A Prayer for America

Author: Gary Hart

Great Spirit, Creator of us all

We Americans continue to seek Your blessing.  We do so in our official events, in public forums, and even in our sports events.  But we seldom if ever provide evidence that Your blessing is deserved.  We take that for granted.  We assume we have earned a Divine blessing because we are entitled to it.

But now, at this critical point in our history, Your blessing is needed more than ever.  So, help us understand what we must do to deserve a blessing in this hour.

Help us learn humility.  Teach us that we are not always right and that others are always wrong.  Teach us to confess our errors and admit our mistakes.  Help us learn that we are human beings too eager to let our petty ideologies replace our nation’s principles.

Guide us in a path of righteousness.  Help us to reject the vain words of vain leaders and to pursue that which is right and good.  We know it is possible for nations, even great nations, to correct their errors and restore the trust of other nations and other people.

Restore our commitment to justice.  Open our minds to the needs of those around us, the poor, the sick, the lost, the aged.  Remind us that an unjust nation will be judged harshly for its failure to care for those in need. Help us recollect that we are all human beings equal in Your sight, that we neglect those in need at the risk of our own souls.

Require us to reject false prophets.  In times of distress, we are tempted to follow the cynical, the self-centered, the boastful, and the divisive figure.  We do so at the cost of our national principles, our proclaimed ideals, and our self-respect.  Those who divide us are not our friends and must not be our leaders.  Open our eyes to the opinions of mankind and the hopes of those who inhabit our fragile world with us

Teach us to respect and protect the natural world You have created.  Warn us of the dangers of childish and selfish damage to the land, the water, and the air that You have given us and told us to hold in sacred trust for future generations.  Remind us that nature is Your gift to us to manage as Your stewards, that it is ours to sustain and not to destroy.

Lead us toward our role as peacemakers.  Remind us that war is easy to start and difficult to end, that the path of peace and reconciliation is not a path of weakness but the way of righteousness.

Finally, Great Spirit, teach us that America still has a role to play among the nations of the earth.  Our greatness is in our principles and not in our weapons.  Our stature is in the bridges, not the walls, we build.  Our spirit is in our kindness, not our enmity.  Our soul rests in our generosity and not our hostility.  Our hope is in a better future for our children and not in our immediate gratification and our vanity.

In the words of the old prophet: help us to “love mercy, do justly, and walk humbly with our God.”

Most of all, Great Spirit, make us worthy of Your blessing.

Amen.

14 Responses to “A Prayer for America”

  1. Paul G Says:

    “HELP US LEARN HUMILITY.”

    – Gary Hart, November 1, 2016

    Winner of 25 states while refusing $PAC “to win” in 1984, Gary remains the standard for all presidential candidates to aspire in our national interest.

    Winning ’til messengers changed the rules to benefit the war-profiteers, time has proven his prophetic truth: we get the unprincipled leaders we deserve.

    Many, including Lee, Andrea, Jack, Tom, Chris, Eric, Bryan, Dave, Libby, Mike, Steve, Jeanne, Martin, worked endlessly for us to listen and learn. But as the circus demands entertainment, not enlightenment; so goes our republic.

    If Gary was a “politician” or “entertainer” like Clinton or Trump, he would have been President Hart long ago, or, this November 8. But, as Two Hawks may say in life’s marathon, a Divinity shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will.

    God Bless You Gary Hart, our inspiration to live a better life than we may have otherwise. God help us learn humility as we seek truly cosmic victory.

  2. LORENZO CHERIN Says:

    I have come to expect common sense and eloquence on this site . I have come here to find uncommon sensibility and elegy. Gary Hart is not , so much , a loss, to the great nation that is America, in not ever becoming President . He is rather , and more , a find ,in the great quest that is politics, and search for meaning. It was , I believe , President Truman , who said , we campaign in poetry , govern in prose. It is Senator Hart who shows, we reflect in prayerfulness.

