Thoughts and Prayers

It’s that time again. That time when God-fearing, gun-loving politicians send truckloads of Thoughts and Prayers to the families of mass shooting victims. I mean, they must have a huge Thoughts and Prayers budget to be able to send them so often in this country. I do have a question though, what are the families supposed to do with them? They can’t redeem to get their loved ones back. They can’t swallow them to help ease the pain of loss that comes from receiving the devastating news. So what are Thoughts and Prayers good for? Have they helped stop the next mass shooting? I haven’t seen much progress in the Thoughts and Prayers department, maybe you’re not doing it right.

Maybe you’re praying to the wrong God.

Have you tried Zeus? Odin? Thor? Krishna? Vishnu? Maybe an elder god? What about Neptune, the great god of the sea? How about Quetzalcoatl? He’s probably not doing much right now considering the Aztec culture is pretty much extinct. Maybe try creating some new gods to pray to. This was just a list of suggestions.

Maybe you’re missing a sign.

Perhaps you are praying to the right God, but he is trying to tell you something through the people around you. Maybe he’s speaking through the myriad voices who keep saying the same thing over and over when this type of thing happens. Maybe you’re just ignoring it.

Maybe your God just isn’t listening, or he just doesn’t care.

It’s quite possible that the God that got so angry about the evil in the world that he hit a big, wet reset button, just quit caring about this planet. Maybe he’d rather help people find their keys and the best parking spots.

Maybe you need to take some action for yourself.

God helps those that help themselves, right? I know it’s not in the Bible, but it’s such a popular maxim that I had to include it here. Anyway, try doing something for yourself and quit pleading with a cloud.

Maybe God doesn’t exist.

People keep praying and praying, but it’s as if the outcome is the same whether there is a god or not. In this case, read the point directly above this one.

By this time, after thousands in this country have lost their lives to gun violence, I think the last thing people want to hear out of their politicians are the words, “Thoughts and Prayers” and they would much rather see action. Those thoughts and prayers are not working because people are still dying from senseless acts of violence.


…that’s what you’re praying for.

A Display Of Pure Evil

Welcome to a new periodic feature where I look at what the religious types are clutching their pearls about this time around. I will confess for this first one, I did not watch the offending performance, but since this isn’t my first rodeo, I can guess that it wasn’t that bad.

So apparently there’s a non-binary singer named Sam Smith, and they perform a song called “Unholy” and they performed it at the Grammy Awards. The stage set included what appeared to be a giant inflatable devil and Smith wore red and a hat with devil horns. The stage was also bathed in red light to give it that extra evil aura. Naturally, the right-wingers lost their collective minds. Many called it Satanic.

A certain Texas senator who fancies winter trips to Cancun said simply, “This. Is. Evil.” No, Ted, it’s not. What is “evil” is denying basic human rights to marginalized groups. What the Grammy performance was, was just that, a performance. The devil imagery was akin to Saturday morning cartoons (kids ask your parents) like the little devil on a character’s shoulder. As a whole, “controversial” performances are nothing new.

Back in the 1960s, at the end of a love ballad, Petula Clark (a white woman) put her hand on Harry Belafonte’s (a black man) hand. That was scandalous, but we got over it. Madonna rolled around stage in a white wedding gown singing “Like A Virgin” and that was earth-shaking, but we got over it. Madonna would strike again it the early 1990s with “Like A Prayer” which included a black Jesus and burning crosses. Guess what? We got over that, too (not the racism, that still exists).

This pearl-clutching by the right is nothing but a performance, akin to Sam Smith and Madonna, to get their base fired up. I guarantee, outside of the odd Twitter screed, none of the leaders on the right really care about this, but they have to make a good show for their followers to keep the tithe flowing. Spare me you feigned outrage and calls for boycotts and hearings.

Besides, it’s less than a week to the Super Bowl and you don’t want to burn yourself out. I’ll be back to write about their outrage at that.