After a mass shooting occurred in his state which left 12 individuals dead as a result, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam vowed to call a special session of the state’s legislature in order to address the problem.
A typical response from the right to such shootings tends to be for politicians to give their “thoughts and prayers” to those who are family members of the victims. Northam, a Democrat, said that wouldn’t be enough.
“We must do more than give our thoughts and prayers; we must give Virginians the action they deserve,” he said after the shooting in Virginia Beach occurred, per reporting from National Public Radio. He later stated he would be asking for “votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers” from state lawmakers.
That was enough to rile up a far-right conservative pastor.
E.W. Jackson, who ran for state office against Northam and lost in 2013, went on the attack against the governor for suggesting that action beyond prayer was needed to confront the issue of mass shootings.
E.W. Jackson: It’s ‘Blasphemous’ For Ralph Northam to Say ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ Won’t Stop Gun Violence | Right Wing Watch https://t.co/DwTju3qF6y
— 🇺🇸🌊JoeInWV 🌊🇺🇸 (@wvjoe911) June 10, 2019
“The ultimate answer is God,” Jackson said, adding that Northam was a “God-hater” for suggesting otherwise.
Jackson took his criticism beyond the governor in his rant, which he gave during his program “The Awakening,” and attacked liberals as well.
“These leftists do this all the time, ‘We don’t want to hear about your prayers.’ They don’t know that prayer is the most powerful force in the universe,” Jackson said.
The governor’s words were “dismissive of prayer — and therefore dismissive of Christians,” Jackson added. He also said “it’s blasphemous because it is basically saying that God is irrelevant.”
Jackson appears to be putting words into Northam’s mouth, as the governor had originally stated that more was needed beyond prayer and wasn’t attacking the practice of prayer itself. The right-wing pastor’s statements also seem to contradict Christian philosophy, as James 2:26 from the Bible itself states, “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”
Indeed, other men (and women) of the cloth have disagreed with Jackson’s point in the past. Writing in the Des Moines Register on the subject of gun violence in 2017, Rev. Matt Maris-LeCroy stated that “prayer as a substitution for action…can be very bad.”
Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.