  3. Brian C. McCarthy Says:

    Senator,

    I appreciate your prayer and say Amen to it. I sincerely doubt that God has political preferences, but I’m now going to be a huge hypocrite and re-post, in an edited form, something I wrote on my own FB page, which is something I recently criticized someone else for doing on this blog. Senator, it’s your blog – if you choose not to pass it, I understand.

    I’ve made a conscious effort to avoid making overtly political posts online for the past few months now, except when Mr Pence’s plane skidded off the runway, and then I just couldn’t help myself but crack a joke. I assume, as more people should, that if anyone wanted my advice on which way to vote, they’d have asked for it. At the risk of giving unsolicited advice, everyone should just go vote tomorrow, if you’ve not already, and consult your own mind, not the Internet, to make that decision. And when it’s over, let’s not throw bricks through any windows or bring our awesome collection of automatic weapons to the nearest federal building or national park – let’s just accept that we live in a country where not everybody gets their way all the time. As has been already said by some what’s-his-face whose name Senator Hart probably knows, but I don’t offhand, democracy is the worst political system in the world – except for all the others.

    I personally will be very glad this crap is over after tomorrow – assuming there are no half-ass coup d’etats by nutter-butters with bricks or guns who decide that destroying public property or seizing federal lands is the best way to respond to an unfavorable election outcome. The right response is to share your opinion in a public, but respectful and thoughtful way that may actually convince someone else – not an ideological rant. The right response is to involve yourself in the process, even if you believe it rigged or crooked – it won’t change because you criticize it but do nothing else. The right response is to participate and work to convince others of what you believe and not to compare those who disagree with the likes of Hitler and Stalin. That’s just demagoguery and not at all helpful. The right response is to take your share of ownership of your country – not by writing angry messages online but by becoming part of the process. I need to do more of this myself.

    Let’s all join with Senator Hart’s prayer that we can all use some more humility and open-mindedness, and again, Senator, I offer my Amen to your prayer.

    BCM

  4. Tom Flaherty Says:

    Thank You Gary for that.

    Now I’m going in to vote with a lot more calm/peace in my head.

    Blessings All,

  5. LORENZO CHERIN Says:

    Dear Americans,

    The late great Englishman who became an American , Alistair Cook , one of the finest broadcasters either of our countries ever produced, wrote his Letter from America , broadcast weekly from America ,to Great Britain. This is , in our modern society, of social media , my memo to America !It is a great pleasure and honour to utilise the site of a man today I admire , Senator Gary Hart , as the BBC Radio 4 that Cook used , amongst other outlets, in America , to say what I say to Americans in my own country , today , and to anyone , and share what I write!

    I am an Englishman. I do not write on behalf of a people but concerned for all peoples. The American people are our friends and family . The American election is the concern of all. The American President is the leader of the free world . The American Democratic Party , is , nationally , in that great country , what the Liberal Party of New York is , locally , in that great city , a party of democrats and liberals.I am a member of the Liberal Democrat Party of Great Britain. The only candidate of liberals and democrats in this election is Hillary Clinton or it is nobody .She stands better qualified to be President than many before her her .She is tainted too, but taunted too much . She has been dissected under a now ongoing media microscope and she is intact.She is far from dull she is interesting. Even her flaws , personal and political are.She is impressive under fire and those who hate her fire on all sides.She is no underdog . But she is the only dog in this race who must win , or , goodness knows who , but many , are , as we say in my country , going to the dogs! Please America , a country I know I love , at all times , even when I feel I don’t like it sometimes, like when seeing the prospect of President Trump ! Please vote for the best candidate and the first woman President . Vote for Hillary Clinton !

  6. Paul Borg Says:

    Dear Senator Hart,

    In the event you received a truncated version of the following, please forgive me. My computer mouse and I are experiencing technical difficulties.

    I read the prayer many times and each time I could feel its Power and recognize the Source. It gave rise to one of those moments of absolute silence, where not even a thought intrudes (a sacred space). I shall echo this prayer daily and rest in the knowledge that it will be not only amplified but create a harmony that cannot go unnoticed, even by those who would divide us.

