Democrats Criticize Republicans for Praying After San Bernardino Shooting

Nancy Pelosi
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference on the upcoming budget reforms and legislation on Capitol Hill in Washington, October 1, 2015. |

After a frenzy of angry and solemn responses on social media, some Democrat lawmakers went out of their way to tell Republicans prayer was not a sufficient response to the San Bernardino shooting.

As The Atlantic pointed out Wednesday, in what they dubbed "prayer shaming," Democrat politicians largely called for more gun control while criticizing Republicans who offered their prayers.

Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy had enough of the prayers and thought from Republicans Wednesday, Tweeting out, "Your 'thoughts' should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your 'prayers' should be for forgiveness if you do nothing — again."

Murphy, who did not waiver from his statement, released a follow up statement as the controversy around him swirled.

"My heart aches for the people of San Bernardino. I cannot express the profound sadness I feel each time a new community grieves and endures the same pain that brought Newtown to its knees three years ago this month," declared Murphy.

"As we await the facts from the chaos on the ground, I can only pray that America's leaders will do something — anything — that prevents more communities from knowing this sorrow. Congress' number one responsibility is to keep our constituents safe, and not a single senator or member of Congress can go back to their state this weekend and claim that they are doing their job."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., argued Thursday that Congress should not observe a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting until they first complete a set of actions on gun control.

"We've had far too many moments of silence on the floor of the House. And while it is right to respectfully acknowledge the losses, we can no longer remain silent. What gives us the right to hold moments of silence when we do nothing to act upon the cause of the grief?" she said during a press briefing.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), clearly agitated by the lack of more gun-control, appeared on CNN's "New Day" Thursday morning declaring that he is through with moments of silence.

"This has become a ritual in the House. I would much rather have moments of action than moments of silence on the House floor," Schiff declared.

An editor at Think Progress, a liberal public policy organization, told people on Twitter to "Stop praying."

"Stop thinking. Stop praying. Look up Einstein's definition of 'insanity.' Start acting on gun violence prevention measures," he wrote.

President Barack Obama did, however, offer his "thoughts and prayers" when he spoke Thursday with the mayor of San Bernardino.

In an interview with Fox News Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said he was "shocked" and "offended" by the slamming of those who believed in prayer. Paul noted that some of the victims were even calling out for prayers on social media.

Sen. Paul told Fox News that when we jump into the political right away "we forget" the families and their grief.

"Until we know exactly what happened here, for people to be snide, snotty and arrogant about the fact that they believe prayer doesn't impact our lives, I'm offended by it," declared Paul. "I'm shocked by that kind of attitude."

Paul said that there is no way of even knowing if gun-control is the right legislative solution before determining the facts of the case.

"I think it's a big mistake for the president — a big mistake for liberals in general — to mock people of religion and to mock people who believe in prayer," said Sen. Paul.

"Our biggest danger is admitting people to the country who want to do us harm," added Paul.

Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, criticized the rhetoric after the shooting and the hostility towards prayer in a Thursday Washington Post op-ed.

"Whatever one thinks about God or prayer or, for that matter, gun control, this is a bad development for a society already fractured in too many ways," Moore wrote.

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