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Friday, August 31, 2012

A Closing Prayer

As we note in our chapter on civic culture, religious invocations and benedictions are frequently part of public events.

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, gave the closing benediction at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL on August 30, 2012.  Toward the end of his prayer, he drew on the language of the civic culture:
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 on 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.
We pray for all those who seek honest labor, as we thank you for the spirit of generosity to those in need with which you so richly blessed this nation.
We beseech your blessing on all who depart from here this evening and on all those in every land who seek to conduct their lives in freedom.
Most of all, Almighty God, we thank you for the great gift of our beloved country. For we are indeed one nation under God, and in God we trust. Dear God, bless America, you who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.
The phrase "the laws of nature and nature's God" is from The Declaration of Independence.

The third line is from "America the Beautiful":
America! America!
God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.
"One nation under God" is from the Pledge of Allegiance.

"In God We Trust" is our national motto.

And "God Bless America" is, of course, a beloved patriotic song.