Monday, November 06, 2017


...about the early, stupid reactions to the Sutherland Springs shooting. The column had to be filed early so I missed such lulus as David French's "In the Face of Evil, Prayer Is the Most Rational and Effective Response" at National Review, in which he yells at the "angry Twitter Left" for dismissing the usual Thoughts 'n' Prayers glurge.
The simple and stupid version of the argument is that “prayer doesn’t work” — either because the critic believes the God of the Bible is no more real than a Flying Spaghetti Monster or because he sees the persistence of evil as refuting the efficacy of prayer.
Did you think the argument was actually that T&P is a distraction, used by conservatives as a way to avoid confronting our national gun problem until the outrage over the latest murderfest cools, to be hauled out again the next time? French responds that gun control doesn't work, notwithstanding the example of several other Western countries. And anyway how dare you interrupt the thoughts and prayers with your heathenish response -- it's too soon:
While I disagree with atheists, my quarrel right now isn’t with their disbelief, it’s with their choosing this moment to not only mock Christians but to also display their ignorance of basic Christian theology.
French counts on his readers not to remember that just days before, right after the Manhattan bike path terror attack, he wrote a post called "Sure, Go Ahead and Politicize Tragic Events," in which he wrote:
I’m just cynical enough to believe that the vast majority of politicians, pundits, and Twitter warriors who demand that we not “politicize” a tragedy are really begging, “Don’t make me talk about my political opinion in an unfavorable environment. Let’s wait until the news cycle passes, and the public moves on.” But perhaps moments when the public is energized and interested are among the best times for politicians to make political arguments. Do it tactfully. Respect the fallen. But make your case.
This rhetorical game of Simon Says can go on forever, which is why they play it every time a white guy shoots a place up.

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