Letter: Keep your prayers to yourself after gun violence

Thank you for the Tuesday, May 29, feel-good brief, “Teacher who stopped attack says he had to save students,” about the 29-year-old “Hoosier Hero,” Indianapolis teacher Jason Seaman, who took three bullets as he tackled a student terrorist shooter in his classroom. Actions always speak louder than words, but in praising his 13-year-old injured student who was also shot, his extraordinary comment was second to none: “We all should continue to keep her in our minds as she continues to recover.”

Never mind that he deflected all attention away from his heroic, life-saving efforts. What really stands out is the “keep her in our minds,” with absolutely no mention of prayers whatsoever. Prayer definition number 1: “a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.” I think it troubling that congressional (in)action has been reduced to the oft-repeated and re-tweeted “thoughts & prayers,” suggesting you’ll get no earthly justice in this life, which is exactly what we’re getting with this do-nothing Congress. In fact the trite “thoughts & prayers” punch line prompted a “keep your prayers to yourself” response from the growing frustration with the brick-wall “prayer platitude.”

On the other hand, imagine how much more gun violence we’d experience if we didn’t have all these prayers ... yeah, and then you woke up!

Jay Lustgarten


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