Conflicting Feelings For a Parent.

Your author, step-mother Terri, my Dad Jerry Schuett, and brother Jeff.

I’m not the only one out there with conflicting feelings about my parents, or any specific parent. I can’t be. And this blog and other blogs I’ve written confirms this for me.

Today, had he lived my Dad would have been 75 years old. Unfortunately he was only on this planet until he was 64. At 48 years of age I can say with far more assuredness than I felt at the time of his death, that’s too damned young.

My Dad died of liver disease brought on in part by medical malpractice and in part, I’m guessing, with his life long habit of enjoying a cocktail whenever he felt like enjoying a cocktail.

Jerome Mathis Schuett was born September 26, 1937 to Delores and Shelby Schuett in Bellingham, Washington. He was born to people of moderate income and moderate everything else. Which is to say…he was born an American.

He was fiercely proud of being American, but his pride came from little effort of his own. He lived a life in which he tried to do what he wanted, when he wanted, and be damned anyone who in any way inhibited his selfish desires. He was American.

I clashed with my Dad through much of my teens and early adulthood. I never felt he was racist, but in today’s context few would say he wasn’t. He opposed me marrying a black woman. I distinctly remember jokes told in a family setting in my childhood that were racially tainted and disturbed me. But I also remember him speaking highly of people of color who impressed him. I remember him calling me Jackie Robinson for having ignored his opposition to marrying a black woman and saying, “You showed that it was all right”.

I felt he lacked ambition. And I felt a lack of respect for him because of it. But he worked for himself the last 27 years of his life, running his own business. Having done the same for the past seven years I have a new-found respect for how difficult that can be.

My Dad lost his temper far more than anyone would like. He never showed a reverence for Jesus, that I feel. My Dad seldom showed much reverence for anything that didn’t immediately serve his specific need or purpose. But he always counseled me not to hurt others. He always counseled me to NEVER start a fight, but if I did I better finish it.

It’s hard to imagine how my life would be shaped without him. But 25% of our nation is raised without a father. It’s frustrating to think of all the angry episodes he displayed for me in my formative years for all to see; and how in spite of my vow to not do the same how I have on far too many occasions done so.

What I can’t get over, what I can’t reconcile in my heart and in my mind……………………..is how much I miss him and wish he had been available to me for counsel during some of the more trying times in my life.

My Dad was an extremely flawed man. Which, I guess, means that I am likewise. Because I will never forget his death-bed. At one point when he could no longer talk I said, “I hope you’re proud of me.” Though he couldn’t speak he almost cried, and with his reaction told me all I needed to know to forgive him his many flaws, and to love him the rest of my life.

You have parents. Hopefully they are loving and free of the contradictions that cause my conflicted emotions for my father. But as I’ve written before, if he/she is there, if they are present in your life, they have fulfilled more than what more than 25% of American fathers fulfill. Be grateful. Because someday, like my friend Rob McBride told me a long time prior to my own fathers death and a short time after his own father’s death, “forgive him for your own sake. You’ll miss him/them when they’re gone.”

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Seahawks owe no apologies to anyone.

The Seattle Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers last night in a football game that ended on a controversial touchdown call that is destined to be remembered for a long time after this season. It’s impact not yet fully known; but I predict it will become controversial again at the end of this season. With both Seattle and Green Bay likely playoff contenders one loss or one win could provide the difference between making the playoffs or not, winning a division or not, hosting a home field playoff game or not. We have just begun to feel the ramifications of the Fail Mary Pass that had Seattle’s Golden Tate awarded a touchdown on the games final play that so many believe should never have been awarded and should have instead resulted in an interception and Green Bay victory on Monday Night Football.

Let me start by acknowledging there is no doubt, NO DOUBT, that were I a Packer fan I would be as outraged as anyone and like so many argue for the final play’s call to be overturned an a victory awarded to my team. But I’m not a Packer fan. I’m a Seahawk fan who was at the game enjoying my team from my season ticket location, up until the end of the game when I left.

I did see the final 2 minutes of the game, including the play in question. But like so many at CenturyLink Field I got up to leave after Seattle failed to score with just under two minutes to play inside the Green Bay 10 yard line and gave possession up on downs. As I was making my way through the stadium, just before ducking into a tunnel out of sight of the field, I glanced back over my shoulder and saw the Packer fumble inside the 5 yard line on first down after taking possession. Green Bay recovered the fumble. But with my brother, who I attended the game with, we watched the green-and-gold fail to get even one first down necessary for running out the clock and the game for the Seahawks, and then punt from their own end zone.  Giving the ball back to Seattle with plenty of time for them to win.

