarice, lobbying, misuse of public funds, and pork barrel spending by both the US Congress and the House of Commons in Britain, if you have been following that saga, of late.

For while we might agree with Cromwell's sentiments, and even his actions, in our most cynical moments, it is still our calling to pray for our leaders. For as the prayerbook offers on page 821, those completely disgruntled and pessimistic about the course of government, I offer you the following thought for the day. Though probably the most hated man in British history, Oliver Cromwell once felt the same way about Parliament.

In his words in the Dissolution of the Long Parliament, Oliver Cromwell gave the following address to the House of Commons on 20 April 1653.

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It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

In the name of God, go!

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While we might agree with Cromwell's sentiments, and even his actions, in our most cynical moments, it is still our calling to pray for our leaders. For as the prayerbook offers on page 821:

For Congress or a State Legislature

O God, the fountain of wisdom, whose will is good and
gracious, and whose law is truth: We beseech thee so to guide
and bless our Senators and Representatives in Congress
assembled (or in the Legislature of this State, or Common-
wealth), that they may enact such laws as shall please thee,
to the glory of thy Name and the welfare of this people;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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