Jeffrey Salkin: Martini Judaism Opinion

President Trump, this is no time for prayer

President Donald Trump makes a statement about the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 2, 2017, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(RNS) — President Trump addressed the nation on the mass murder in Las Vegas, in which at least 58 people (at last count) have died, and in which hundreds are wounded. It is the worst mass shooting in recent American history.

Except, President Trump did not exactly sound presidential.

He sounded pastoral. He delivered a sermon, complete with phrases from the Psalms — calling upon God who is the “healer of broken hearts.”


RELATED: After Las Vegas mass shooting, calls for prayer, action on gun control


It was as if he had access to a pile of yizkor (memorial) sermons that rabbis had delivered to their congregations, barely 24 hours before the horror took place.

Trump’s words point to a design flaw in what the late sociologist Robert Bellah 50 years ago called “civil religion.”

Americans embrace a common “civil religion” with certain fundamental beliefs, values, holidays, and rituals, parallel to, or independent of, their chosen religion.


TRANSCRIPT: President Trump offers prayers and a Psalm in Las Vegas remarks


In that sense, presidents have a major role in American civil religion. They often serve as priests or pastors, as was the case with Abraham Lincoln. This is most often the case when public events call for a kind of religious interpretation, such as at a time of war, or in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.

If presidents tend to serve as priests or pastors, it is because American civil religion is mostly priestly and pastoral. It tends to define the present reality, and to offer comfort regarding that reality.

As a rabbi, I understand the pastoral response to tragedy: “I will hold your hand, and walk with you in your sorrow.” In the words of Ecclesiastes, which Jews will read during the coming festival of Sukkot, “there is a time to weep.”

But, the pastoral response to national tragedy only takes us so far, and it leaves us empty.

The author of Ecclesiastes goes on to say: “There is a time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted.”

In this season of confession, let me confess: Given the amount of violence in our society, I have toyed with the idea of purchasing a gun for protection. I understand those who have made that choice.

But, what I simply cannot understand is how that choice for personal safety extends itself to the unfettered right to own assault weapons. Even for those who like to go hunting, I find such choices unreasonable, and demonstrably lethal.

This toxic idea of the absolute right to gun ownership — of whatever kind — is firmly planted in the American imagination. Let’s “uproot what is planted.”

That brings me back to the religious language that President Trump used today.

I am fine with a God who binds up the wounds of those who have been wounded by life, to use the psalmist’s felicitous phrase.

But, that is not the vision that we need.

No longer pastoral. No longer the sanctification of what is. American civil religion needs to be prophetic as well. From what is — to what should be.

And what should be — is an America where we no longer call upon God to bind wounds. It would be an America where we ask for no more unnecessary, cruelly, humanly inflicted wounds.

Yes, gun owners have rights.

But, the people who innocently went to a country music concert; the dancers in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando; schoolchildren in Connecticut (I flirt with the danger of carpal tunnel syndrome, brought upon by the typing of too many deaths): They also have rights.

They have rights to life — as surely as do, oh, say, fetuses at the point of five months of gestation in the womb.

That is the kind of American civil religion that we now need, and which needs the president’s voice.

Mr. President: You have shown enormous skill in getting angry. You do it so well.

You have been angry at the mayor of San Juan. You have been angry at football players who are exercising their American rights to free expression.

Mr. President: This is the time for your anger.

I invite your anger: at American gun culture.

Don’t preach like the psalmist. It is not just about compassion for those who are bereaved.

Preach like Isaiah. Make it about justice — so that no more parents, spouses, children, siblings and friends will suffer this cruel species of bereavement.

Oh, one last thing.

It’s about that ubiquitous phrase: “our thoughts and prayers …”

I believe that “thoughts and prayers” have their proper place. But, quite often, I do funerals for people who have died of terrible diseases. Their loved ones request donations to organizations that work on curing those diseases.

“Thoughts and prayers” are good.

“Action?” In this American moment — far, far better.

About the author

Jeffrey Salkin

Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin is the spiritual leader of Temple Solel in Hollywood, Fla., and the author of numerous books on Jewish spirituality and ethics, published by Jewish Lights Publishing and Jewish Publication Society.

134 Comments

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  • Via tweet, trump sent his “warmest condolences.”

    It turns out it wasn’t to the NRA, but to the victims.

  • Oh okay, I get it now. This is not the time for prayer. This is the time for gun control.

    Chicago notwithstanding. NYC notwithstanding. DC notwithstanding. Any other US city notwithstanding. Pass a law banning all assault rifles, and you’ll never again see a big Orlando mass shooting or a big Las Vegas mass shooting. Obama’s sermon book, yep.

    The crooks, gangs, (and most of all, the many walking time-bombs with NO prior police records, mental issues, or militia issues), will simply dump all their current assault rifles and semi-auto’s into the river. Nor will they turn to the black market, or find “other adjustments” to get past bans or regulations.

