(The scene opens at a luncheon of average, nominally Judeo-Christian Americans. While waiting for the program to begin, the members of the committee chat about politics. Snatches of phrases like “change we can believe in,” “secret Muslim” and “hope of the world” can be heard.)

Committee President: (stepping up to the podium and tappping the microphone) Attention, attention please. Before we begin, I’d like to remind everyone that tomorrow is the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States.

(brief applause, with a smattering of weeping)

Committee President: (coughing) Oh yes, on that note, I would like to remind everybody that it is neither the dawning of the Age of Aquarius nor the end of the Earth. Seriously.

(nervous giggle from audience)

Committee President: (turning) On that note, I would like to turn the meeting over to the secretary. Mr. Secretary?

Secretary: (Assuming the podium) Oh, yes, today we begin our meeting with a reading from the scripture, Psalm 143, if everyone would turn in their Bibles with me and read aloud.

All:
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

3 Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
4 When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
on that very day his plans perish.

5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
6 who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
7 who executes justice for the oppressed,
who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the sojourners;
he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

10 The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord! (ESV)

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