- The Washington Times - Monday, November 6, 2017

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was roundly criticized on social media Monday for his reaction to Sunday’s church shooting in Texas.

The purpose and efficacy of prayer was the focus of conversation for New York’s governor to start the week, just one day after gunman Devin Patrick Kelley killed 26 and injured 20 others inside a church in Sutherland. Stunned Twitter followers wondered why Mr. Cuomo propagated the idea that Republican lawmakers could do without prayer.

“We have pastors, priests and rabbis to offer thoughts and prayers,” Mr. Cuomotold his 552,000 followers. “What we need from Republicans in DC is to do something. Lead.”

“Why do Democrats constantly attack Christianity and prayer, but would never dare do the same to Muslims?” asked one reader.

“That you’re even Catholic is pitiful,” added Paula Calvanico.

Daily Wire Editor in Chief Ben Shapiro also responded with an op-ed, calling the governor’s comments “deeply insulting and ignorant.”

“It’s insulting because the suggestion here seems to be that prayer in the absence of legislative action Cuomo likes amounts to nothing,” Mr. Shapiro wrote. “We can judge your sincerity and efficacy before God by determining whether you back Cuomo’s gun control policies. Did you pour your heart out before your Creator in sympathy with the slain children, and pledge charity or blood? Not enough. You didn’t ‘do something’ in the way Cuomo would have you do it.”

The conservative author added that Mr. Cuomo’s comments also telegraph a conceptualization of prayer that is little more than “mouthing some old slogans to a forgotten Sky God.”

“That’s not how religious people think of prayer, and it’s not even an accurate take on what prayer represents. That’s certainly not what the people who died praying in church thought about what they were doing,” Mr. Shapiro said. “But you wouldn’t expect Cuomo to know that. After all, he’s one of the members of the Left who obviously believes that religious thought and practice should be restricted to a professional class.”

Kelley, 26, was shot at the church by a nearby good Samaritan. The gunman crashed his getaway vehicle shortly after fleeing the scene, and then shot himself before cops could take him into custody.

Authorities have not yet determined which injury ultimately ended Kelley’s life.

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