Like most of you, my heart was shattered this morning when I heard the news. By now, you’ve no doubt read more than you can likely stomach to read about the events in Las Vegas and I wouldn’t be able to do it justice anyway. I don’t have the words or the eloquence to adequately tell that story.
What I do want to discuss is my theory is that we have basically “Thoughts and prayers” our way into American carnage.
I have made no bones about the fact that I am a VERY lapsed religious person, and in effect have functioned as an atheist or agnostic. I do not believe in, nor support any form of organized religion. I honestly don’t really believe that there is a God.
Having said that, in a weird way, I do believe in prayer. Now… I don’t believe that it actually works, I don’t believe in religious mysticism and I surely don’t believe that you sending Joel Osteen $50.00 via PayPal will help you get to Heaven. I have an odd theory that revolves around this idea that prayer works in hospitals because it allows patients to relax, and in turn that allows cellular structures to heal better.
OK, enough weird theories.
What I mean above, is that I believe that American politicians on both sides, although I do believe this to be a primarily GOP issue, have negatively affected America with their default position of ‘thoughts and prayers’. Let’s face it. Most of these people are even bigger religious phonies than some of their constituents. Two Corinthians, anyone?
My opinion is that Donald Trump is the least religious national politician in American history, certainly of the Presidency. Yet his 30% (i.e. the ‘base’) believe him to be a man of God. Pfft.
But this post is about ‘thoughts and prayers’…
My opinion (this is my blog) is that thoughts and prayers have been co-opted by politicians as political cover. They don’t actually mean it. Because if they felt TRUE empathy and Christian love and charity, they’d govern like it. Instead of making it easier for the mentally ill to get guns, they’d make it harder. Instead of taking money from gun lobbyists, they’d tell them to take their blood money and stick it. They don’t.
Instead of taking healthcare from nine million poor kids as part of the CHIP program, they’d find some way to get nine million more on it.
Thoughts and prayers sounds good to say, especially to their (dwindling) religious-right constituents.
The problem is that it does nothing. It provides no actual healing, very little comfort, and certainly does nothing except feed yet more red meat to the ultra conservative base. See, if they really THOUGHT about these issues, and they actually truly PRAYED for guidance from God, they’d do something about it. They enact laws to at least TRY to prevent another Sandy Hook, another Aurora, another San Bernandino and the beat goes on.
This morning, the NRA indicated that it would halt ad buys for EIGHT WHOPPING DAYS. I assume that they felt eight days is sufficient to re-begin their violence incitement, their lies about gun confiscation, and their general contribution to the moral decline of this country.
I read TONS of hot takes this morning about some variation of ‘now is not the time’. ‘Leave this for another day.’
We have ‘left this for another day’, prayed about it, thought about it, and generally kicked the can down the street for too long. I’d like anyone to tell one of these fifty-eight families or those that may be permanently maimed or disfigured for life that we should wait another minute to enact common sense gun laws, with a straight face. Or maybe stop making it easier for the mentally ill to get guns.
Now. I consider myself to be a fairly intelligent person. I am WELL aware that all the gun laws in the world, any gun law that any amount of infinite monkeys pecking away at typewriters could create could never prevent every instance of this magnitude. Evil is within many and there is not much to do in a free society.
But just because that may be the case doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try. The same people that think that a healthcare law covering 17.8% of the US GDP can be written in the dark in one night, or that tax ‘reform’ can be thoughtfully done in a weekend are the same people telling you that gun control takes time.
Pardon my language but that is utter bullshit. Congress could go to work TOMORROW to begin taking measures such as further reductions on magazines, increased background checks. Reinstalling the laws preventing the mentally ill to own guns.
But, surprise…surprise, they aren’t. They’re going even further and making it easier to purchase silencers.
This should be a national outrage. But, instead we’ll just think about it. And pray.