    A spiritual melding of two nations has been expressed in this prayer. I pray that many will feel the Power this melding reveals. It is as palpable as a cool breeze on the palms of the hands and the Silence that envelops one in the presence of the Sacred. It is the power that created this universe and also destroys that which refuses to evolve.

    I see America’s role in the modern world expressed in the prayer. We need to present a flesh and blood America that is not only radiating the Power and Majesty of the Great Spirit but at the same time tempers itself with Love.

  7. Paul G Says:

    REFLECTIONS ON THE FUTURE

    “Sometime back, under the impact of a series of improbable, even ridiculous, political developments, I wrote that I was forthwith leaving “politics” behind and focusing instead on more serious, more substantial, more meaningful topics with longer range implications. Well, of course, I should have been smart enough to know that we may not care about politics, but politics cares about us.

    Given the historic moment in which we find ourselves, let me invite comments, and offer to respond to questions if any are asked, concerning the impending national election and particularly its impact on the long term national interest.”

    – Gary Hart, July 25, 2016

    (Note: Our honorable and humble host posed 6 questions. Two responses I believe may be worthy of this blog site’s readers reflection – 3 months before President-elect Trump):

    Q1. Will history look back on this moment as a hinge of history …?
    When our republic’s founders such as Thomas Jefferson and visionary leaders such as the honorable host of this site are “air-brushed” from attention either in Texas school books or more recent pre-9/11 warnings, maybe only God can see.

    (I should have added, “one of many of the ‘ridiculous developments’ was Gary’s former subordinate, Hillary, working with George II (in their mutual career interests), to have ‘our’ media suppress Gary’s commission report that warned of 9/11-style attacks that Trump seemed to refer to in a brief CNBC interview with Bloomberg’s media suppression lady in red: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSOQcL20vos)

    Q5. Will we ever be able to curb the Washington revolving door of insider lobbyists, super pacs, campaign contributions providing access … for the few and powerful?

    Doubtful, especially as the wholly unproductive Finance sector has grown from 11% of our US economy in the 1950’s to 40+% at present, and are almost singularly responsible for producing today’s “citizens’ united” Democratic Party nominee.

    Q6. Will political and/or economic crisis produce great leaders as in past times?

    50+ years after the murder of JFK and his brother Robert, and the air-bushing from history of their best disciples of the republic, I’m no longer hopeful. In an era when otherwise highly credentialed (schooled) citizens almost proudly state, “Facts don’t matter; all that matters is what people believe,” well, I imagine only God knows.

    ———-

    A SECOND blogger’s reflection, from Chris R, last July, follows:

    “This election has been historic indeed.

    I share Eric C. Jacobson’s view that Hillary Clinton is Trump’s natural prey.

    (I even thought that exact quote before he wrote it!) Trump’s victory would:

    1) Close the door on an era of two families dominating national politics and its most powerful offices. (He will have vanquished them both in one election cycle.)

    2) Reverse 20+ years of neo-liberal economic policy which led to the deindustrialization of the U.S., and,

    3) Signal the finalization of a political realignment of working class Americans from the D to the R column which started with Reagan.

    Trump executed a hostile take-over of the GOP … If Trump decides that the best way to court scorned Sanders’ supporters is to write-off student loan debt through “quantitative easing” as Green Party nominee Jill Stein has proposed, this election will likely be over. Make no mistake: Trump intends to win this.

    What the Democratic Party has become is an elitist party far removed from the populist party of Jefferson and Jackson, which is quite comfortable privately representing the bankers. Would Andrew Jackson invite Michael Bloomberg to speak at his convention? Not on your life!”

    ——————————–

    “Improbable, even ridiculous, political developments,” as humble and honorable Gary stated last July – without rancor or bitterness to his former subordinates and alleged philosophic soul-mates (not) who’ve “air-brushed” our modern Thomas Jefferson from the public’s awareness in their own career self-interests but at our republic’s expense; all of this “know-it-all” ridiculing Democrats who proved not to be democrats at all, made President Hart virtually impossible while unwittingly making Trump no longer a joke.

    Now, all the rest of us can do is hope and … pray.

