There are vigils being held around the country right now for the victims of the latest school shooting. I think these vigils are important: They bring home the tragedy of what has happened. Without these rituals, there is the risk that these terrible events will just sweep by us in the 24-hour news cycle, leaving us unchanged.
But vigils and prayers are not enough.
After the Orlando Pulse nightclub massacre, Jonathan Williams, a pastor in New York, wrote a Huffington Post article entitled “I Will Not Pray for Orlando”. Williams wrote that he wouldn’t for Orlando, or for Newtown, Charleston, Aurora, Virginia Tech, or Columbine. He wouldn’t pray because, he says, God has already answered our prayers … we’re just not paying attention. “We have the God-given capability to stop dangerous people from buying assault rifles,” writes Williams.