But traditionally that help is offered quietly, and rarely can more than a handful of Americans even name the chaplain of the Senate or the House. Halverson became well known on Capitol Hill, but not to most American voters.
But in this time of government shutdown, the anonomity of the office has changed as the Senate chaplain, Rear Admiral Barry C. Black (pictured here), has been featured now and then in the news for his prayers that have focused on the dysfunction so obvious to everyone outside the Beltway.
On Monday, as Sen. Harry Reid began the day's session in the Senate, he took a moment to pay special tribute to Black for his thoughtful prayers in this time of crisis and for his support of the elected officials whose task it has been to save the country from the mess that, well, those same elected officials had created.
It was well deserved praise. And even if the people we intentionally sent to Washington aren't doing their jobs well, it's nice to know that someone on Capitol Hill is.
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FEWER INDEPENDENT VOICES
Some denominational publications have turned into just p.r voices, it's reported, and the whole genre is struggling. Credibility is always the coin of the journalism realm, and if that gets lost there's not much reason to continue calling it journalism. I'm glad I'm a columnist for two good independent denominational publications, The Presbyterian Outlook and The National Catholic Reporter.