Sunday, September 04, 2005


Chief Justice of the Supreme Court William H. Rehnquist died last night at the age of 80. President Bush expressed his sorrow at our nation's loss, but really i imagine he must be rubbing his hands in glee - he now gets to fill 2 seats on the nation's highest court nearly simultaneously.

This turn of events may have as great an impact on the American landscape as the scars left by Hurricane Katrina. As we watch our federal government fail to address the deep needs of the poorest in storm-ravaged country, as we await the appointment of new justices, i have to wonder: Where are we going, as a people? What has happened to our mission? In fear and trembling, i offer a prayer (written by Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children's Defense Fund):

O God, forgive our rich nation where small babies die of cold quite legally.

O God, forgive our rich nation where small children suffer from hunger quite legally.

O God, forgive our rich nation where toddlers and school children die from guns sold quite legally.

O God, forgive our rich nation that lets children be the poorest group of citizens quite legally.

O God, forgive our rich nation that lets the rich continue to get more at the expense of the poor quite legally.

O God, forgive our rich nation which thinks security rests in missiles rather than in mothers, and in bombs rather than in babies.

O God, forgive our rich nation for not giving You sufficient thanks by giving to others their daily bread.

O God, help us never to confuse what is quite legal with what is just and right in Your sight.


Blogger ParisLondres said...

Great post dear D!
What a poignant prayer. I pray that such a rich nation will help fellow citizens suffering in utter poverty and homelessness - instead of buying $30,000 worth of play houses for their already spoilt children. I cannot get over that playhouse that K (winterwheat) wrote about in her blog.

9:24 AM  
Blogger katiedid said...

I'd never read this before - thank you for sharing it, D.

Our country feels like it has been philosophically changing into "me first, and every man for himself" sort of attitude. It is tragic for us to treat ourselves so poorly.

2:27 PM  
Blogger mireille said...

sometimes it does feel like we're lost, d. xoxo

11:08 PM  
Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

I'm not a believer in a god, but I can just put in an extra "o". I do believe in "good." And I like the prayer.

Good post.

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Lulu said...

An article in a UK newspaper said 'the catastrophe in New Orleans didn't *create* a third-world community in the midst of first-world America, it peeled away the top layers and exposed something that was already there, and that most middle class people were aware was there and had learned to live with.'

When I read all the distress and self-doubt on US blogs at the moment, I want to say: you are running too far in the wrong direction away from the horror of a self-perceived 'arrogance' (a word from other blogs) and kicking yourselves too much when you are down; it is possible to be a basically good nation, of mainly good and right-thinking people, and still have problems. Flaws in a democratic society do not cancel out everything. And is possible to be patriotic without being blind, and to be still proud of a country that is not perfect. I for one, as a UK citizen, am happy America exists, and I still believe in it as fundamentally a force for good. (I'm with TLP on the god/good issue, too.) And if 9/11 frightened half the country into voting for Bush again, well, that's kind of understandable, fear dominates most voting, but it'll be good when time moves things on...

If this sounds patronising, I truly apologise, I just feel so sorry for your crisis of confidence, in addition to what has actually happened.

11:25 AM  
Blogger red-queen said...

Lulu, i appreciate your vote of confidence. i'm not suggesting that the flaws in our system cancel out all good - i do believe, however, that the worst enemy of excellence is not the awful, but the good. Having things pretty good makes us complacent. The fact that we do a lot of things right should not give us permission to ignore the huge injustices that still exist...but that kind of thinking is a hallmark of the current administration, i'm afraid.

Whatever your idea of a 'Higher Power', i hope you will indeed pray for us.

3:54 PM  

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