Quit Blaming. Start Praying!
Updated: Jan 2, 2020
“An angry man stirs up strife, and a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression” (Proverbs 29:22 NASB).
In the wake of the recent shootings in California, Texas, and Ohio, many (as has sadly become common in these situations) are looking for a scapegoat. They look for someone to blame for these tragedies, and it rarely ends up being the culprit who actually pulled the trigger.
For example, many were quick to blame President Trump for the deaths:
“Democrats condemn Trump after shootings” — The New York Times
“Democrats blame Trump in blunt language for mass shooting in El Paso” — Time Magazine
“2020 Democrats lay blame on Trump’s rhetoric for shootings” — The Associated Press
For others, it was the President’s donors who were to be blamed. Perhaps the most infamous example of this was the tweet from Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro, who doxxed his own constituents. After listing their names and businesses, he concluded:
“Sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump...Their contributions are fueling a campaign of hate.”
Many even openly criticized the President’s call to prayer for the victims and their families:
“No more thoughts and prayers: Enough is enough” — The Detroit News
“The problematic theology of ‘thoughts & prayers’” — The Daily Beast
“‘Thoughts and prayers are not enough’: Democratic candidates call for action” — Washington Post
Actually, a call to prayer is an appropriate action at any time, including during times of difficulty and tragedy. As Abraham Lincoln reminded Americans during the Civil War:
“[I]t is the duty of nations as well . . . and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord [Psalm 33:12]. . . . But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace — too proud to pray to the God that made us.”
We should call on God. We should also make the culprits who pulled the trigger the object of our outrage—they should be the ones on whom we place blame. As God affirms:
The person who sins will die….The wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself. (Ezekiel 18:20 NASB)
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10 NASB).
We should start blaming the real culprits. Better yet, let’s quit blaming and instead come together and start praying.
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 Astor, M. & Stevens, M. (2019, August 10). Democrats condemn Trump after shootings: This week in the 2020 race. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/10/us/politics/2020-democrats-trump-shootings.html
 Villa, L. & Elliott, P. (2019, August 5). Democrats blame Trump in blunt language for mass shooting in El Paso. Retrieved from https://time.com/5644361/el-paso-shooting-donald-trump-democrats/
 Woodall, H. & Yen, H. (2019, August 4). 2020 Democrats lay blame on Trump’s rhetoric for shootings. Retrieved from https://www.apnews.com/ec74c3c86d1f44c0afc40ba2c6c81702
 Castro, J. (2019, August 5). Retrieved from https://twitter.com/Castro4Congress/status/1158576680182718464
 Lawrence, B. (2019, August 7). Opinion: No more thoughts and prayers: Enough is enough. Retrieved from https://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/2019/08/08/opinion-no-more-thoughts-and-prayers-enough-enough/1942791001/
 Moss, C. (2019, August 11). The problematic theology of ‘thoughts & prayers.’ Retrieved from https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-problematic-theology-of-thoughts-and-prayers
 Flynn, M. (2019, July 29). ‘Thoughts and prayers are not enough’: Democratic candidates call for action after Gilroy shooting. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/07/29/gilroy-shooting-democratic-candidates-gun-legislation/
 Lincoln, A. (1863, March 30). Proclamation appointing a national fast day. Retrieved from https://wallbuilders.com/founding-fathers-prayer/#_edn12