Seattle won that game. And nothing will convince me that they didn’t. First off, I am in no way convinced that the controversial play was THAT controversial. It was ruled a simultaneous catch; which by rule is awarded the offensive player. Tate had at least one hand on the ball from the moment both players received it while jumping in the air. And he had both hands on the ball when he/they fell to the ground. The argument that he didn’t catch it would have clout with me the moment you show me a rule that says a catch is not a catch unless you pull the ball fully into your chest. He didn’t. But he doesn’t have to. The fact that all the complainers have the benefit of slow motion instant replay also dramatically changes the perspective of what you’re seeing. The referee on the scene, facing the play, not the one behind the play who initially started to signal an interception, only had live full speed action in front of him at field level for just a moment to make his judgement. And as the NFL stated in its press release today, the morning after the game, a regular (not replacement) instant replay official did review the play and ruled not enough evidence existed to overturn the ruling.  And unlike what the pundits claimed the NFL cleared up that a simultaneous catch is by rule reviewable if it occurs in the end zone, as this one did.

I am really surprised to hear and read the volume, and bitterness at the outrage over this play. Surely the fact that replacement officials made the call is 90% responsible for the extreme nature of the sentiment.

But let’s get this straight. Seattle should apologize to no one at any time for taking this victory. If Green Bay felt they should have won they should have scored more than just 12 points.

Rookie Bruce Irvin had two sacks of Rodgers

Not a lot of teams win scoring only twelve points. It’s only the second time since the 2010 season the Pack has failed to score 20-or-more points.

Green Bay should have run out the clock. They had the ball, with a first down, with under two minutes to play and couldn’t do it. The Seahawk defense is proving quite the force so far this year. They really are looking awesome. They had nine sacks last night; eight in the first half when the Packers failed to score. Hall of Fame Quarterback Steve Young Tweeted that he’d never seen such a mauling put on another team the way the Hawks defensive front four mauled the Packer offensive line.

And let us not forget at about the 8:50 mark of the fourth quarter on a third-down Aaron Rodgers was stopped on a scramble at the Seahawk 2 yard line and ruled short of the first down. Green Bay was trailing 7-6 at the time. They were going to kick a field goal. But Packer coach Mike McCarthy successfully challenge the ruling of the placement of the ball and had it moved forward far enough to give Green Bay a first down and then a touchdown. The replay that I saw seemed to indicate that Rogers’ knee was down prior to him stretching for the necessary 1st down yardage. With just a Green Bay field goal Seattle would never have had to attempt that Fail Mary pass at the end. At the 27 yard line they were plenty close for a chip shot field goal to win the game.

And lets not forget that after Green Bay’s only touchdown they failed on a two point conversion attempt. Had they succeeded Seattle’s last second touchdown would only have tied the game. Yes, Green Bay had plenty of chances to win, both earned and questionable, and they failed to do it.

And lastly, Seattle is long, long, LONG overdue for some luck to come their way like this. The Emerald City has long been the town in which sports dreams go to die. If you go back to 1998 the New York Jets were awarded a last-minute touchdown, beating the Seahawks, when Vinnie Testaverde was ruled to have crossed the goal line on a quarterback sneak. It’s 14 years later. He STILL has not crossed that goal line. The loss was part of what ended in an 8-8 season. Seattle failing to make the playoffs by one game. THAT game. It also resulted in Coach Dennis Erickson losing his job.

In the biggest single sporting event in Seattle history our Seahawks got screwed by officials. Super Bowl 2005 is one in which countless officials penalties handed a victory to the Pittsburg Steelers, a victory they didn’t win.

Karma is a bitch when it finally turns on you, and such an angel when it turns for you. Could it be that after long-last, and years of disappointment last night’s Tate Touchdown signals a turn in karma for Seattle’s long-suffering fans and teams? Time will tell.

In the mean time Seattle has been everybody else’s lap dog for so long we refuse to apologize for a questionable officials call that went our way at the end of a Monday Night Football game in September. We’ll just say thank you. “Next!”

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Weight Loss And Nutrition that Works!

Sunday-9-23-12 just for fun I tried on my son’s 30-waist jeans. I was wearing a 40-waist in June, just 3 months ago.

What is AdvoCare? Someone like myself may say its something miraculous. But for the uninitiated its a nutrition, energy, and weight loss program and business opportunity that can fill your needs whatever they may be, and help lead you and your family to the one most important goals of all…happiness.