    No disrespect, but this AIN’T the time for the gun control debate. This IS the time for prayer. This IS the time to get pastoral, to offer prayers & condolences. Trump’s right.

  • Hmm, now let me get this straight.

    More cries from people who want to ban all guns because a select few have committed horrible crimes with them. What about all the others who have guns and do not commit massive carnage with them? Are we not penalizing them for the actions of a few?

    So with the same logic, we have the same cries from people who want to ban all muslims because a select few have committed terrorist crimes. What about all the others who do not commit massive carnage. Are we not penalizing them for the actions of a few?

    Can the left and the right at the very least acknowledge that they both use the same logic, that the logic is faulty for either side? The massive amount of ignorance is quite breath taking.

    If as a society, either within the US or globally, we are told (ad nauseum) that the new normal is terrorist attacks by individuals or lone wolf’s are aberrations of a group then we should therefore resign ourselves that life, a peaceful life, is a thing of the past and we now need to just accept the fact that anytime we go outside it could be our last. Never congregate together because we must live with individuals foreign and domestic that never had or have lost all regard for life. This is life now and there is no government, societal norms, or national willingness to change.

  • Your logic is way, way off.

    These are not outliers, these are a direct result of a culture that idolizes guns, and sees violence, especially gun violence, as family entertainment. In the developed world, gun violence in the US is off the charts. Compared to Switzerland, probably the worst, which has 8 homicides per million people per year. We have nearly 30.

    We have 4.4 % of the population of the world, but over half of the guns that are in civilian hands. Developed countries with relatively easy access to guns have more gun deaths, so it’s not just us. We just happen to be the worst. There are strong statistical correlations between the number of guns per population unit and the numbers of homcides and suicides by gun.

    The evidence is pretty much irrefutable.

  • Yeah, prayer will work. It always does.

    You want to blame the democrats, rather than look in the mirror.

  • And, if “the one you trust the most for help” is your god, then you are completely delusional.

  • This gun used is already illegal and banned in the U.S. Obviously banning guns isn’t the answer.

  • Actually, your logic is the one that’s way off.
    If you remove suicides by firearm, gun violence in the US is pretty much on par with the rest of the “developed world”. The suicides will happen with or without guns. Don’t fool yourself.
    What makes the US unique in all of this is the preference for violence to resolve conflicts and disputes. At all levels, from the the government drone bombing people because someone from their country is evil, to cops in the street beating people because that person “didn’t respect” the cop, to fighting over parking spaces or stepping on someone’s foot, to parents beating their children because the child talked back.
    The first response in the US to being slighted is violence. Remove all the guns from absolutely everyone in the US, including the government, and the violence will continue.
    Address the violence and hate that began permeating the culture for the last 100 years and just maybe the deaths will stop.
    Focus on inanimate objects and this will keep happening.

  • Obviously, nor is unlimited access to as many guns as you want.

    Your argument seems to be that the only way to deal with gun violence is not to do anything at all.

  • Nope. My logic is bang on.

    Homicides by firearms per 1,000,000 people, in the developed world:

    In Australia, 1.4.

    In Switzerland, our nearest competitor in the developed world, nearly 8.

    In the US of A, the bestest most blessedest country in the whole wide world, nearly THIRTY.

    Source: an article in vox.com with lots and lots of pretty, easy to understand charts and statistics. We are unique in the developed world. There is a wealth of vetted information available. You just have to be willing to look at it, and conclude that our love affair with penis substitutes is dragging our country down to the levels of every third world hell hole on the planet.

  • Well obviously this must be a part of the magnificent, humane, and wonderful “god’s plan” that you keep blathering about.

    Why would I turn for help to the one who hatched that lovely little plan?

  • The second amendment. Our excuse for being Somalia,

    We should probably get rid of laws outlawing murder. After alll, they never stop people from murdering others.

  • God has a wonderful plan for us Ben. He wants good for us and not harm. For someone who does not belong to Him, you really should learn about Him.

  • Yeah. As I said, his wonderful plan also includes the loving ministrations of a homicidal maniac.

  • If you aren’t a U.S. citizen then there is no sense in me arguing what our Constitution means.

  • Time to get pastoral…meaning holding a hand and reading strings of sentences selected from the cafeteria (bible)?
    Some need or fall for that but many are left out in the cold with words hollow due to inaction.

  • Uh, nope. That the last place I looked. Even slammed the door on two women who prophesied that my newly diagnosed misery would all go away when I died. They kind of paled when I asked them, “You mean I should pray and hope for a rapid MS related death so I could be out of pain?” They were apologetically fishing and fishing through their bibles and religious tracts as the door closed.
    As soon as I started yoga I grew stronger and better able to redirect the pain regardless its severity.

