Anti-LGBTQ preacher Franklin Graham is mad that a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate called “thoughts and prayers” as a response to gun violence “bullshit.”
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) was talking to CNN’s David Axelrod when he was asked about gun violence in the U.S., an issue that he said is central to his campaign.
“So, when I’m President of the United States, I’m taking a fight to this issue like folks have never seen before, because we’re better than this is a country,” Booker said. “It’s a uniquely American problem. No other country has this kind of carnage. More people in my life kind of died in this nation due to gun violence and then all of the wars and revolution wars now.”
Booker then called out people who offer “thoughts and prayers” to the victims of gun violence without supporting actual changes that would reduce gun violence in the U.S.
“We are not going to give ‘thoughts and prayers’ which to me is just bullshit. I’m sorry to say it as a man of faith, but I was taught that faith without works is dead. We’re going to bring a fight with everything that I have to solve this problem because it’s solvable and we know it.”
Franklin Graham, who is the CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the son of Billy Graham, took issue with Booker’s statements.
“He said that thoughts and prayers after gun violence is BS,” Graham wrote in a post on Facebook.
“That couldn’t be farther from the truth,” Graham continued. “When people have lost loved ones, they need the comfort and strength that can only come from God. The solution for the problem in this country is much deeper than more laws.”
“Jesus’ words are true, and only He can transform the human heart. I’m sorry that some of our politicians have turned their backs on God. I’m going to continue to pray for victims of violence and their loved ones, and I’m going to continue to urge others to pray for them when these tragedies occur. Unless our nation calls on God and turns our heart toward Him, violence of all types will only continue to escalate.”
Graham appears to imply that Booker attacked prayer itself, which isn’t true. He was talking about how politicians openly support laws that promote gun violence while talking about prayer whenever gun violence actually happens.
It would be like stealing food from the needy and then praying that they don’t starve. To many religious people, that makes a mockery of prayer.
In the end, though, Graham falls on the side of doing nothing to change laws that promote gun violence and instead just praying for human hearts to transform, as if no one has tried this before. He doesn’t even tell people to pray for sensible gun control legislation.
It’s like Graham felt personally called out by Booker when he said “faith without works is dead.”