I’m still new to experiencing all that is AdvoCare so don’t expect an expert’s opinion on everything you may be curious about. This is just one man’s perspective on what I’ve experienced since diving into this remarkable company. It’s products and diet recommendations have allowed me to lose over 23 pounds net since late June and allowed me to go from a 40 inch waist to 32. My wife, Sonja, has lost even more and is now looking more like the gal I married 25 years ago. I’m so proud of her.

It started with me nearly 2 years ago with the death of my Uncle. He died at 61 of a heart attack. Combined with the death of my father in 2001 at age 64 and the death of my Grandfather, their Dad, some years ago at age 65 I was scared of what lay before me. I was 47 and at 245 pounds the heaviest I’d been in my life. And I didn’t like the prospect of dying at such a relatively young age.

I had been over 230 lbs., and closer to 240, for most of the previous 20 years. It seems silly to write now but prior to my Uncles death I honestly didn’t consider losing weight important. But now I did. I vacillated for months but upon seeing some very unflattering pictures of myself from a family Easter gathering in 2011 I decided to get busy. Have you ever seen unflattering pictures of yourself? If so you know what I mean.

In the 2 months since this “after” picture was taken in July 2012 I’ve lost an additional 10 pounds.

I began eating all my meals on salad plates instead of dinner plates to better control my portion size. I’m a big eater and I thought this would be important. I began eating more salads, more leafy vegetables. While I’d been very consistent in exercising for 8-9 years I stepped it up. I even joined my neighborhood gym at the start of 2012. After 10-11 months of this changed behavior I weighed the same as I had when I started. Damn!

It was time for something drastic. A friend I’d worked with previously had found great success in health and financial freedom from AdvoCare and had introduced me to AdvoCare‘s 10-Day Cleanse in July 2011. I lost 7 pounds at that time and mistakenly thought I had momentum enough to keep it going. I wonder how many others have made the same mistake; doing something well for a short time…then returning to the same bad habits from before.

Sonja’s lost over 30 pounds and even more since this pic was shot in July 2012.

I started the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge June 18, 2012 along with my wife. It began with the 10 Day Herbal Cleanse that we’d both liked previously. The Herbal Cleanse is a non-eventful fiber and nutritional supplement program that cleans out your digestive track of impurities and long time undigested material. It sets your body up to receive and better absorb the good nutrients and healthy living that is still to come.

Following the 10 Day Herbal Cleanse the Lean in 13 program makes up the remaining 14 days of the 24 Day Challenge. What AdvoCare provides is:

Spark- their leading selling product. It’s an energy drink loaded with B-Vitamins. And helps you feel great.

OmegaPlex- As you’ll see in this video Dr. Frank Oz see’s OmegaPlex as a vital supplement ABOVE ALL OTHERS from other supplement suppliers:

Meal Replacement Shakes- I just love these. The shakes come in four flavors. Chocolate is my favorite. Unlike many protein shakes AdvoCare Meal Replacement Shakes really taste good. Also, unlike other products, you don’t mix them with milk. Which goes a long way toward making them more effective. And also unlike others I’ve tried, they really leave me full, satisfied, for hours.

MNS Max 3- MNS stands for Multinutrient Dietary Supplement. With it you receive a strip of pre-packaged supplements you are to take through the day. Since they’re packaged together in separate packets and easily labelled, it couldn’t be easier. MNS Max 3 provides maximum nutrients, appetite suppressant, sustained energy release, and much more I won’t trouble you with now.

Lastly, an optional add-on to the 24 Day Challenge bundle is Catalyst. And Catalyst is the one supplement that is almost magical in what it provides. For me Catalyst just makes me stronger and makes me look so much better. When on Catalyst my workouts are considerably better, and my body is toned in a way I’ve never seen it before.

I also received diet suggestions that didn’t have me starving or going through the chore of counting calories, or counting anything. I still enjoy wonder food like tacos, chicken, salmon, trout (which I catch myself) and peanut butter, nuts of all kinds, and almost all kinds of fruits and vegetables. I did not need to spend my time becoming a nutritionist for this to work for me. That was important. I am too busy to bother with examining every littler morsel that goes into my mouth. Besides AdvoCare has a Scientific And Medical Advisory Board of extremely well accomplished physicians and researchers who you know wouldn’t put their names and reputations on the line for supplement products if they weren’t safe and healthy. And professional athletes like AdvoCare national spokesman Drew Brees and Matt Hasselback have tremendous physical requirements for their professions and still use and endorse AdvoCare, and are not paid to do so.

