The Slatest

Today in Conservative Media: The Texas Shooting Victims Were Praying to Be Killed

Pastor Frank Pomeroy wipes away a tear as his wife Sherri speaks the media near their First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs on Monday in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

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A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.

On Monday, conservatives responded to Sunday’s shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas—the deadliest such attack on a place of worship in American history. A piece at National Review by David French called prayer “the most rational and effective response” in the face of evil as manifested in mass shootings:

It’s as simple as this: God is sovereign, and every good and perfect gift comes from Him. That includes changed hearts. It includes comfort that only He can provide. It includes the courage to be the “good guy with the gun” who can (and, reports suggest, yesterday did) stop a rampage in its tracks. It includes the clear mind to consider and enact policies that might make a difference.

So, yes, if you’re not praying and thinking in response to mass murders like the attack on the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, your response isn’t as effective as it could be. If there’s one thing that’s clear from the spate of mass killings in the United States, it’s that we need God to move.

But don’t tell this to the angry Twitter Left. Yesterday, as Christians bled and died, the Left’s “thoughts and prayers” brigade immediately and viciously attacked those whose immediate response to the tragedy was the most effective response.

At the Federalist, Hans Fiene wrote a piece titled “When The Saints of First Baptist Church Were Murdered, God Was Answering Their Prayers.” His argument hinged on the words “deliver us from evil,” part of the Lord’s Prayer. “It may seem, on the surface, that God was refusing to give such protection to his Texan children,” he wrote. “But we are also praying that God would deliver us from evil eternally. Through these same words, we are asking God to deliver us out of this evil world and into his heavenly glory, where no violence, persecution, cruelty, or hatred will ever afflict us again.” In an earlier passage, Fiene notes that the Lord’s Prayer was not a part of services at First Baptist.

The Resurgent’s Erick Erickson wrote a piece arguing that the shooting proves that demons are real:

Missionaries to far off places often have similar stories. The natives are stirred to faith by dreams. But as the gospel moves in there in the shadows the missionaries will sometimes encounter the demonic. It may take the form of a witch doctor or a demonic possession. They are not just in the Bible.

[…] There will be more church shootings. There will be more persecution of Christians. There will be more evil, often masked under the guise of progressive enlightenment. It all comes as American society increasingly shoves God aside. We do not know all the details of the shooter in Texas. But we should recognize evil and call it evil. And churches should see what happened in Texas and what is happening to culture as a whole and start preparing their congregations for a harder life in the United States. Actual demons are actually real. They take many forms. But they are all evil and all wish to harm the church.

At the Daily Wire, Matt Walsh wrote that critics of sending “thoughts and prayers” in the wake of mass shootings should “shut up” and countered the notion that those who pray to address tragedy believe prayer alone solves problems. “Only those who never pray and don’t understand prayer feel the need to clarify that prayer should be accompanied by action,” he wrote. “Everyone who prays regularly already comprehends this simple and obvious point. It doesn’t need to be said. It especially doesn’t need to be said over and over, in the shrillest and most condescending manner, and even in the immediate aftermath of the bloodiest church shooting in modern history.”

Another piece in the Resurgent asked readers to contemplate “the one thing you need to think about after the Texas church shooting.” “My humble suggestion is that this time, rather than using this unspeakable horror to spur our deliberations about gun control, concealed carry, security systems, armed guards, and politics, let’s try – just this time – to let it spur our thinking about death,” Peter Hart wrote:

We should be thinking about death and preparing for it far more than our weddings, what movies we’re going to see, the careers we’re going to have, or the retirement we want to enjoy.  We should be obsessing about the preparations needed before death in comparison to the preparations needed before parties, picnics, and promotions.

Not because we are macabre.  But because we wisely recognize what God has told us – the entirety of our existence on earth is merely the beginning of our life.  Only a fool then would fail to think about what happens when the beginning ends.

It ended for 27 precious souls yesterday.  It could end for you today.  Are you ready?

The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro criticized the Washington Post for tweeting that mass shooters are universally men with guns. “Soldiers are disproportionately men with guns — should that be the crowd we target?” he asked.

“If the Left saw two men from Sutherland Springs, Texas, both carrying guns,” he continued, “the Left would say that both should be disarmed; the Right would ask who they are, and then leave the shooter weaponless and weapons in the hands of the man who stopped the shooter. It’s this fundamental disconnect regarding human nature that seems to drive so much ire about gun control.”