  • So either pray to God, or else pray to yourself.

    But my prayers sure ain’t goin’ on you!! Heh!!

    (Nor shall they go on me, for that matter. Dying time is truth time, and you and I either got God, or else we got flat nothing. )

    So choose who ya gonna Pray to already!!

  • Why didn’t all those prayers during the previous massacres work and stop this? Maybe we weren’t praying hard enough. Or perhaps, we are praying to the wrong god. Let’s do an experiment…

    Let’s try praying to Vishnu, Shiva and the Hindu pantheon…or maybe some offering to Buddha…or, perhaps more people need to pray five times a day the way the Quran and the prophet Muhammad recommends…

    …Then we can measure which prayers to the various god or gods causes a reduction in violence. That will show us who the correct God is to pray to. Beats gun control I’m sure.

  • But I am, blanche, I am.
    I’m outraged that we pretty much at the top of the civilized world when it comes to gun violence, and a jaundiced view of the second amendment and a congress wholly owned by the gun lobby will do nothing.
    you should be too. At some point, maybe when your friends and family members are killed, you will be outraged too. Until then, I guess the only solution to gun violence in our country is to do nothing, because your right to have as many guns as you like supersedes my right to stay alive.

  • Yes, let’s all thank God for yesterday’s Las Vegas part of his plan…great job God !! Your plan just set a new record for mass killings. Keep up the good work!

  • You missed my logic. It was not about guns, but about the logic behind why they need to be banned. If guns are banned for the ones that use them for violence, then we are going to have to ban everything else, that has a minority doing violence with whatever that may be.

    It is the people who are committing the violence and they will use whatever they can to do the same as we have seen terrorists do as well. I guess by your logic we can ban anyone associated with Islam since radical Islam is where terrorists are bred. Oh but that’s not right to associate a whole group with a “few” who do horrific violence. You really can’t see the hypocrisy in this broad sweeping logic to ban guns?

  • -> “So choose who ya gonna Pray to already!! ”

    John Calvin says it really doesn’t matter…Predestination.

  • Some are indeed left out in the cold. I know.

    But look here: The Mormons came to your door, and they say your only exit from MS is the graveyard. Didn’t even put themselves out for you.

    But me and a church mother come to your door, and we’ll tell you that God will do **something** for you, even if you ain’t a Christian. He still knows you. We’ll tell you that we’ll pray to Jesus with true and honest desperation on the spot, as if you was my own mama dying from MS or cancer. No joke, I done it before. Christian or non-Christian, I don’t care. We’re all desperate when the right disease hits us.

    Now I ain’t no magic man, and I tell everybody that yes I have seen God do some awesome healings — but I’ve also sincerely prayed for some folks who didn’t bounce back, and even died within 2 weeks. No joke. But most folks said they appreciate my being honest about it, and they agree to a brief desperate prayer and desperate Scripture. Sometimes a couple minutes longer.

    So yeah, that’s what “pastoral” means to me. You need somebody who will pray like a starving dog, say a very brief bible promise, and smash their own dinnerplate in fasting if need be, on your behalf, (no matter what results if any.)

  • Since this gun was already banned and outlawed in the U.S, banning and outlawing guns isn’t the answer. Gun ownership isn’t the problem.

  • You’re right. Gun ownership isn’t the problem,. GUns are the problem. Failure to regulate guns and control their access is the problem.

  • But this case proves that banning guns doesn’t work. So why do you really want to ban guns? What is your real motivation for that?

  • Do whatever exercises are recommended to stretch your muscles good, but you still got an invaluable soul that only God can nourish, grow and thrive. Yoga can’t replace Christ.

  • You’re the one who mentioned stopping people from having access to guns, so it’s not a strawman.

  • I’ve looked at each of our comments in our exchange. nowhere did I say what you said I said.

    you people simply have no honest arguments. and you betcha, I am using the words “you people.”

  • Well why don’t you pray to Kali as well, since you’re busy cutting deals with the Hindu pantheon? Let Kali git her evil paws on you for a couple hours and bounce you around for fun.

    THEN, assuming you survive, you’ll come a-runnin’ back to the God of the Bible pronto !!!!

  • Too late…the biblical God and his sidekicks Jesus and Holy-spirit have been prayed to during the last few massacres…and still aren’t helping us out. In fact, this Las Vegas killing may be part of their plan.

    Yesterday, was the Sabbath day for Christians, I wonder if this was the problem…

    Exodus 35:2 – “For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.”

  • Here is my first reply to you: IN TOTAL.
    “Obviously, nor is unlimited access to as many guns as you want.

    Your argument seems to be that the only way to deal with gun violence is not to do anything at all.”
    You people.

  • Why do you want to blame God for the Damien? God allowed it, yes, for His reasons. Maybe to show the US that they need Him more than they recognize. I don’t read God’s mind though.

