If you think politicians talking about Social Security reform is the “third” rail of politics, then talking about the Second Amendment must be tantamount to Thelma and Louise going over the cliff at 90 mph. It is even more virulent and intense in the wake of the horror that took place in a Texas elementary school May 24.
There have been calls for reform of this and that, with both sides insisting they are correct, and that any deviation is a sure sign the opposing opinion is evil. One of the recent threads that has been unraveling on a regular basis, on everywhere from social media and TV talk shows to the floor of the United States House of Representatives, is a distinct disdain for the concept of prayer.
Considering the horror that took place that day at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, those who deride prayer see it as primarily a hack gimmick of meaningless drivel with the sole purpose of assuaging guilt. Those who are engaging in this new form of “dialogue” dismiss out of hand that prayer has any consequences, whether positive or negative.
For instance, when “The View” host Whoopi Goldberg was not telling the archbishop of San Francisco what were and what were not his episcopal powers, she expressed outrage over the thought people would be praying about what happened in Texas. She, like so many others in the media, seemed stridently offended. The unstated but clear implication is that prayer is either a superstitious holdover from childhood or a failure to believe in science.
Granted, there are times we say we are praying for someone but are not heartfelt. That’s on us. But in our better moments, prayer brings us before the throne of God to ask for some good or to accept his will. The trap that many people fall into is to believe some prayers go for naught. The reality is all prayers are answered. But sometimes the answer is no.
Some of the current animus toward prayer comes from well-meaning people who believe action is needed. What action that is I do not know — nor do many of the people calling for it. That an 18-year-old can lock himself in a classroom of 10-year-olds and slaughter them is a problem no law of man is going to cure or fully address. That doesn’t mean we don’t utilize reason or our gifts to effect change. But to act without praying is folly.
Prayer can be tricky business, which is why I think that most of the people deriding it have a superficial approach to it. They grew up with too many Hollywood versions of prayers where they are immediately answered in the affirmative or the good guys win in the end.
Real prayer is different. Jesus prayed hard the night before he died that God would let the cup pass him by. God answered, Jesus divined his will, and the rest is Christianity.
Whatever “remedy” is derived by politicians and interest groups will either make this issue better or worse. No one really knows, no matter how convinced the “experts” are about what will work.
Prayer, on the other hand, is always effective, whether it is answered spectacularly in the affirmative, or when the supplicant alone sees the fruit. It is also powerful, like in the case of Jesus in Gethsemane, where the person praying does not get the answer they want, but the answer they need.
May all the parents and families suffering right now in Texas be insulated from the toxic noise our culture is bearing down on them, and may all their prayers be discerned and bring comfort … maybe not now, but soon, and forever.