These Religious Leaders Are Fed Up With GOP’s Thoughts And Prayers

A cross commemorating the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School sits in a park in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 16, 2018. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters)It’s now common for political leaders to offer their “thoughts and prayers” online after a mass shooting. The high school massacre in Parkland, Florida, this week proved to be no different.Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) sent their prayers soon after news broke that a gunman had shot and killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday. President Donald Trump tweeted his “prayers and condolences” to the victims’ families.From a spiritual perspective, there’s nothing wrong with thoughts and prayers. Prayer can be helpful and even transformative for a family going through the shock of a loved one’s untimely death. For congregations, prayer can offer comfort in times of unspeakable sorrow and often serve as the first step toward organizing a joint response. But when political leaders’ prayers for the victims of gun violence aren’t followed by concrete steps toward ending that violence, some religious leaders say the spiritual gesture can feel like empty gestures ― especially when the prayers are coming from politicians who accept financial support from the National Rifle Association.This week, a chorus of faith leaders from different religious backgrounds pointed out the hypocrisy of calling for prayer and then not following that up with action. Read their reactions below: I don’t need thoughts and prayers from politicians. I’m a rabbi. We have the prayer department covered. I need politicians to do their jobs and pass laws so our children aren’t scared to go to school and parents don’t worry that each goodbye in the morning might be our last.— (((Jesse Olitzky))) (@JMOlitzky) February 14, 2018 Attention: U.S. Congress.— Church & Society UMC (@umcjustice) February 15, 2018 “I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.”~ Frederick Douglass— Khaled Beydoun (@KhaledBeydoun) February 15, 2018 God doesn’t want your thoughts and prayers. God wants you to know that you are responsible to care for and protect other people. And to take action to do so.— Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR) February 15, 2018 I’ll be there, raising my voice. I am horrified at the deaf ears of our leaders. Can you hear children screaming? Parents weeping? No more platitudes, thoughts and prayers. We must act now!! #DemandTheBan#FloridaShooting— Rev.Dr.Jacqui Lewis (@RevJacquiLewis) February 15, 2018 Shame on lawmakers who ask for prayers for the victims but genuflect before a gun lobby that puts profits ahead of human life.— John Gehring (@gehringdc) February 14, 2018 On days like this, “thoughts and prayers” with no further action, may as well be bullets in the next mass shooting.#GunControlNow#NRA#Parkland#GOP— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) February 14, 2018 Honest question for gun rights advocates: do you have ANY response to gun violence besides “thoughts and prayers”? Any possible solution that fits into your worldview?— Shahed Amanullah (@shahed) February 14, 2018 I said more in my sermon last night of substance about Parkland than @POTUS just did.Empty piety in public of prayers and scripture is what hypocrites do. God desires us to break the chains of injustice and to have broken and contrite hearts.— Eric Worringer (@ericworringer) February 15, 2018 As a faith leader my job is thoughts and prayers. It would be great if policy makers could do theirs. #schoolshootings#ParklandShooting— Robyn Fryer Bodzin (@shrobyn) February 15, 2018 We are demanding action with our thoughts and prayers. Join us.— Sojourners (@Sojourners) February 15, 2018 Heartbreaking & maddening to see reports of yet another school shooting. I pray for the students & families- no one should have to endure this senseless horror. ENOUGH. Congress must take action to end the scourge of gun violence before another school becomes a site of tragedy.— Rabbi Jonah Pesner (@JonahPesner) February 14, 2018 HAF statement on Florida school shooting: Congress must act to protect welfare of all Americans & enact common sense gun control legislation— Hindu American Fdn (@HinduAmerican) February 15, 2018 I’m sick at my stomach, heartbroken… and angry. Mass shootings should not be normal. Assault rifles should not be on our streets.Let us pray for the victims. And then let’s honor their lives by getting off our knees & taking action to prevent gun violence. #Florida— Shane Claiborne (@ShaneClaiborne) February 15, 2018 Trump’s response to shooting: More thoughts, prayers, bonds between communities, a Bible quote, but no gun control and responsible legislation.— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) February 15, 2018 The only way to stop shootings is to beat the NRA. Only way to do that is beat the GOP. Take your thoughts and prayers straight to the ballot box.— Ethan Nichtern (@ethannichtern) February 15, 2018 My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the tragic #Parkland, Florida, shooting. This bloodshed will not stop until we all take responsibility and act to strengthen gun laws and support for those with mental health needs.— Cardinal Cupich (@CardinalBCupich) February 15, 2018 Comprehensive list of things we’ve done to stop the next School shooting—which statistically will happen w/in the next 48 hours…………………………………………………………thoughts & prayers— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@MuslimIQ) February 15, 2018 This article originally appeared on HuffPost.