Against Corporate Domination & American Indifference

A Prayer of Protest and Solidarity

2008 by Darryl Trimiew
This prayer comes from the book edited by Chris Iosso and Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty, Prayers for the New Social Awakening: Inspired by the New Social Creed [Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008], 38-40, available from It is republished here with permission from the author and Westminster John Knox Press.

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We cry to you for justice, Oh Lord, for our soul is weary with the iniquity of greed. Behold our Wall Street magnates, our Gordon Gekkos who bestride the commercial world as if it were their own. It is they who defy you and drain their fellow Americans for gain; it is they who grind down the strength of workers by merciless toil and outsource or downsize them whenever the markets permit such actions. We cry out against them and against the slumlords and developers who manipulate and exploit the poor and make dear the space and air that you have made free; who paralyze the hand of justice by corruption and blind the eyes of the people with lies about welfare queens and illegal immigrants; who nullify by craft the merciful rent-control and minority contractor laws that we by the better angels of our nature have passed in order to protect the weak; who, sometimes in collusion with the church, have gentrified the city against the interests of the poor and have brought upon your church the contempt of the world, all for progress, profit, and ease.

profile of homeless man
Photo by Leroy Skalstad

For the oppression of the poor by unrighteous and greedy televangelists who have cloaked their extortion with the gospel of your Christ and name-it-and-claim-it theologies, we cry out for relief and for mercy. We know, Oh Lord, that you love the weak and poor and hate the grasping and that your doom is upon those who grow rich on the poverty of the people.

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Yet we too are afraid, Oh Lord, because we too seek to be like Donald Trump rather than like Jesus. The thundercloud of your wrath is even now booming over our heads and in our ears, for we share the greed and lust of corporate domination of the poor. In the ruins of dead empires we have read how you have trodden the winepress of your anger when the measure of their sin was full. We know clearly how much we are like them, so we know that the press of your wrath is for us a cup running over. We live as an unjust empire on borrowed time, relying on your undeserved mercy and patience as we pursue life, liberty, and happiness instead of your reign and the year of Jubilee. Lord, we believe.  Help our unbelief!  Lord, we are sorry, and we repent; but we have put away our sackcloth and ashes in favor of Gucci and bling. Save us from ourselves, from our commitment to mammon, from the indifference we the middle-class have towards the wretched of the earth. Save us from our leaders, whom we have chosen, who have committed us to be the worlds’ police and to chase terrorists with unlimited violence while lusting for foreign oil.

Help us to repent of our ways, to cease and desist from our sins. Help us to turn back to your law lest the mark of the beast, already etched on the right hand of our nation, already drenched in the blood of other nations, becomes a permanent mark of our rebellion against you. Help us to wash that hand by exorcizing our demonic public policy and evil foreign policy, lest our feet be set on the downward path of darkness from which there is no return forever. Lord, we believe. Help our unbelief!

Finally, Lord, in our new-and-improved, internet-driven global village, help us to turn to you with all our hearts and all our souls and all our minds, loving the widow and orphan and sojourner in our land, not as a pastime or hobby, or a charity, but as a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a light upon a hill—a hill that has overturned the tables of the money changers of Wall Street in favor of a genuine solidarity with your blessed poor. We ask, Oh Lord, that they and the meek inherit your earth. Hear our prayers, Oh Lord!



Darryl Trimiew is the chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York. Previously, he was dean of the black church studies program at Crozer/Colgate Rochester Divinity School, and president of the Society of Christian Ethics. Dr. Trimiew is the author of God Bless the Child That’s Got Its Own: The Economic Rights Debate (1997) and Voices of the Silenced: The Responsible Self in a Marginalized Community (1993).
Banner photo by Walter Groesel.

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