  • Say what !! God allowed this? Then God is a total moral abomination….Over 50 dead and 500 injured just so god could — “Maybe to show the US that they need Him…”

    Nobody should worship this thug. What kind of an [email protected] is this god?

  • You do that. The efficacy of prayer in the face of god’s wonderful plan for everything has been demonstrated thoroughly.

  • God allowed it for his reasons? A moral person having the power to sop it would have done so. Even you would have done so. Ergo, your god has no morals,

    As for the they. You’re constantly reading god’s mind. You even know what he thinks about every person on the planet.

  • Another example that you don’t know Christ, Ben, aside from the fact that you consistently try to hurt homosexuals.

  • Now let me get this straight, “those people” and their type of pastoral care is not as good as your type of pastoral care.
    Did I misconstrue anything?
    So, your god will do **something** for me even if it’s an untimely and agonizing death from MS. Pardon me for saying so, nothing soothing about either brand of the religion.
    You remind me of the Missionary Baptist church I walked away from as a teenager.

  • Yoga has done me the most good in the past 15 years, that and some awesome pharmaceuticals. Oh, and playing in the dirt when my body allows it.

  • The one who just allowed or planned the killing of at least 58 people and wounded over 500 more…loves them all too !!

  • Seems like your point is to blindly follow your god or expect more innocent to suffer violent deaths.
    Fear and wrath, bait for luring converts into the fold, right?

  • Yeah, and loose gun laws in Nevada, easy concealed carry and open carry…so lots of “good guys with a gun” around …They didn’t they put a stop to this, too bad !!

    Now back to “thoughts and prayers ” everybody…

  • That’s the twisted response that encourages me to keep my distance from those who peddle your kind of fear.

  • You were supplying the fear. I just asked you if it excited you as you seem so possessed by it.

  • And don’t forget. God has a plan for all of us.
    For some good Christians in Las Vegas– it was a country music festival, after all– that included being murdered by a terrorist with 19 guns.

  • They went through no worse than He did to help them. Hopefully, some accepted His offer for life more abundantly and everlasting.

  • The interesting thing about yoga Navy…..each position you adopt is in submission to one of their gods. You hate the creator, yet will worship gods who have no power. There is no guarantee that Christ will help you on this earth, and probabilities are that He won’t – physically – but there is more to life than becoming submissive to false gods, when the real One died for you to help you.
    You’ve made your choice – so far = as to whom you will worship. I’d go with a winner though.

  • The responses here in many ways reflect the personal passion and frustrated impotence we all experience in the aftermath of such events. I dispute the author’s contention that this is no time for prayer, nor do I accept his implication that pray is solely for comfort and solace apart from effectual action. It would make no sense to pray to a God who is too feeble to answer such prayer with effective results however brought to birth; through legislation, the changing of people’s hearts, a movement towards repentance for our materialistic obsessions, self-righteous certainties (whether Left or Right), and our selfish ungodly modes of living. Mr. Salkin is wrong, prayer is where we start. And then move forward as God leads us.

  • I just know what kind of “pastoral care” that I (and the folks I hang out with), try to offer to people. The emphasis is on what the Bible says, and what we’ve seen God do for people. I know what I’ve seen.

    I also know what we do NOT offer to people, at least not on their very doorstep after they were kind enough to open their door.

    But I also know from experience, that many people aren’t in the mood for encouragement from any direction. Not Mormon, not Baptist, not even from their own family. Don’t want anybody to even suggest that God still cares. It is what it is. For now, anyway.

    So we just thank a person for their time, because they didn’t have to even open their door.

  • You’re probably right. Lotta pastors and families will likely have to say something on that angle in upcoming funerals, and they won’t have all the answers when they do so.

    But they won’t be surrendering themselves to your atheism, I can promise you that right now. Won’t be spending their lives all mad at God. They’ll encourage each other to walk through their pain and unanswered questions WITH God, instead of without God.

    Down a while, hurting a while, but no, not defeated at all.

  • BS…God isn’t going to lift a finger anymore than the tooth-fairy will. Prayer is a waste of time. Don’t ask people to come together — this has nothing to do with repentance or materialism. This kind of event shows how we have heard enough of the useless God and prayers…Waste you own time.

    Rational people with a brain in their heads need to take action here — and toss aside worthless godly platitudes. This is a time for conflict, The ungodly need to stand stand together and act, the god-bags will be no help…they can get on their knees alone.

  • The prayer that comes to my mind is from the General Confession in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, “We have done those things we ought not to have done, and left undone those things we ought to have done. And there is no health in us.”

  • Mad at god? My! WHat stories you tell yourself. The other story is that god has a plan, and that we just can’t understand it. But because he had a plan, that makes it all right.

    Then what exactly is the point?

  • Re: “Chicago notwithstanding. NYC notwithstanding. DC notwithstanding. Any other US city notwithstanding.” 

