Mock­ing prayer af­ter the mas­sacre

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By Tammy Bruce

We learn a lot about our­selves and oth­ers in the midst of a cri­sis. Hol­ly­wood and lib­er­als had no prob­lem revealing them­selves for what they are (again) in the af­ter­math of the hor­ror of the Texas church mas­sacre. Lib­er­als, these wor­ship­pers of failed big gov­ern­ment, de­cided to con­demn peo­ple of faith by mock­ing those who prayed on a day when 26 Chris­tians were mur­dered.

But it was more than mock­ing prayer. The in­sis­tence that prayer is use­less im­plies God does not ex­ist, and only gov­ern­ment can make the dif­fer­ence. Some of the more ve­nal com­ments make this im­pli­ca­tion clear.

Ac­tor Wil Wheaton, best known for be­ing type­cast as the smug and ir­ri­tat­ing Wes­ley Crusher on “Star Trek: The Next Gen­er­a­tion” re­sponded to Rep. Paul Ryan’s tweet for prayers. Mr. Wheaton tweeted, “The mur­dered vic­tims were in a church. If prayers did any­thing, they’d still be alive, you worth­less sack of [ex­ple­tive].”

Ac­tor Michael McKean, cur­rently on AMC’s “Bet­ter Call Saul,” chimed in on Twit­ter as well: “They were in church. They had the prayers shot right out of them. Maybe try some­thing else.”

Mock­ing peo­ple who pray in re­sponse to shock and suf­fer­ing is ob­scene and cor­rupt. And while it is not the only an­swer, prayer is a foun­da­tional part of change, and is a pow­er­ful and im­por­tant act. It also must be paired with ac­tion, be­cause the di­vine is not en­cum­bered by the hu­man in­ter­est in mi­cro­manag­ing our daily lives.

The irony of the re­ac­tion by lib­er­als to ma­ni­acs who use guns is to call on their God of Gov­ern­ment for more gun con­trol. We now know that gov­ern­ment bu­reau­cracy failed us in Texas. It failed us in Charleston. And it failed us at Vir­ginia Tech.

In Texas, gun con­trol laws made it clear Devin Pa­trick Kel­ley was ex­actly the sort of per­son who should not have been able to pur­chase firearms, as he had been con­victed in a court-mar­tial for a do­mes­tic vi­o­lence of­fense.

Yet the Air Force failed to in­form the FBI of that con­vic­tion, so he passed the re­quired fed­eral back­ground check.

This is not the only time that lib­eral ex­pec­ta­tions of big gov­ern­ment failed. In July 2015, Dy­lann Roof mur­dered nine parish­ioners in Charleston, S.C. Due to a pre­vi­ous felony drug con­vic­tion, he, too, shouldn’t have been able to pur­chase a firearm. FBI Direc­tor James Comey blamed mul­ti­ple er­rors in pa­per­work and com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and said he was “sick” that it hap­pened. He then or­dered the usual “re­view” of bu­reau­cratic poli­cies.

And then there is Seong-Hui Cho, the psy­chotic who in 2007 shot and killed 32 peo­ple and wounded 17 oth­ers at Vir­ginia Tech. The New York Times re­ported, “Un­der fed­eral law, the Vir­ginia Tech shooter Se­ung-Hui Cho should have been pro­hib­ited from pur­chas­ing a gun af­ter a Vir­ginia court de­clared him to be a dan­ger to him­self in late 2005 and sent him for psy­chi­atric treat­ment, a gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial and sev­eral le­gal ex­perts said Fri­day.” Once again, the bu­reau­cratic mess of big gov­ern­ment failed.

It’s one thing to have the face­less bu­reau­cracy be­come an ex­is­ten­tial threat to our lives, and quite an­other when the FBI has been alerted to a threat­en­ing sit­u­a­tion and still does noth­ing. That was the case in June 2016 when rad­i­cal Is­lamist Omar Ma­teen mur­dered 49 peo­ple and wounded 58 oth­ers at a gay night­club in Or­lando, Fla.

The FBI had been alerted to Ma­teen by his co-work­ers and his mosque. The Daily Beast re­ported at the time: “The se­nior law-en­force­ment source re­ports Ma­teen be­came a per­son of in­ter­est in 2013 and again in 2014. The Fed­eral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion at one point opened an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Ma­teen, but sub­se­quently closed the case when it pro­duced noth­ing that ap­peared to war­rant fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion. ‘He’s a known quan­tity,’ the source said. ‘He’s been on the radar be­fore.’ ”

Many lib­er­als also de­cided to at­tack the Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion af­ter the Texas mas­sacre, and the NRA did play a role — in stop­ping the slaugh­ter. Stephen Wille­ford, the lo­cal hero, a plumber who also hap­pens to be a for­mer NRA in­struc­tor, grabbed his own ri­fle, ran across the street and shot the mad­man. He ended the mass mur­der, saving an un­told num­ber of lives. He then teamed up with lo­cal John­nie Lan­gen­dorff, when the two en­gaged the shooter in a high-speed chase, which ended with Mr. Kel­ley’s sui­cide.

In 2007 the New Life Church in Colorado Springs was at­tacked by a gun­wield­ing as­sailant, only to be stopped by vol­un­teer se­cu­rity guard Jeanne As­sam, who killed the shooter with her own firearm. Four in­no­cents were killed in that at­tack, but the shooter was pre­pared with 3,000 rounds of am­mu­ni­tion. Had Ms. As­sam not been there, the toll would have been stag­ger­ing.

Re­count­ing the hor­ror of the shoot­ing in Texas, a tele­vi­sion host tear­fully asked on air, “What does this say about us?” Ac­tu­ally, it says noth­ing about us and ev­ery­thing about the one ma­niac who did it.

De­spite the ef­forts of some, we will not de­fined by the few in­di­vid­ual ma­ni­acs who are psy­cho­pathic mass mur­der­ers. We will be de­fined by the prayer­ful and the de­cent. The truth is, Amer­ica is pop­u­lated with mil­lions of Steven Wille­fords, John­nie Lan­gen­dorffs and Jeanne As­sams, peo­ple qui­etly living their lives only to emerge as heroes when com­ing to the aid of friends and strangers alike. What does that say about us? Ev­ery­thing. Tammy Bruce, au­thor and Fox News con­trib­u­tor, is a ra­dio talk show host.

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