The power of thoughts and prayers

Right now, there are approximately 325 million people living in the United States.  Every morning, the sun rises for all of them.  Every day, for all but an infinitesimally tiny fraction of a percentage of those people, life goes on more or less how they expect it to.  Yes, many thousands of people deal with ongoing troubles like diseases or disabilities, but again, in an overwhelming majority of those instances those problems are dealt with and lived around and compensated for and even in some cases fixed, thanks in large part to the wonders and miraculous advances of the world we live in.  Every day, almost every one of those hearts continues to beat, and the great majority of the ones that do stop beating, it’s an expected end to a long life.  Every day, millions of homes do not collapse or burn down, millions of cars start and do not run into trees or telephone poles, millions of breakfasts and lunches and dinners and desserts are eaten that do not choke or poison their eaters, millions of children have good days at school and millions of pets are waiting happily for their people to come home.  Billions of lights turn on without electrocuting the person at the switch, millions of people cross the road without being hit by a car or mugged, and millions of people leave their jobs at 5:00 just as secure in their employment as they were at 9:00 that morning.  Life goes on normally, uneventfully, peacefully, and untouched by tragedy for all but a very select few each and every day.

Whether you realize it or not, this is nothing short of an ongoing and sorely underappreciated miracle.  Death and what we consider tragedy have been constant parts of human life for all of human history prior to the very last couple of centuries.  As I have stated before, in the world as we know it today, the old question of theodicy (otherwise known as “the problem of evil”) stands on a very important misunderstanding.  The question is not why do bad things happen to good people.  The real question is, in a world where evil exists, why do good things happen at all?

Many folks, especially in politics and the public eye, respond when something tragic happens and express their condolences by saying “our thoughts and prayers are with the victims.”  Only recently has the left decided that it would be a good angle to take to defiantly sneer “your thoughts and prayers aren’t enough!” or “your thoughts and prayers didn’t do anything!” in response to these expressions of sympathy.  Usually this petulant declaration is followed up with a demand for some useless piece of leftist policy enactment, whether it’s envirofascist regulation in the wake of a hurricane that the left claims was the fault of “climate change” or more gun laws in the face of yet another shooting in a gun-free zone.  The left does this for multiple reasons, the first of which is obviously to not let a crisis go to waste and to jump on top of the bodies of hurt people to push their agenda.  They often outright assert that calling for “action” (inevitably the wrong action) gives them a sort of moral superiority over the folks just sending their sympathies to the grieving, which is how they justify exploiting these events without even missing a beat.

There’s also a more fundamental reason why the left has made this their go-to autistic screech, not quite as obvious but lurking just below the surface.  Remember that the left neither loves nor and hates anything nearly as much as it hates God and Christians.  Crying out that “your thoughts and prayers aren’t enough!” is a thinly veiled way of saying “your God did nothing to stop this!”  Often, there’ll be no shortage of militant atheists who will come right out and say it in so many words.  So not only do they get to take advantage of a tragedy and the irrational emotional thinking that follows an upsetting event, but they get to take a dig at God and religion and laugh about how “your God let children die” or some such ignorance.

The only way this can even begin to make sense is if you deny (as the left does) that objective evil exists, whether in the hearts of man or in the form of supernatural beings or both.  Given the Pope’s recent statements about how “hell doesn’t exist” it’s easy to see that this is a popular sentiment.  It’s also wrong.  Why it’s wrong is a discussion for another time but it’s almost funny to hear people who claim there is no objective good or evil proclaim that President Trump, the NRA, the GOP, or just white Americans in general are in fact “evil.”  But then, self-contradiction never seems to bother the left.

The fact is there is not only evil in the world, but the amount of havoc it could wreak if left unchecked is staggering.  People in today’s world have lost their sense of how precarious and fragile life and comfort truly are.  A blockage in an artery the size of a pinhead could mean the difference between life and death.  A millimeter’s worth of rain or a two-degree drop in temperature can be what turns an ordinary morning commute into a fatal car accident.  Hell, a couple of degree tilt of the Earth’s axis could rearrange the entire face of the planet, while just a slight nudge of a few thousand miles in either direction could mean we all fry or we all freeze.  We’re still walking a tightrope, following a very thin thread of light through the cold darkness, and it’s frankly beyond astonishing that we lose so few along the path.  So much of every person’s life is perpetually a hairsbreadth away from catastrophic malfunction and yet when something bad happens like a shooting incident people have the shortsighted gall to declare that “your thoughts and prayers did nothing?”  About 320 million people (give or take a few thousand) had a nice uneventful day thanks to the power of prayer and the forces behind it, and as for the handful of folks for whom today was a day they’ll never forget no matter how hard they try, the thoughts and sympathies of caring people mean a lot more than an activist’s opportunistic screeching.

I mean in no way to denigrate anyone’s suffering–a tragedy for one is no less a tragedy.  What I am saying is that if a higher power is responsible when a handful of people are shot, that power is also responsible when over three hundred million other people are NOT shot.  I’d stand on thoughts and prayers’ record any day.

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