NEW YORK — In an effort to express support for gun control, a New York-based tabloid mocked lawmakers who urged prayer for the families and victims of the massacre in San Bernardino on Thursday, writing in large bold letters on its front page, “God isn’t fixing this.”
“As the latest batch of innocent Americans are left lying in pools of blood, cowards who could truly end gun scourge continue to hide behind meaningless platitudes,” the New York Daily News also wrote, pointing to Twitter messages from lawmakers who asked for prayer.
The publication printed screenshots of the Tweets, highlighting the word “prayers” in each so as to highlight the fact that the nation’s leaders were turning to God in the tragedy.
“Our prayers are with the victims, their families, and the first responders in San Bernardino,” Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz had posted.
“Please keep the victims of #SanBernardino, California in your prayers,” Tweeted Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
Some found the publication’s front page headline to have hit a new low, calling it “ridiculous” and “insensitive.”
“This attack represents a fundamental problem with the media and politics in general,” commented Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul in a statement. “Attacking religious sentiments to promote an agenda as tragedy strikes is despicable.”
Daily News Editor Jim Rich defended the headline on Thursday following controversy over the provocative statement.
“The Daily News’ front page is not, in any way, shape or form, condemning prayer or religion,” he wrote in a statement. “Anyone suggesting otherwise is either — intentionally or unintentionally — misconstruing the point, which is that most GOP politicians have offered nothing but empty platitudes and angry rhetoric in response to the ongoing plague of gun violence in our country.”
Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders had both called for gun control in their Tweets as opposed to requesting prayer.
But some have stated that it is not the choice of weapon that is the problem; it’s the evil in the heart of man.
“We always talk about what the weapon was, but whether it’s a pressure cooker or whether it’s a gun, we’re dealing with people who are either deranged or they’re very focused because they want to kill people in the name of terrorism,” said Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee in October. “We have not so much a gun problem – we have a problem with sin and evil.”
Writer Sean Davis also wrote for The Federalist this week that mankind has always blamed God for the sinful choices of unregenerate men, and that God has already provided an answer to end the violence: salvation through Christ alone.
“Taunting God for the sins of man is nothing new. God rebuking those who dare put him in the dock, as though he were their subordinate, is also nothing new,” he said. “God has been blamed by mankind for its own evil since man first decided that day in the garden that his own judgment was far greater than that of his creator.”
“[Jesus] ‘fixed’ the situation by dying an unimaginably horrible death, bearing the weight of the sins of all mankind for all eternity, being laid in a cold and empty tomb, and then, on the third day, after literally defeating death and sin itself, Jesus Christ rose from the dead and informed the world that as a result of His perfect life, painful death, and resurrection from the dead, sinful man might one day share in the infinite glory of God’s holy and perfect Son, not because of our own actions or merit, but because of the sacrifice and unending grace and mercy of the only perfect man to ever walk the earth.”