The backlash against “thoughts and prayers” continues. So does the debate about whether such backlash mocks religion.
Lawmakers who offered “thoughts and prayers” to the victims of Wednesday’s San Bernardino mass shooting are often the same lawmakers — all Republicans — who receive large campaign checks from the National Rifle Association, Igor Volsky of the political website Think Progress reported yesterday. The NRA opposes all gun restrictions, including the background checks the majority of Americans want. So do the politicians he singled out for taking NRA cash.
They included Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, $922,000; more than $1.3 million to Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, $2.4 million to Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, $37,622 for would-be president Ben Carson, $36,229 for Sen. Ted Cruz, and many thousands of dollars to “thoughts and prayers” congressmen and women all around the country.
The NRA spent a total of $30,650,008 on anti-gun reform politicians in 2014, Volsky said.
Meanwhile, the hashtag #thoughtsandprayers began trending on Twitter yesterday as users joined in the congressional criticism. Also picking up steam was the hashtag #GodIsntFixingThis. That came from The New York Daily News’ massive front-page headline yesterday, “God Isn’t Fixing This.” The paper criticized GOP presidential hopefuls Carson and Cruz as well as Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham, and new House Speaker Paul Ryan for tweeting about “thoughts and prayers,” but taking no action now or previously on mass shootings.
The criticism of “thoughts and prayers,” based on tweets and online comments, seemed to me to have more to do with mocking lawmakers’ hypocrisy than with mocking religion. But others argued that it is always wrong to shame the call to pray for each other, no matter the source of that call.