During an interview for CNN’s The Axe Files With David Axelrod, Democratic senator and presidential candidate Cory Booker argued that gun reform needed to be taken more seriously because the usual Republican reaction of offering nothing more than thoughts and prayers was — and he said this — “bullshit.”
“When I’m President of the United States, I’m taking a fight to this issue like folks have never seen before, because we’re better than this is a country. It’s a uniquely American problem. No other country has this kind of carnage,” Booker said to David Axelrod on “The Axe Files”… “We are not going to give thoughts and prayers, which to me is just bullsh**. And I’m sorry to say it as a man of faith, but I was taught that faith without works is dead.”
He’s obviously right. He wasn’t denouncing prayer in general; he was criticizing the idea that prayer alone is a sufficient response to mass shootings. It’s not. It never has been. And too many conservatives only offer prayers after shooting deaths without pairing it with any meaningful, substantive plan of action to combat future violence. (New Zealand skipped the religious formalities and banned most semi-automatic weapons within weeks of the Christchurch shooting.)
Booker is very religious himself. He’s arguably the Democratic who’s most comfortable speaking about his Christianity on the campaign trail. So prayer isn’t even a problem for him. As he said, faith without works is dead. (As an atheist, I’d say we could all just cut out the middleman here, but at least our goals are the same.)
But of course it didn’t take long for FOX News host Todd Starnes to whine about how Booker was, somehow, “openly cursing prayer.”
So a man who professes to be a follower of Jesus Christ profanely dismisses the biblical command to pray without ceasing? That’s not a very Christian thing to do.
Yes. We all know the truly Christian thing to do is to let schoolchildren get murdered, year after year, without any sensible response. Just like Jesus commanded. (As for the profanity bit, it’s telling that Starnes is more upset about Booker’s language than schoolchildren dying in mass shootings.)
Starnes gets paid to promote the Republican agenda, though, and pretending Cory Booker, of all people, is an enemy of Christianity shows you just how far he has to stretch to make this argument. He just takes a few words out of context and blows them out of proportion. Telling the truth doesn’t serve his purpose, so Booker has to be painted as the enemy because he cares more about saving innocent lives than the “pro-life” advocates watching FOX.
Incidentally, here’s what Booker says he would do to curb the gun violence (in addition to praying after shootings, which is useless, but whatever. People can grieve however they want). There’s a lot of common sense and necessary changes in his plan. Even if he doesn’t win the nomination, the candidate who does would be wise to borrow these ideas and put them in action.