  8. Eric C. Jacobson Says:

    Late Tuesday night my childhood classmate turned Tony Award-winning musical theater artist Debbie Gravitte wrote on her Facebook page: “I don’t know what to say to my children. I am so sad for our country. Just have to keep hope alive somehow.”

    On Wednesday evening I made the following comment to her in response, hoping she might find it consoling:
    ———————-
    If you lend them your ear, you may hear the everyday people of America singing today Debbie. I don’t have anything like your ear for music, but I can hear them metaphorically singing. (In Les Mis the armed uprising of the downtrodden, disillusioned and disappointed failed. Here, their electoral uprising succeeded.) Indeed I’ve been rejoicing with them. I discuss what led up to yesterday’s outcome here: https://www.facebook.com/ECJLA/posts/1064217156949233 .
    ———————-
    [Key excerpt from my 8/10/16 Matters of Principle (“MOP”) comment:
    A … Hamlet-like existential spirit is animating Donald Trump’s improbable presidential candidacy (or at least his supporters). Today, as political scientist Ronald Inglehart’s et al’s fine monograph published July 29th (Google “Trump, Brexit, and the Rise of Populism”) makes clear, millions of Europeans and Americans find themselves in a world where “time is out of joint”. If the New York Times’ press report is true, Mr. Trump’s campaign has just received some $60 million in July alone in contributions from such small donors online. (This is Sanders-level numbers albeit from very different kinds of people.)

    What is motivating the supporters of Brexit and Trump etc.? In simple terms, the nations of their birth have been profoundly mis-led on a bipartisan basis by 2-3 generations of neoliberal politicians who have adhered to profoundly misguided policies that undermined these citizens’ economic and social security so as to enrich the super-rich businessmen paymasters who financed the campaigns and careers of those utterly pedestrian and opportunistic office-holders. I refer to pols such as Britain’s Tony Blair and the Clintons here at home.]
    ———————-
    And a personal epiphany of mine on the same subject is here: https://www.facebook.com/ECJLA/posts/1085573668146915 .
    ———————-
    [Key excerpt from my 9/9/16 MOP comment:
    Here’s what I’ve belatedly come to understand. We Americans can have:

    • (effectively) open borders and a corporatist global economy, OR

    • a living-wage-or-preferably-higher-wage social democracy featuring enlightened protectionism, vastly curtailed new illegal immigration, tight labor markets with legal immigration-only appropriately pegged to same, and robust private sector unionism.

    We CAN’T have both. …

    Corporatist globalization and unregulated immigration HAVE roiled America, and veered it off a progressive trajectory, frontally assaulted all Americans below the 79% percentile in socio-economic status and decimated virtually all members of the blue-collar lower-middle-class, most if not all of whom now lead lives of “quiet desperation”, with all that that that implies. See eg. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/19/working-poor-stories_n_5297694.html and http://www.nationalreview.com/article/434544/white-working-class-mortality-rates-are-increasing .

    Little wonder then that corporatist globalization and unregulated immigration have promoted in the American body politic BOTH righteous indignation and constructive alternatives (per Bernie Sanders’ primary campaign) AND a backlash featuring resentment and regressive alternatives (per Donald Trump’s primary and now general election campaign).

    Plainly, the American people have had enough. I am one of them. I also go a step further: As a California and American native son about to turn 62 (on Sept. 14th) whose grandparents on both sides were legal immigrants and who has had the benefits of an excellent public education and some degree of privilege by accident of birth (and who has fought injustice as a humble public interest lawyer), I do not find corporatist globalization and unregulated immigration (ie. an effectively borderless world) to be recognizably American- or the least bit wholesome- doctrines.