    While I’m sure these “rebuttals” of gun control policy sound compelling, in reality, they aren’t. Any given city could outlaw sale and ownership of guns within its borders, and you’ll still find a lot of guns there … because all anyone needs to do is go beyond city limits, buy one, and bring it in. Those cities’ gun controls are futile, and their usefulness (if any) not measurable, for that reason. 

    Note, I’m not saying those cities’ laws work well or not. I’m saying that the appearance that they haven’t, within them, doesn’t tell us whether or not they might work, if implemented on a wider scope. 

    Re: “This IS the time for prayer.” 

    No it’s not. Prayer is even more futile than city-level gun controls. It never accomplishes anything — and never has. It’s a waste of time, a big zilch, a dead end, a nothingburger: http://skepdic.com/prayer.html

  • Damien said;
    “….The ungodly need to stand stand together and act….”

    Dear Damien,
    Your statement is mildly funny. Ungodly people are incapable of accomplishing anything that is morally good and righteous. The ungodly know how to hate God and practice sexual immorality, they do not know the difference between right and wrong. Ungodly people care mainly about themselves not others.

  • Hating God, practicing sexual immorality, not knowing the difference between right and wrong, caring about themselves and not others…that’s actually one of the more detailed descriptions of Trump I’ve yet read on this site.
    You’ve finally impressed me, bqrq!

  • Jeff,
    We are all sinners including President Trump. Godly people repent and try to amend their lives and do better. We have seen God moving in the life of our President. Thank God.

    The ungodly reject the reality of sin and live sinful lives and hurt other people especially those who are close to them.

  • “We have seen God moving in the life of our President.”
    Really??? Who’s this ‘we’ you mention?

  • Dear Jeff,
    Yesterday, our nation heard President Trump pray to God for the souls of the dead and for the lives of those who were injured in Las Vegas. I believe that Trump has been strongly influenced by his beautiful wife who is a devout Christian. This gives great hope and comfort to all God’s children.
    May God Bless.

  • Nobody was around this guy. He was 32 stories up in a locked room. Since his gun is already banned and it didn’t stop this murder spree you think a double ban, triple ban, ban on top of the ban will work? You liberal anti gun people either never learn or you have a totalitarian agenda.

  • You could not be more wrong. This is the time, actually way past time, to get serious about gun control.

    What is missing is the reality that assault weapons have one purpose and one purpose only, to kill as many humans as possible is the shortest amount of time possible.

    Another point that is ignored is the large capacity magazines. They too have the same purpose.

    The type of ammo is also ignored. It is designed to inflict maximum flesh damage by tumbling before it enters the body. This is not what a hunter would use as a hunter wants to kill the animal by causing the least amount of flesh damage as possible thus increasing the yield.

    Finally there is the ease of conversion. For $50 or less one can get a kit to convert a semi-auto assault rifle into a full auto version, a machine gun. No one, including police should have this type of weapon.

    BTW, just in case you’re wondering; I’m a gun owner, a hunter from childhood and a disabled Vietnam Vet.

  • He has a plan. His plan may include you getting murdered, or watching your spouse and children get murdered, or watching other people paralyzed for life.

    But don’t worry! Because he loves you! And he has a plan!

  • Reviling and slandering again. Can’t wait to see you on the eternal barbecue.

    19 Godly people flew airplanes into buildings 16 years ago.

    Our godly United States has been raining death down on people who have never harmed us for the entirety of my life.

    Godly churchgoers decided that the way to fund their church was to scam unemployment insurance.

    The list of godly evil goes on and on and on, beginning with people like you who make statements like the ones you just did.

  • Thoughts and prayers are what you do when you can’t be bothered to do anything, but don’t want to be seen as not doing anything, or seen as not caring.

  • But the man who killed the people in Las Vegas could not have killed 58 and wounded hundreds more with a knife, rope, or club–especially from a hotel window, hidden hundreds of feet away. People may continue to kill, but mass killings would be few with fewer people. Knives and clubs don’t go off accidently and kill an innocent bystander, etc. So to equate gun violence with other forms of lethal force is disingenuous at best and begging the question.

  • Sorry, all, I’m with the prophets here. “Seek the peace of the city where you live.” When any bozo with $$$ can fill a hotel room with ammo and rifles and kill at random we need different laws. Period. This is indeed the time for the statesman, the prophet, the true politician–and the White House occupant is none of the above. Where have they gone? I haven’t heard one yet! Disgusting!

  • What? you’re not tired of refuting stuff I never said?

    Nope. It’s called gun nuts wanting unrestricted access to as many guns of any type, as many bullets ofany type, without regard for the lives of their fellow citizens.

    The US Constitution was written at a time when the only kinds of guns even conceivable were single shot muskets. So here’s my deal: your right to bear arms without infringement shall be limited to as many single shot muskets as you would like.

