Prayer and a packing pastor: A church’s response to a mass shooting

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  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 26, 2018 11:17 a.m.

    Husker2 says:

    "You cannot prove a negative, so it's impossible to say how many shootings have been prevented by prayer. Sadly, I agree with you that it will happen again."

    Its totally possible to say. 0. Prayer does nothing but allow you to pretend you are doing something.

    "You wonder why God allows it to happen. I think God wonders why we allow it to happen."

    Or god doesnt exist and so you have to make excuses for him/her/it.

    "When you love someone, you give them freedom of choice. God gives us freedom to choose"

    What freedom of choice did those who got shot and died have? What freedom of choice do little children with terminal illness have?
    This 'freewill' argument is so empty. It is exactly what one would expect from a non existent deity. Its just another excuse to allow you to continue to believe in the god your parents told you about while they were 'teaching' you about Santa.

    "So much pain and death due to the actions of man."
    Much more is due to perfectly natural causes. Man is one of those natural causes.

    "Blaming God is a cop out."
    Believing in one of the thousands of gods humans have invented is a cop out for dealing with a universe you cant understand.

  • mhenshaw Leesburg, VA
    Feb. 26, 2018 11:05 a.m.

    >>As for his excuse for why god 'allowed this to happen'...is such a god worth having faith in?

    If God exists, which kind of god would you prefer -- one who allows people (yourself included) to have the freedom to decide how to behave, even when those choices sometimes hurt (or even kill) others? Or one who micromanages every person's words and actions so that no person is ever allowed to hurt another? "No one gets hurt" sounds great until you realize that it comes at the cost everyone's freedom make choices for themselves.

    >>Once again religious people prove that they dont actually trust their deity to protect them.

    Religious people trust "their deity" to protect them all the time. But it's not inconsistent to also believe that God wants them to take some personal responsibility for their own safety and well-being at the same time--that's part of the price of free will.

    As a wise man once put it once--"In God we trust. Everyone else, not so much."

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 26, 2018 10:25 a.m.

    Once again religious people prove that they dont actually trust their deity to protect them.

    And with good cause. All the gods ever invented seem to behave exactly as if no gods exist at all. After the fact re-attribution notwithstanding.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Feb. 26, 2018 5:08 a.m.

    @ Twin Lights

    "As to why it is allowed? In some views it is the absolute power of free will."

    Yes. Some people's gods had the free will to create a human organism with or without the capacity to develop mental illness or with or without one of the genders being so prone to violence.

  • Husker2 Aspen, CO
    Feb. 25, 2018 3:26 p.m.

    @Hutterite "Given the opportunity, I would ask this pastor what prayer did to prevent the next mass shooting? Unfortunately, it can be stated with certainty that there will be more."

    You cannot prove a negative, so it's impossible to say how many shootings have been prevented by prayer. Sadly, I agree with you that it will happen again.

    "As for his excuse for why god 'allowed this to happen'...is such a god worth having faith in? It doesn't appear so."

    You wonder why God allows it to happen. I think God wonders why we allow it to happen. When you love someone, you give them freedom of choice. God gives us freedom to choose, and we have made a mess of this world. So much pain and death due to the actions of man. Totally preventable. Blaming God is a cop out.

  • Husker2 Aspen, CO
    Feb. 25, 2018 3:20 p.m.

    I pray this pastor never has to use his weapon and, if he does, he doesn't shoot an innocent bystander. Shooting on a gun range is completely different than shooting in a confined space such as a church and or a school.

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 25, 2018 10:54 a.m.

    I think the fact "men of God" feel compelled to strap on weapons that cause death is testament that we've completely lost the battle.

  • Tumbleweed Centerville, UT
    Feb. 24, 2018 9:10 p.m.

    Being inspired to defend those who look to you for protection is not inconsistent with religion:

    Jacob 7: 25 Wherefore, the people of Nephi did fortify against them [their enemies] with their arms, and with all their might, trusting in the God and rock of their salvation; wherefore, they became as yet, conquerors of their enemies.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Feb. 24, 2018 10:35 a.m.

    Hutterite,

    Given the dwindling of religion in American life and the rise of these sorts of incidents (even though firearms are in fewer households now than when I was a child - as a percentage), I would say that these sorts of incidents cannot reasonably be said to be due to the failing of religion.

    As to why it is allowed? In some views it is the absolute power of free will. That we are beings whose agency is near absolute (within our physical limits).

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 24, 2018 9:10 a.m.

    Given the opportunity, I would ask this pastor what prayer did to prevent the next mass shooting? Unfortunately, it can be stated with certainty that there will be more.
    As for his excuse for why god 'allowed this to happen'...is such a god worth having faith in? It doesn't appear so. And, do his beliefs support god or does he instead fabricate god to support his beliefs?
    The people on TV making noise are the true revival. They're the ones tired of being told to comply with those who purport to but demonstrably do not have their best interest in mind.
    Your thoughts and prayers are welcome. But you're a pastor carrying a gun in church and you don't see how that represents a failure of you in relation to your professed religion nor how it represents how badly religion has failed society.