Perhaps Americans are finally waking up to the hypocrisy and insincerity of Republicans who bloviate about "family values" yet support discrimination and bigotry and refuse to take any effective measures to rein in the culture of death and violence promoted by the NRA and its financiers in gun manufacturer circles. As Vox noted in October and again today, after the mass shooting Umpqua Community College, Americans make up about 4.43 percent of the world's population, yet own roughly 42 percent of all the world's privately held firearms. Not surprisingly, the direct corollary is that America has nearly six times the gun homicide rate as Canada, more than seven times as Sweden, and nearly 16 times as Germany. Gun violence is utterly out of control, yet rather than enact any legislation to restrict gun ownership, especially the automatic weapons used in mass shootings, all Republicans offer up is "thoughts and prayers" for victims and their distraught families. As the saying goes, "talk is cheap" and "actions speak louder than words." A piece in the Washington Post looks at the all too justified backlash against disingenuos and insincere Republicans. As for accusations of "prayer shaming" from conservatives, we need a lot more of it in my view. Conservative religion is one of the biggest rackets going and it needs to be mocked without cessation. We are living in 2015, not 1015 after all. Here are article highlights:
It used to be that “thoughts and prayers” was the least controversial thing a politician could tweet — the bereavement equivalent of a baby-kissing photo-op. But on Tuesday, two gunmen in San Bernardino, Calif., attacked a social services center, killing 14. And then a mob of frustrated Twitter users attacked that phrase.Will Republicans get the message? Probably not. They are too busy counting the money they receive from the NRA and prostituting themselves to far right lunatics.
“Your ‘thoughts’ should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your ‘prayers’ should be for forgiveness if you do nothing — again,” tweeted Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who represents another town on America’s map of tragedies: Newtown, Conn. “God isn’t fixing this,” blared the front-page headline of the New York Daily News. ThinkProgress’s Igor Volsky tweeted out the amount that thoughts-and-prayers-bearing politicians have received in donations from the National Rifle Association.
Conservatives accused liberals of mocking their faith. The Atlantic called it “prayer-shaming.”
Most of the online ire was directed at political figures with the power to affect gun control laws — not everyday prayerful citizens.
“I don’t see it as anti-religion as much as I see it as a response of frustration to people who are using a simple phrase of condolence without really being sincere about it or being responsive to what is happening,” said Christopher Coyne, the Catholic bishop of Burlington, Vt., who is active on social media.
After the attacks in Paris last month, there was a similar outcry against prayer . . . others chimed in with, “The terrorists pray. Good people think.”
“Try this: Stop thinking. Stop praying. Look up Einstein’s definition of ‘insanity.’ Start acting on gun violence prevention measures,” tweeted Think Progress’s Zack Ford.