Do Not Pray

Do not respond to a catastrophe with prayer. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, US White House Press Secretary responded to the recent reported firing on a crowd in Las Vegas, not to move on the event with prayer. We are not to investigate how one man (but food delivered to the room indicates many), the number supported by audience responses of those who heard overlapping shots, how this small army can get into a hotel room for days armed with 23 rifles, with a metal plate to cover the door, with 3 tripods to mount the guns, with devices to create machine guns out of single firing weapons and so on. People who want to believe that it is only one mad man will believe the latest tale that this single man used the freight elevator to bring the stuff up to his room. But hotel rules require he be accompanied by hotel staff. And nothing noticed, nothing said? We are to investigate changing stories about the event including firing and later blasting through a door that videos show to be untouched, to see contradictions like that the police could not enter for 62 minutes when a hotel engineering worker said the door was unblocked and open.

When a disaster happens and we are told to pray, some say it is like praying instead of taking a fast-acting drug when thrown by some contagious disease; it is like praying as your area goes under water instead of putting out sandbags and preferably of course, to create and maintain strong dykes against exactly such an event. You can think of many recent disasters in which the country’s leaders or their reps said pray instead of act.

Naomi Klein in The Shock Doctrine, pointed to the crisis money-making schemes of people who tell us to pray. That is the time to buy cheap from those in trouble. Our president wants to abandon Puerto Rico due to debts incurred to US banks who do not reinvest their profits in PR. He does not allow the Jones Act closure to last beyond 10 days which keeps direct aid from other island nations to make direct access to PR with food and water and drugs. Jones says they must go to the US (Florida) and unload and reload into US boats which totally inflates the cost of the rescue. Trump said that the shipping companies’ need come first. Likely Pence, his religious front man said to pray.

Praying is usually a request from god to meet some need. Praying is the wrong response to disaster. Whatever your religious affiliation or its lack, do not look on the economic side of things – who will profit and who will lose in terms of your actions. Act for the greater good of living things. Good action is a form of prayer.

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