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Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. Senate: Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff on 16 June 2003

Guest Chaplain: Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff, Retired Chaplain, U.S. Navy, Washington, DC
Date of Prayer: 06/16/2003

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Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

Almighty God of freedom,
who gave us the promise and the dream of liberty
to be proclaimed throughout the land,
we pause before this session
to recall words spoken by a Senate nominee–
Abe Lincoln–
on this day, June 16, in 1858.
“A nation divided against itself cannot stand,” he said,
and we “cannot endure half slave, half free.”

O Lord our God and God of generations past,
we offer thanks for all the progress we have made
since that historic speech,
even as we recognize we still have more to do.
Slavery, the institution, is no more.
But let us unite in our resolve
that none should be enslaved by prejudice or hatred
that threatens the humanity and dignity
we have fought to recognize and guarantee;
that none,
victimized by ignorance or discrimination,
live lives half slave,
half free.

Grant us and all our leaders
the wisdom to debate and disagree,
with civility and respect,
the issues of the day.
But give us, we pray,
the wisdom and the faith we need
to safeguard a nation united, not divided–
as we pledge–
in our pursuit of liberty and justice for us all.

And may we say,


108th Congress, 1st Session
Issue: Vol. 149, No. 88 — Daily Edition (June 16, 2003)


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