We’ve heard plenty of politicians call for assault weapons bans or other gun control measures in recent months. We’ve also heard plenty of ridicule toward those who offer their prayers in these times of unspeakable tragedy.
I’ll admit that I’m making a broad generalization here, but most of the time both the gun control proposals and disdain for prayer come from the left. But this week, Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos has come out with a resolution calling for a the typical gun control measures we’ve seen from Democrats lately.
But there’s a twist: Cretekos is a Republican and a churchgoing believer. What’s his motivation for his break with the GOP? The Tampa Bay Times has some insight:
“I’ve gone to church, I’ve prayed,” Cretekos said. “My prayers aren’t working.”
I can’t help but wonder what Cretekos is praying for. Is he praying for Congress to enact some sort of measures? Is he praying for guns to mysteriously disappear? I don’t understand what he’s doing to say his prayers aren’t working.
Here’s the thing: in the face of tragedies like mass shootings, most of us believers pray for comfort for the victims and survivors and for peace for families. Later on, we may pray for answers to the problems that lead to shootings: alienation, mental health issues, the increasing godlessness of our culture. I don’t claim to speak for the majority of Christians on this, but I have a hard time believing that too many Christians are praying for gun control.
Cretekos has to have a majority of the city council to pass his resolution, and so far he only has one supporter: the only Democrat on the council. Even if the resolution passes, what is it other than a symbolic gesture. I doubt many Republicans in Congress will see it and say, “If Clearwater wants gun control, we ought to change our hearts and pass it.”
At the end of the day, it’s obvious that even some Christians misunderstand the idea of prayers in the face of horrific moments like mass shootings. The prayers have less to do with the guns themselves and more to do with the peace of mind of those involved – as well as for the culture at large.
Again, I can’t speak for George Cretekos, but I don’t know what he’s praying for. I also don’t know if he understands that God may be answering his prayers in a way that he doesn’t necessarily agree with.