Through all the weight loss my wife and I have maintained high energy which is very important since she works a full-time job and I operate my own video and audio production company, Total Broadcasting Service, while raising our kids.

As good as AdvoCare‘s products are I’ve come to believe it’s best product is it’s business opportunity. Yes, AdvoCare is a direct-sales, or multi-level marketing company. But if you let that discourage you from checking it out you really aren’t paying attention. Unlike many direct-sales companies AdvoCare has products people really want, and as a distributor you are not instructed to deceive your way into sales. You aren’t required to buy and stock products. And how many multi-level sales companies work to help their distributors so much by getting its name out before the public by sponsoring numerous major sporting events, like Nascar, the AdvoCare Independence Bowl, FC Dallas soccer, and more.

In just the first five weeks of representing AdvoCare as a distributor, while working no more than 10 hours per week above my company work, my wife and I made $500. Do you think you could use an additional $500 per month? How about $1000? How about $20,000 per month. Would that give you some financial freedom like you’ve never experienced before?

My friend who got me into AdvoCare has been a distributor for only 3 years. He and his wife make $20,000 per month, and their income is still growing. He and she have left the corporate world where they earned good livings and now work just 25 hours per week helping others grow their AdvoCare business. Can you see yourself leaving a job that you hate, or that you are not well paid, or that takes you away from your family too much in exchange for an income over $240,000 per year while working less than 30 hours per week? That’s the kind of financial freedom I expect for my wife and I through AdvoCare. And early indications are we’re well on our way.

You can buy your 24 Day Challenge or any of AdvoCare‘s many health, nutrition and skin-care products at our website: AdvoCare. When you do you can buy the products and remain just a retail customer, or you can spend a mere $79 and become a Distributor allowing you to buy products at discounts of 20%, 25%, 30% or 40%.

Now, of course you want good health, and financial freedom sounds good to you too. But naturally you’ll have questions. Guess what. We’re only a phone call away and happy to get you to a point where your questions are all answer and your comfortable making the decision that we made, and that changed our lives. My number is 425-687-0100. I’m Michael. And I’m glad to meet ya.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Go to our website, read our story and try some AdvoCare. You won't regret it.

Go to our website, read our story and try some AdvoCare. You won’t regret it.

Agents of Change – YouTube

Americans who voted for Barack Obama in 2008. Watch and see why they won’t this time.

Agents of Change – YouTube.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

 

Think I’m Conservative? Your Wrong. I’m American.

 

English: Number of self-identified Democrats v...

Number of self-identified Democrats vs. self-identified Republicans, per state, according to Gallup, January-June 2010

 

What follows comes in response to a comment from my wife. She’s a Democrat, as is her mother. My VERY Democratic in-laws are not on Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media; but members of their and our extended family are. My wife told me that my Mother-in-law was complaining that “I talk about President Obama like he’s a dog” on Social Media posts (obviously getting feedback from the extended family). Well, I would maintain that I talk about the President and other Democrats in regard to the issues, and not as a dog. But this revelation got me thinking it might be time to clarify my position and remove the “hardcore” label from my reputation.

 

Conservatives are Pro-Life and want to ban abortion. Right?

 

I’m Pro-choice. Like half of all Americans. I am in favor of an adult women being able to end a pregnancy should she choose to do so with little intervention or regulation from government.

 

Clarification

 

I am not in favor of any adult woman taking a life. In my mind it’s as simple as determining when life begins. I’ve often said its absurd to say that a wiggling, crying baby JUST removed from their mother’s womb is a life but 60 seconds earlier it wasn’t. That is why I support the Republican position restricting abortion. Life begins either at birth, at conception or somewhere in between. And as I’ve already said the idea that it doesn’t begin some time prior to birth following a nine-month pregnancy is ridiculous. In my mind NEARLY as ridiculous is the concept that life begins at conception. Whatever THAT is that remains as small as a finger nail at least 2 months into a normal, health pregnancy I wouldn’t call it human life.

 

Our nation’s Declaration of Independence claims the God-given Right to Life. So once Life is established and viable some time in the womb, at that point the woman’s right to abort should end. Prior to that point the woman’s right’s are paramount. Hardly a Conservative position.

 

Conservatives oppose higher taxes

 

This current election cycle is not unlike past ones. It’s just so much more clear the difference in tax policy between Barack Obama

 

Official photographic portrait of US President...