  • I found this today and wanted to share it with you:

    Religion: I obey therefore I am accepted
    Gospel: I am accepted therefore I obey

  • Regardless of this author’s opinion that now is not the time for prayer, it is exactly the time for prayer. We need God’s presence and intervention into our culture and our hearts now more than ever. Thank you Mr. President for your wise words and fatherly advice. You are the President and also a man of God!

  • So, according to this statement of yours, I should avoid certain positions/movements that through regular repetition allow me to be able to function independently. I should lie in bed and wait for a unseen deity to get around to doing **something** for me. Is this what your god encourages?
    BTW, if you’ve ever stretched upon rising from a sound sleep, you’ve performed a yoga position. If you’ve ever needed physical therapy, you’ve performed yoga. If you’ve every risen from a chair after a lengthy period of sitting, you have done some sort of yoga. And no, yoga positions are NOT submitted to any unseen god. That’s hysteria generated by those who fail to comprehend the physical needs and dynamics of their own bodies.

  • Whether it’s offered at the door step or from a sofa, both brands offer the same dogma from the same piece of literature. Both trot out all the carefully crafted verses they believe will bring comfort.
    Basically, be like Job and obediently ride it out, maybe you’ll live and maybe you want.

  • Thanks for sharing your bible based Solipsism. First time I’ve seen in wrapped up in dogma from an ancient manuscript but it’s carefully disguised narcissism.
    *golf clap* Creative effort in philosophy.

  • “They went through no worse than He did to help them.”

    Sandi – You’ve just lost any possibility of persuading decent readers of these boards that your beliefs are worth even a second’s consideration.

    I’ve read many hateful, sociopathic, downright unfeelingly nasty comments on these pages but I can’t think of one so utterly devoid of any awareness of others as this.

    You keep telling me that you know Jesus and I don’t. Jesus (the Gospel Jesus) was big on compassion – he cared; he does not know you.

    Clearly “being filled with the Holy Spirit” leaves no room for empathy, no room for feeling how the injured and the relatives, friends and colleagues of the dead and injured must be feeling, no room for heartfelt tears, no room for the determination to do whatever it takes to prevent such future tragedies, no room for hope, no room for help; no room for humanity.

    The person who taught you to be so unfeeling and to justify that depravity through prioritising a fictitious event wrapped in a concept that defies rational thought over the tragedy that is affecting hundreds of lives today owes the decent people of this world the most abject, the most guilt-ridden, the most self-loathing apology any human being can make.

    Don’t reply – I won’t hold back next time.

  • God could have intervened with a small heart attack one minute before this murderer began shooting.

  • Please describe how you have been privy to watching god move in 2Rump’s life. and please be sure to mention TWO Corinthians when you do it.

  • You are a mocker Ben. There are rarely any acceptable answers for a mocker. Wish I could help you. All I can do is pray your spiritual eyes be opened.

  • No, I asked you a very simple question, which you obviously cannot answer. I’d say you are the one that is mocking.

  • How do you derive mocking out of that? Sorry Ben, but until you yield your life to Jesus, and are born again of the Spirit, you will never understand spiritual truth. BTW, Donald Trump’s election victory was a direct result of the move of God upon him. His win astounded all that do not believe in the work of the Holy Spirit, but unto us that trusted God in it, we never doubted. May the Lord open your eyes to the truth of the Gospel.

  • This is a fallen world in which we are living, and there are many perils such as we just witnessed in Las Vegas. Even God’s only begotten Son suffered immensely at Calvary, without His Father’s intervention, because He required a blood sacrifice for sin. The perfect world you wish we had is coming in the Millenial reign of King Jesus.There will be no suffering or sorrow then. In the meantime we shall with much tribulation enter the Kingdom.

  • He was a pilot and owned two planes. Load one with explosives and much more than 58 people die.
    Rent a truck and just plow it into that crowd. 80 people died in Nice from a loon with a truck. In that crowd, he would have killed hundreds.

    By saying “Without guns, X wouldn’t happen” missed the main point I was making and is ignoring human ‘ingenuity’. It’s not disingenuous at all. People want to kill other people. That’s reality. And a psychotic who wants to kill large amounts of people will find the easiest way to do it.

    Guns don’t go off accidentally – Someone handles it improperly and it goes off. I own plenty of guns and not one of them has gone off by itself. It’s a mechanical device requiring human intervention; it’s not an automaton.

  • Sorry Give, we’ve now come to a point where you are confusing me with someone who cares what you think.
    There is no dislike or lack of empathy for these people, except that which you try to put into it because of your dislike of Christ.

