Cardinal Dolan must have thought Democrats needed more prayer cover than Republicans. His closing prayer at the Republican National Convention was 544 words, while at the Democratic National Convention it was 700 words. (Text of both here.)
Dolan began his prayer at both conventions with either an intentional or unintentional slight of Islam: “Almighty God, father of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus…” but not Ishmael, Abraham’s firstborn son by his wife’s maidservant Hagar, considered Muhammad’s ancestor.
Not many people likely noticed that, but I did, and I’m sure Muslims in the room fumed. (Photo right is of a prayer gathering of 300 Muslims in Charlotte before the launch of the DNC.)
In other words, Cardinal Dolan made sure everyone in the audience – and God – knew he was praying not to some ambiguous deity, of which so many are worshiped in the Democratic Party, particularly earth. It was a quiet, brilliant stroke of loyalty and defiance, IMO.
But moving on.
Many words in both prayers were similar, if not identical.
Those extra words in the Cardinal’s DNC prayer were dedicated to protection of the preborn, sick, elderly, religious freedom, and traditional marriage. He apparently thought he didn’t need to say so much at the RNC:
We ask your benediction upon those yet to be born, and on those who are about to see you at the end of this life….
Almighty God, who gives us the sacred and inalienable gift of life, we thank you as well for the singular gift of liberty. Renew in all of our people a respect for religious freedom in full, that first most cherished freedom….
May we know the truth of your creation, respecting the laws of nature and nature’s God, and not seek to replace it with idols of our own making. Give us the good sense not to cast aside the boundaries of righteous living you first inscribed in our hearts even before inscribing them on tablets of stone. May you mend our every flaw, confirming our soul in self-control, our liberty in law.
But DNC attendees got a bigger dose:
Help us to see that a society’s greatness is found above all in the respect it shows for the weakest and neediest among us.
We beseech you, almighty God to shed your grace on this noble experiment in ordered liberty, which began with the confident assertion of inalienable rights bestowed upon us by you: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Thus do we praise you for the gift of life. Grant us the courage to defend it, life, without which no other rights are secure. We ask your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected. Strengthen our sick and our elders waiting to see your holy face at life’s end, that they may be accompanied by true compassion and cherished with the dignity due those who are infirm and fragile.
We praise and thank you for the gift of liberty. May this land of the free never lack those brave enough to defend our basic freedoms. Renew in all our people a profound respect for religious liberty: the first, most cherished freedom bequeathed upon us at our Founding….
We praise and thank you for granting us the life and the liberty by which we can pursue happiness. Show us anew that happiness is found only in respecting the laws of nature and of nature’s God. Empower us with your grace so that we might resist the temptation to replace the moral law with idols of our own making, or to remake those institutions you have given us for the nurturing of life and community…
With your grace, may all Americans choose wisely as we consider the future course of public policy….
Thank you, Cardinal Dolan. Here’s his DNC prayer:
There are those who thought Cardinal Dolan shouldn’t attend the DNC, but in my view he was following Jesus’ example of bringing salt and light to darkness.
What better example could there be of misled Catholics in the Democrat Party in woeful need of shepherding than Caroline Kennedy, who inexplicably stated in her speech last night, “As a Catholic woman, I take reproductive health seriously, and today, it is under attack.” What? I felt so sad watching her.
[Top photo via wbobraadio.com; second photo via NBC; bottom photo via USA Today]