 

and Mitt Romney.

 

Mitt Romney

 

Obama has stated repeatedly, and even staked his election, on the premise that taxes need to be raised for people making $250,000-a-year or more. Romney wants to lower taxes and eliminate loop holes. I absolutely don’t agree with Obama’s policy. Romney’s is much more to my liking and belief system.

 

Clarification

 

I think wealthy people could and should pay more in taxes. I also believe the lower 47% of Americans who pay nothing in Federal Income taxes could and should pay something. Anything. But I absolutely don’t want any taxes raised on anybody until after our Federal and local governments learn to live within their means. They need to quit spending money they don’t have. Since that doesn’t appear to be happening any time soon whether we be under Republican or Democrat rule I stand with the Republican stand opposing higher taxes.

 

Conservatives support gun right

 

The National Rifle Association has always maintained a position opposing any restrictions on the ownership and possession of firearms. The Republican position seldom drifts far from that same position. Democrats platform calls for respect for the 2nd Amendment, but also calls for regulations requiring background checks, banning assault weapons  and “eliminating the gun-show-loophole” that allow guns to fall into the hands of those irresponsible law-breaking few”. Actually reality is that Democrats anti-gun positions are far more prominent outside their party’s platform.

 

Clarification

 

I see no need for hand guns. They are only used for killing people. Nothing else. I’ve never owned one and I never will. Studies have repeatedly shown that if you own a hand gun you substantially increase your likelihood of dying or having someone in your household die from gun violence. I wouldn’t oppose legislation opposing handguns. What’s that do to my Conservative credentials?

 

I oppose Democrats opposition to “assault” weapons. I oppose this simply because defining an assault weapon and what exactly would be banned is too unclear and impossible to enforce. By some definitions my 35-year-old automatic 22-caliber rifle is an assault weapon, because it’s automatic. Some say my manual, pump 12-gauge shotgun is an assault weapon…because its a shotgun.

 

My position is closer to the Democrats written platform, than it is to Republicans. But in the real world of legislative politics its closer to Republicans.

 

Conservatives oppose gay marriage

 

Democrats are in favor of it, including our President and Vice-President. In Washington State polls indicate my state will become the first in the Union to legalize Gay Marriage by popular vote.

 

Clarification

 

On this one I am 100% behind the Republican party position. Under most state’s laws as they have existed a gay man can marry anyone I can marry and is restricted from marrying anyone that I’m restricted from marrying. So where is the discrimination? And the argument that people ought to be able to marry who they love is absurd and childishly naive. Should I be able to marry my sister (if I had a sister) and commit incest with her just because I love her? No. Should I be able to marry a woman who I love if I’m already married to another woman I love? That’s called bigamy. And while such marital practices are legal in other parts of the world, our country and society has deemed it illegal. So, no. Should I be able to marry a girl of 12 years of age? What if she and her parents consent? No. The age-of-consent is different in different states all over the country proving THAT age is arbitrary and thus capricious. And if Gay Marriage is made legal all these other restrictions on marriage MUST also be removed in order to not discriminate and allow people to marry whomever they love. Is that what our society wants? On this issue I pass the Conservative test.

 

Conservatives are racist. Right?

 

Of course the above statement is wrong, and divisive. But unfortunately those few remaining Americans who harbor hateful racist viewpoints toward minorities find their political home in the Republican party far more often than in the Democratic party. Fortunately there aren’t many of them; which is a good thing for lots of reasons including the fact that however few there are they stain the GOP too much already.

 

Clarification

 

I am not a racist. My black wife of 25 years and our three children will back me up on this one. But, I detest group thought over individualism. And unfortunately the Democratic party is all about labeling and classifying people based on race, age, religion, disability, sexual preference, etc. It’s not something I understand. For instance when “Hate-Crimes” legislation became law I couldn’t, and still can’t, understand why an assault on a black man for bigoted reasons was any worse than an assault of equal severity against a white man or woman. An assault is an assault. It’s illegal. It should be punished.

 

Democrats seem to think that a white person even mentioning race or religion makes them hateful racists. On CNN today I saw Carol Costello looked pained and distressed and comment accordingly because Mitt Romney was seen on a video joking he might stand a better chance of winning were he Latino. Bad joke? Ya. Factually questionable? Certainly. Racist? Puhleeeez!

 

Conservatives are Hawks and believe in war. 

