The responsive prayer #928 includes
"...from a society in which the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, compassionate God, deliver us.Except that's not true. And later
"...from a society which makes its weakest and most recent members into scapegoats, compassionate God, deliver us.Most recent members... Newborns? Oh, I get it. I don't recall anyone blaming legal immigrants for much of anything. And if they're not legal, then they're not members, really, are they? It's an interesting debate what the responsibility of Christians is to people in need who are in a mild sense, invaders. But scapegoats were innocent victims, originally. The word has changed to include anyone who is punished disproportionately, but how does that apply here? Being denied a benefit - citizenship - is not the same as a punishment. I am trying to remember what scripture it is that St. Paul advocates that others should have the same rights of citizenship that he had. Perhaps he thought such a change would be good, or even deserved. But he didn't mention it.
And further on
"From indifference to the needs of other countries, from the delusion that you love any other nation less than you love us, compassionate God, deliver us.First off, bad usage of delusional. If you're going to show off your ability to use dramatic language in a publication that people are going to be reading for 50 years, you might want to take care to get the terms right. But, to the content: indifference...hmm. 50% of all the international aid, including 40% of the food aid, comes from the US. Next, there may be America lovers who think that God loves us more, but most that I have heard put it differently - that God has blessed us.
The prayer reads more like an accusation by the composers against folks other than themselves than reading like a confession.
I'm all for doing better. I'm all for prayers of confession that acknowledge we aren't doing enough, that there is still injustice, that our giving and humility should be even more radical. But this comes durn close to a violation of the commandment about not taking the Lord's name in vain. This is ministers making personal political observations and rewriting it in the form of a prayer of confession.
* Hey, didn't unemployment just go up? What are the odds, huh?