  • No, your logic is still off.
    Yes, I missed the second part of my murder stats (had a busy day yesterday) and that was removing “the War on Drugs”. Since those are all related to drug distributors fighting over ‘turf’, it drops the number to incredibly low levels.
    But you once again missed the point, which is why your logic is off. You, like all Progressives, are looking at a symptom and not the problem. The problem is the people of the US resort to violence for everything and, until the recent wave of refugees into the EU, the rest of the ‘first world’ doesn’t see that. The countries forced a homogeneous culture, which was historically more submissive to government and a trusting of each other, and if you entered that country, you conformed or you were ostracized. The US accepted anyone and any culture, hoping those cultures would adapt but more often than not, the overall US culture adapted to include these new people.

    But thanks to the acceptance from government of violent racists into mainstream society over 100 years ago and all but embracing them for a period, the society began to transition and responded to these people with the same violence they were seeing. As the Klan and others began shrinking, the violence stayed; people seeing it as a way to push their agenda into the mainstream. And now it’s part of American culture and it’s vulgar, but no one cares. It makes for good video or a way to win their position.
    Your final statement shows the immaturity of your thinking and why you you see yourself as always right. The Prog’s focus on peoples genitalia turns you into children who obsess over their new trouser toys.
    Enjoy your life. Not responding again because you’re not going to listen. Go back to Daily Kos or Occupy Democrats because they’re sounding boards more suited to you.

  • Your clear lack of understanding of the heart and purpose of the 2nd amendment is very troubling. Especially in light of the growing attacks on religious freedom sweeping the globe today and gaining a major foot holds in at least one of the US political parties.

  • I don’t report to you, Give. I’m not accountable to you. Ben was making a comment about Christ, and I defended Christ. I understand that you have difficulty with that as over our time together you have been unable to accept Christ, but, that does not make it my problem.

  • Guns don’t go off accidentally – Someone handles it improperly and it goes off. I own plenty of guns and not one of them has gone off by itself. It’s a mechanical device requiring human intervention; it’s not an automaton.

    Thank you for your condescending explanation of what we all understand when we say that a “gun went off accidently.” All of your explanations definitely show that ingenuity can enhance a person’s ability to kill. A mis-handled knife still won’t consistently do the damage a bullet will.

    But a gun requires no such ingenuity and its deadliness is so much easier to discharge upon unwary citizens than any of those methods, which by the way, are all regulated much more than guns, and which in no way entrap people unprotected so extensively as guns do. Plus, barriers can be placed to stop vehicles.

    No, regulation doesn’t stop killing, but appropriate licensing and regulation will reduce the capabilities of murderers. It’s a whole lot easier to get out of the way of an automobile than a spray of bullets. That was my point, which I did not miss.

    Doing nothing to attempt to ameliorate gun death toll is simply valuing a right over that of a human being, when rights are supposed to lift the value of human individuals.

  • well jeffery, you are anything but prophetic, righteous, or holy. so let’s, deal with your unholy lying here. first of all the guns used, were illegal black market fully automatic assault weapons. they, were not the legally purchased semi-automatic weapons. and this flawed thinking, alone suggest the rest of your thinking is flawed not true to ELOHEEM.

    left wing hate groups, are not the teachers of peace and unity. they, are teaching hate america, and they hate americans in the same manner as islam clerical fascists and north korean communist fascists. fascism’s and democracy, liberty, do not mix. even the nfl has joined the hate america, hate americans, hate G-D groups.

    nor do you prophetically understand, why ELOHEEM commands these pestilences, plagues, and famines to THEIR enemies. let alone, why ELOHEEM commands physical antisemitic, anti-christians plagues to THEIR enemies also.

    and yet here you are, falsely claiming that your false prophet and false witness way of lying untrue to G-D is better than anyone else’s lying. and your, hatred of ELOHEEM is not going to make anything better. according to The Torah, there is no time we should not be truly calling upon G-D. because where ELOHEEM is not being mention, that is where all the devils are.

    and i also know, the closer to ELOHEEM one is. the more this antiG-D world, is going to hate them. true prophecy, does not travel as fast, spread as fast, as well liked as false prophecy and false witness. what i have stated here, probably won’t go any further than here and my facebook page. the truth from ELOHEEM, falls on deaf ears, and blind eyes.

  • whether you are being led or pushed by ELOHEEM depends on whether your THEIR enemy or not.

    why would ELOHEEM command this to happen to THEIR enemies? when this is THEIR Physical Story of The Creation to command again until the end of this sixth day.

    and THEIR Son Adam, being placed in charge for The Day of Rest again. Prior to the return of Noach, in the resurrection of the dead. just like it says, in TheTorah given to Moshe.

    it is THEIR Son Adam, that resurrects you all from the physical death as THEIR Male Child adam and his sister again.

    if it is, not true in TheTorah from ELOHEEM then it is all a lie. from the first day with Noach, to the last day with adam and his sister again. has all been happening here in TheTorah from ELOHEEM.