 

Democrats have continually tried to de-fund the military and Republicans have continually tried to keep funding as-is or increase it. Democrats, including Barack Obama, want us out of Afghanistan and never wanted us in Iraq. Republicans support or supported both wars and belief we should only leave Afghanistan when there is peace or when the Afghan government can stand on its own.

 

Clarification

 

Like most Americans, and Democrats in Congress, I supported the interventions in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Like Democrats I want them out…yesterday. Our presence in Iraq should have ended long before it did. I am glad that President Obama followed George W. Bush’s withdrawal plan and got almost all of our troops out of that troublesome nation. To me, Afghanistan makes no sense. It serves no strategic or military or political purpose to have Americans continue to fight and die in that backwards far-away land. Obama already uses drones continually in Pakistan and Yemen to hit terrorist/enemy targets. I want to know why he can’t pull all of our troops out of harms way, park an aircraft carrier in the Indian Ocean and bomb the crap out of the Taliban or El Qaeda whenever they pop their heads into the open. But my hawkishness ends when no beneficial purpose remains for the killing.

 

What probably defines me as a Conservative and Republican more than anything else is the Social Nanny-State mentality Democrats have fully embraced. It seems to me that by wanting to do more and more for each individual and group of individuals from cradle to grave Democrats sell-short the capabilities of us all. We’re all so much more capable than they seem to want to give us credit for. When you continually grow government for the purpose of taking care of its citizens Thomas Jefferson, among others, had a word for that. He called it tyranny. And so do I. The safety net for our truly most needy must and will always be there. But it’s not our governments job to ensure that we all have the same size house, television, car, or bank account.

 

So there you have it. I’ve probably disappointed some of my more Conservative friends. And I seriously doubt I’ve newly endeared myself with my more Liberal friends, most of whom stopped listening to me long ago. But it bothered me to be labelled a hardcore Conservative for no other reason than I knew it not to be true. I am hardcore vocal for what I believe in. And I will continue to be so.

 

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

 

An Act of War, not a Movie Protest – The Orange County Register

Barack Obama in Las Vegas, NV - September 12th

Barack Obama in Las Vegas, NV – September 12th

An extremely well written piece on exactly what happened this week in the Middle East and with our President. I hope it’s read by everyone. Click on the link below.

Mark Steyn: An act of war, not a movie protest | president, say, america – Opinion – The Orange County Register.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Cardinal Dolan’s Prayer Closing the Democrat National Convention

 

 

 

Cardinal Dolan also delivered the benediction at the Republican National Convention a week earlier. 

 

Timothy Dolan, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Ne...

Timothy Dolan, Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York 

 

 

 

“With a ‘firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence,’ let us close this convention by praying for this land that we so cherish and love,” Cardinal Dolan began at the Democratic convention, continuing:

 

 

 

Let us Pray.

 

 

 

Almighty God, father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, revealed to us so powerfully in your Son, Jesus Christ, we thank you for showering your blessings upon this our beloved nation. Bless all here present, and all across this great land, who work hard for the day when a greater portion of your justice, and a more ample measure of your care for the poor and suffering, may prevail in these United States. 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. May our liberty be in harmony with truth; freedom ordered in goodness and justice. Help us live our freedom in faith, hope, and love. Make us ever-grateful for those who, for over two centuries, have given their lives in freedom’s defense; we commend their noble souls to your eternal care, as even now we beg the protection of your mighty arm upon our men and women in uniform.

 

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. May we welcome those who yearn to breathe free and to pursue happiness in this land of freedom, adding their gifts to those whose families have lived here for centuries.

 

We praise and thank you for the American genius of government of the people, by the people and for the people. Oh God of wisdom, justice, and might, we ask your guidance for those who govern us: President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, Congress, the Supreme Court, and all those, including Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan, who seek to serve the common good by seeking public office. Make them all worthy to serve you by serving our country. Help them remember that the only just government is the government that serves its citizens rather than itself. With your grace, may all Americans choose wisely as we consider the future course of public policy.

 

And finally Lord, we beseech your benediction on all of us who depart from here this evening, and on all those, in every land, who yearn to conduct their lives in freedom and justice. We beg you to remember, as we pledge to remember, those who are not free; those who suffer for freedom’s cause; those who are poor, out of work, needy, sick, or alone; those who are persecuted for their religious convictions, those still ravaged by war.

 

And most of all, God Almighty, we thank you for the great gift of our beloved country.

 

For we are indeed “one nation under God,” and “in God we trust.”

 

So dear God, bless America. You who live and reign forever and ever.

 

Amen!