Saying Prayer is the Answer to Violence is Offensive — Here’s Why

The days conservative Christians long for were filled with violence. They were the perps

Tim Wise
5 min readJul 9, 2022


Image: Everett Collection, Shutterstock, Standard license, purchased by author

You’ll hear it every time something tragic happens.

School shooting? Check.

Supermarket massacre by a vicious racist? Check.

Mass killing spree during a July 4th celebration? Absolutely.

Every time, you can count down the minutes until someone offers up some version of it: namely, that although no gun regulations could have prevented such evil, there is one thing that could have.

And what is it?

Why, prayer, of course.

That, and a return to the Godliness that presumably once animated America but from which we have supposedly turned.

If we just restored prayer in schools, posted the Ten Commandments in every government building, or said “Merry Christmas” instead of the “Happy Holidays” preferred by Godless heathens, such things wouldn’t happen.

After all, does anyone remember mass shootings before the feminists, gays, and assorted liberals removed the Almighty from the public square?

I think not, they smugly reply to their own question.

With cause and effect thus duly established (at least in the minds of simpletons who failed basic cause-and-effect 101), they consider the case closed.

Until the next awfulness, at which point they’ll repeat the refrain.

But believing that prayer could prevent mass murderers from plying their trade — especially given the mental derangement that usually animates them and has never been warded off by the healing balm of Jesus — isn’t just silly.

It’s also incredibly offensive.

Because although we might not have had many mass shootings 60 or 100 years ago — we had far fewer high-capacity weapons floating around with which to do the deed — we did have a few other things worth remembering in the horrific violence department.

We might do well to remember:



Tim Wise

Anti-racism educator and author of 9 books, including White Like Me and, most recently, Dispatches from the Race War (City Lights, December 2020)