Politicians have increasingly felt emboldened to criticize prayer after tragic shootings, with Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke being the latest to do so, using the f-word while condemning those who offered prayers in the wake of the shootings in Odessa, Texas.
The interview, which aired on CNN’ s “State of the Union” program, featured O’Rourke criticizing prayers before unleashing profanity, which he suggested will prove more beneficial to ending gun violence than appealing to the God of the universe.
“The rhetoric that we’ve used, the thoughts and prayers that you just referred to, it has done nothing to stop the epidemic of gun violence, to protect our kids, our families, our fellow Americans in public places,” O’Rourke began. “We’re averaging about 300 mass shootings a year. So yes, this is f***** up. If we don’t call it out for what it is, if we’re not able to speak clearly, if we’re not able to act decisively, we’ll continue to have this kind of bloodshed in America.”
O’Rourke had promised to stop using profanity earlier this year but has since broken that promise several times. Now, he’s not only cursing during sit-down interviews and on the campaign trail, he has an actual t-shirt in his online store with the f-word on it multiple times.
The move towards louder and clearly intentional use of profanity has many pointing out the dire position his campaign is in, polling at just 2.4% according to the Real Clear Politics average, in 8th position and far behind the leaders.
Faithwire has covered several instances of politicians targeting thoughts and prayers in order to explain and remind people of why we do pray in situations like this.
Regardless of where one stands on gun laws and the 2nd Amendment, it should be evident that the real problem we are facing is not which tools those wishing to commit acts of violence choose, but the fact that people are wishing to commit acts of violence in the first place.
America is facing a heart problem. The Bible tells us the heart is ‘desperately’ wicked and deceitful above all else — shifting around our nation’s gun laws will not change any of that. The only thing that can change hearts is Jesus Christ.
When you are born again, you are a new creation. While believers aren’t perfect and sinless, Jesus does change the desires of our hearts and our faith in Him causes us to seek after him and do good works.
This is why Christians pray. Because more Christians means more people seeking after Christ, and more people seeking after Christ means less people getting shot by hopeless, lost, angry people.
That doesn’t mean we don’t ever consider actions we can take ourselves. That’s a different discussion entirely. That said, prayer should never be targeted as something that “doesn’t do anything.”
It’s presumptuous, to say the least, that a mysterious ‘common sense’ gun control law will stop all shootings in America.
In the meantime, the best thing we can do on a daily basis is to pray. So please, do continue praying for anyone lost and thinking of committing acts of violence — that God would soften their hearts of stone and open their eyes to His marvelous grace and mercy.