  • Sure thing. Better kill those unbelievers, and pretend that they hate you. It’s a twofer.

  • You are perfectly entitled to think so. However, I note that you rarely if ever make a comment with an uplifting tone. This is a sad circumstance and bears some reflective thought.

  • There are two reasons for the 2nd amendment. 1) personal protection and the freedom to hunt. 2) a well-armed populous is there to serve as a check, as many things in our constitution are, a check against a tyrannical government bent on forcing it well on the people.

    History shows the wisdom of this with examples like Germany, Japan, Russia, Cuba and many others. The government passes laws to take away the people’s right to keep and bear arms and then they set themselves up as a dictator and force the people to live and act as the new dictator want them to.

    I said what I did about religious freedom because this is a religious site and the author is a religious person. Different checks on the government’s power are in big part the only things that keep them from making laws that take that and many other rights away from the people.

  • It came out on the news today that it took 72 mins for SWAT to get into the guys room. A security guard try to get into the guys room after 9 mins.

    The guy had cameras focused on the hall so he should have known that the guard was alone however he still killed himself as he planned to do once he was caught.

    This could have been 8 times worse then it was but a “random collection of events” caused the gunmen to kill himself after 9 mins of fire and not 70+ mins of fire.

    I would say that all indications are that something unknowable and unexpected happened to stop the gunman that is outside of our natural understanding 😉

  • su·per·nat·u·ral
    ˌso͞opərˈnaCH(ə)rəl/Submit
    adjective
    1.
    (of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.

  • Or not making laws that might protect people, like gun control, registration, and limitations.

    Personally, I’m far more afraid of people with unfettered access to as many guns as they want Thani am of my government.

  • Laws by definition only effect the law-abiding people. So, the good people are affected by gun laws. The law breakers are not affected. History has showed that the quickest way to stop an active shooter is for a law-abiding gun owner to shoot the shooter.

    In this case it took 72 mins for the government police to arrive. 72 mins before they would have been able to stop this maniac. That is 8 times longer than it took a non-government security guard to arrive at the correct place.

    Granted in this case the guard was not the one who stopped him. He did that himself after firing at the guard. However, without the guard, if we had waited for the police to show up, it would have been MUCH worse. It simple math, 72 min / 9 mins = 8. The total number of people hit * 8 = 4680 people. 4680 people would have been hit… it would have been the worst attack of its kind, much more than even 9-11.

  • Again, since you are claiming to be a good person, you should have no objection to obeying laws intended to reduce the number of firearms, to keep weapons of mass murder off the streets, to make sure that weapons are under control.
    I’m a good person, and I have no objection to those laws. Maybe you are not a good person.

  • “The guy passed all the laws until he when crazy and started shooting people.

    Not to mention that if someone wants to go crazy and kill a lot of people they do not need a gun. Large numbers of people have been killed by crazies driving cars… welding knives… setting off booms…. or even using improvised weapons.

    No guns does not equal no attacks. You can look all over the EU in just the last year to see that….

    We have to focus on how to find and get people like this help if we are truly going to stop this from happening. Making more laws does almost nothing.

    I am alll for doing things to keep this from happening!!!!! But I am also for doing things that will actually make a difference.”

  • “Donald Trump’s election victory was a direct result of the move of God upon him.”

    Finally, some evidence that god exists, and even stronger evidence that god is a huge as$hole.

  • Yes, blood sacrifice — God killed his son (actually himself) to save us from himself, which God could have easily done without this sadistic “blood sacrifice”…Incoherent– but worse, its rude, presumptuous and immoral to punish anyone other than the people doing misdeeds.

    If this God exists, we should judge him harshly if he is not ashamed enough to return !! And thanks for Las Vegas Yahewh, how nice of you 😉

  • Looking for some uplifting comments from me and others, right after what happened in Las Vegas?… About 60 dead and over 500 injured, many so horribly wounded, that they may wish they were dead…While the God you subscribe to either planned this atrocity or sat on his hands?

    How is this for inspiration…Yes, I am a non- believer — all the prayers after Sandy Hook, Orlando, Columbine, etc., didn’t help in Las Vegas, the worst massacre yet. — I will continue to work for real results…humanistic values, gun control, rational secular government…that will make a difference and prevent these tragedies…
    .
    …Don’t worry, I will respect your religious freedom to worship a deity you think is responsible for atrocities like Las Vegas. Go for it, hope it make you feel better…but let me ask — will you use the same, or new prayers, after the next massacre?

  • I think you will find that the avenues that you believe will be more effective than an appeal in the end personally to God will ultimately prove to be no more effective than the method you decry. But that’s just one man’s perspective.

  • I will continue to offer prayers as God leads me. Just because I can’t always discern His movements and actions on behalf of humanity doesn’t mean He is not being effective and active in ways beyond my comprehension.

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