thoughts and prayers are not enough

The LORD saw that the wickedness of humans was great in the earth and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that he had made humans on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, “I will blot out from the earth the humans I have created—people together with animals and creeping things and birds of the air—for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the sight of the LORD.

These are the descendants of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God. And Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw that the earth was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its ways upon the earth. And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence because of them; now I am going to destroy them along with the earth. Make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch.

Genesis 6:5-14

We’ve had more than enough of school shootings in the United States (and elsewhere). Another one now, and people will be offering their sincere heart-felt thoughts and prayers. And that’s good insofar as that goes. But it’s not enough.

I am tired of the religious people in the United States who make such a big deal out of abortion but are completely absent as far as advocacy for the children after birth, and who are advocates for guns and adamantly opposed to gun control laws. Often, we’ll hear from them that the answer is not more laws, or another law, but God changing people’s hearts. Try telling that to any of those who put their lives on the line during the Civil Rights Movement. To dismiss the efficacy of laws in curbing evil is preposterous, and just one of the many reasons I don’t take such groups seriously myself.

Yes, thoughts and prayers are wonderful. But they don’t mean a thing, not a thing at all unless they’re backed up by action. Are we going to tell the truth, or not? Is it really necessary to have access to assault weapons with the Second Amendment backing (in my opinion, a mistaken understanding of that amendment).

God saw the violence in Noah’s time and said enough is enough. Why isn’t America doing all it can to curb the use of weapons, not excluding the weapons of mass destruction? And why do professing Christians back that? Is our dependence on God or on a gun? We might think both, that we depend on God, and God wants us to keep our gun loaded just in case. Is that the way of Jesus? Does the way of Jesus apply to us? If we’re followers of Christ, it does. If we’re followers of Christianity and Christendom, perhaps not.

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