Instead of doing his job and passing legislation, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan told people to pray away mass shootings and gun violence.
Ryan was asked about his calls for prayer instead of legislative action during an interview on Fox News, and he said, “You know, it’s disappointing. It’s sad, and this is what you’ll get from the far secular left. People who don’t have faith, don’t understand faith. I guess I’d have to say. The right thing to do is pray in moments like this because you know what? Prayer works! And I know you believe that, and I believe that and I know when you hear the secular left doing this thing, no wonder you’ve got so much polarization and disunity in this country.”
Prayer and faith have immense spiritual value if a person chooses to believe. What prayer can’t do is stop a bullet, or make it more difficult for a violent or mentally ill person to easily acquire a high power weapon and go on a killing spree. Prayer can’t stop a bullet, and it is certain that Speaker Ryan wouldn’t want to test the power of prayer to stop someone with a gun on himself or others.
What was especially insulting about Ryan’s answer is that he sold the myth that there are no people of faith on the left. The Democratic Party is made up of white Christians, non-white Christians, and people who don’t identify with any religious faith.
Paul Ryan wants the 20-30 million Americans who will lose their healthcare if Obamacare is repealed to pray. People should also pray after Ryan cuts their Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Prayer will be needed after Paul Ryan and the Republican Party increase taxes on the middle-class and poor so that they can give the rich a big tax cut.
Remember this moment, but it describes Paul Ryan’s philosophy of non-governing perfectly.
Prayer can stop mass shootings. It can’t, but it is much easier for Speaker to tell people to pray and accept mass killings as a normal part of American life than it would be for him to defy his NRA masters by doing his job.