#ThoughtsAndPrayersDoNothing began trending on Twitter, tweeted by gun-control advocates, almost immediately following the Parkland, Florida, shooting. The shooting was heartbreaking beyond belief – lives lost forever! And the profanity-laced responses to the offer of prayers was tragic.
Police visited the shooter’s home 39 times; the FBI received TWO tips in six months that the shooter wanted to kill; and he was still allowed to do so. The FBI didn’t even follow its own protocol.
So, I have no interest in surrendering my Second Amendment rights to a government that can’t stop a shooter who communicated loudly that he was going to kill.
Instead, this is a time to stop and have some “thoughts” that do something. Einstein said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.”
So let’s compare our present day to a time when mass shootings were rare to nonexistent – 50 to 100 years ago.
Then … guns were everywhere. Gun were on racks in trucks and under people’s beds (my dad’s storage spot). Sixty years ago, Life magazine published an article on “gun safety being taught in schools.”
Now … guns are everywhere. Same then as now.
Then … unless you were the love child of Bonnie and Clyde, there were very little outside stimuli to feed a murderous thought.
Now … a momentary thought of killing can be stoked until it’s an uncontrollable passion. A kid can practice killing innocents with video games, watch violence in movies that wouldn’t have been made 50 years ago and listen to music that celebrates murderers and cop killers as heroes.
He can follow toxic violence on “Twitter like the calls for ‘killing Republicans.'”
He can follow those who attacked the father of a murdered child because he wore a Trump shirt.
So today the culture breeds and feeds murderous desires.
Then … not everyone prayed or was Christian. But most respected Christians, except folks like Madelyn Murray O’Hair. And most found her to be repugnant. (She was. Besides going to SCOTUS to get prayer removed from schools, she chased her father with a butcher knife, trying to murder him).
Now … Obscenity-filled tweets that end with #ThoughtsAndPrayersDoNothing trend on Twitter. Joy Behar announces that she thinks anyone who hears from God is insane, and the TV audience wildly applauds her. Attacks on Christians in media are common (Pence, Dungy, Tebow).
So some things have changed in the last 50 years. But what can we change today so it’s like it was 50 years ago?
People had guns then and now. And we have a Second Amendment. And the left says it’s impossible to deport 11 million illegal aliens, so the government isn’t going to get magic unicorn power to pry 300 million guns from the hands of Americans.
Nobody is going to force a change in social/entertainment media. And we have a First Amendment. Twitter will continue to be a cesspool, Hollywood will keep pumping out Scarfaces, and violent video games will keep appearing – even if illegally on the internet.
But the last one – #ThoughtsAndPrayersDoNothing. There’s serious leverage there for success here. I’ll give you three examples of thoughts and prayers doing something:
- In Exodus 33 God tells Moses he’s going to wipe out the Israelites because they’re a bunch of ingrates who have completely rejected Him and everything He’s done for them. Moses says, “Please don’t.” God says, “OK.”I’ve read the passage many times, and the only thing makes God change His mind? Moses asks. #thoughtsandprayers.did something.
- Steve Scalise, the Republican congressman who was shot by a Bernie Sanders supporter and almost died, said on Feb. 16, “The prayers helped me tremendously, and unfortunately, there are some on the left that actually mock praying for people.”I needed those prayers,” he added. “Those prayers helped me and my family at a really difficult time and you could feel them. These families need prayer, they need counseling, they need help.” #thoughtsandprayers did something.
- Walk into any Bible-believing church in America and ask around. You’ll get story after story of “thoughts and prayers” changing lives from train wrecks to examples of God’s goodness. Heck – walk into any AA meeting and you’ll hear story after story of folks who almost killed themselves with alcohol, but prayers to their “higher power” radically saved them from death. #thoughtsandprayers did something.
Bottom line? Thoughts and prayers shouldn’t be an excuse for not acting. We should so what we can do – like reject the majestic idiocy of “gun free zones” (98 percent of mass shootings happen in gun free zones).
We should make the FBI do its job when someone says, “I want to be a shooter.”
We shouldn’t let those with violent tendencies buy guns legally. If illegal is good enough for MS-13, it should be good enough from someone who threatens to kill fellow students and tortures animals.
But our needs run much deeper than that. “The State” cannot do what only God can do.
What we need is a heart change in millions. Laws are crucial, but no law is going to change a heart steeped in a culture of violence and mayhem. A killer will find a way to kill (Cain/Abel). But God can change a nation when His people are steeped in prayer.
It’s said in the good Book (called so because it’s good), “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Then, thoughts and prayers were respected and desired. Now, we need them more than ever.