    On the contrary: In my view corporatist globalization and unregulated immigration are an alien ideology and agenda, the product of some kind of elitist utopian big-business-oriented fever-dream — and certainly NOT one that John Lennon “Imagine[d]“. Indeed, they are in my view a pernicious precursor to world-wide fascism of the sort Paddy Chayevsky prophesied in a soliloquy he gave to a maniacal CEO character (played by Ned Beatty) in the classic 1976 (political-noir/comedy?) film Network, in which the impediments of nation-state cultures and governments capable of asserting jurisdiction and policing corporate power are removed.]
    ———————-
    I really believe this outcome is going to be looked-back-upon as the moment America started to become America again. Now that the people have retired the amoral acquisitive Clintons from the political landscape, the contest of ideas, ideals and policies between honest morally-centered independents and Democrats, on the one hand, and conservatives of all stripes, on the other, can begin. In the political cycles to come, I expect that enlightened versions of populism, protectionism and isolationism will ultimately trump (so to speak) the regressive version the Republicans will now attempt to implement. Your children and my nieces and nephews, and all of their children, will have better lives for it.

  9. Gary Hart Says:

    Though Mr. Jacobson is entitled to his opinions, I for one could not disagree with his concluding paragraph more. And I’m not sure how it is responsive to the Prayer it is posted under. GH

  10. J Kane Says:

    Personally I choose to believe my future is secure.

    “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

    Have many here aligned themselves with the wrong King and the wrong kingdom?

    Let’s say you and I live as citizens in a hypothetical region that is ruled by a king. The king is in ultimate power and has all authority over the kingdom. Because we are citizens of that kingdom, our lives are defined by our king. When people of other kingdoms see us, they see us in light of who leads and controls us. Our king is the ultimate image of us and our kingdom.

    Now, imagine that another king from another kingdom comes in and slays our king and takes dominion over the entire kingdom including the lives of those living in it. Then, the new king offers each one of the inhabitants the opportunity to become citizens of his kingdom, a kingdom that is more than land or physical citizenship but a kingdom that will never end. We decide that’s a good deal and agree to accept his offer. He makes it official, puts his seal on us, and declares us citizens of his kingdom. Now, when others look at us, they do not see our old king, but they see our new king.

    Is politics your king? Is a political party your kingdom? Is your identity defined by or actions a representation of a political figure head?

    Personally I choose to live in the kingdom of God and believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ is good news because it is a gift from God, NOT SOMETHING that must be earned by penance or by self-improvement. The payment has been made, God has provided the way of salvation for man through the gift of His son to the world. He suffered as a sacrifice for sin, overcame death, and now offers to share in His triumph and his kingdom with all who will accept it.

    As a Christian, I choose to bear the image of my king. Our actions should reflect that identity.

    I trust that no man, or woman, is in control.

    I am not attempting to convert anyone into anything. If you pray or trust in a higher power, do so. I pray for our country every day regardless of who thinks they are in charge.

  11. Gary Hart Says:

    For purposes of clarification, the original essay was meant to focus not on any individual’s spiritual beliefs but to draw attention to American society’s invocation of God’s blessing on us whether we have taken account of whether we deserve or have earned that blessing. Nor is it to suggest that “politics is our king.” It is to say that we cannot expect divine support without earning it. GH

  12. Elizabeth Miller Says:

    “Here on Earth, God’s work is truly our own.”

  13. Elizabeth Miller Says:

    Correcting the quote above, taken from President Kennedy’s inaugural address in 1961, here is the full and accurate quote:

    “With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help but, knowing that here on Earth, God’s work must truly be our own.”

    My sincerest apologies to all for neglecting to take the time to provide the full and accurate quote.

  14. Paul Borg Says:

    Dear Senator Hart,

    I was reading over “The Declaration of Independence” and allowed my attention to hover over the founders’ Truths declared to be self evident.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness….”

    I felt the need to insert Joy immediately after Liberty and replace the “pursuit of Happiness” with pursuit of material and spiritual well being.

    Happiness and Joy are not exactly the same in my view. By this I mean that happiness, in my view at least, is dependent on an external object or condition being realized and Joy is more a state of being without the need for something external to generate it. The nuance may be subtle but I feel may be important. I would add this to your prayer, Senator Hart: that America feel the Joy of The Creator running through the very nerves of its Being and realize we were created for greater possibilities than is perceived by most.

    Be well Senator.

    PB

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