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During a floor speech on Wednesday, Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas argued against gun safety legislation, saying that prayers to the Christian God were a better alternative to stop mass shootings. (It’s the same thing he said a decade ago after another massacre.)

It’s probably not shocking to hear a Republican member of Congress reflexively claim that thoughts and prayers are the best (and only) solutions to the gun epidemic, but it’s still appalling when it happens today, when it’s abundantly clear God isn’t doing a damn thing to stop mass shootings.

… Democrats, we were told in debate last week, don’t want to hear any more about social media, violent video games, Hollywood, mental illness, and they sure don’t want to hear any more about prayers. They’re disgusted hearing about prayers. Don’t want to hear any more about fatherlessness, drug use.

Look, maybe if we heard more prayers from leaders of this country instead of taking God’s name in vain, we wouldn’t have the mass killings like we didn’t have before prayer was eliminated from school.

There’s a reason he’s called the dumbest man alive.

Democrats don’t want to hear Republican excuses for mass shootings because They. Are. Distractions. There’s no reason to believe that mental illness, or video games, or social media—all of which exist in other countries where mass shootings are incredibly rare—are the problem in the U.S. The common denominator in every one of these massacres is the weapon. (Often, the same kind.)

Want to reduce mass shootings? Put more obstacles in the way for gun owners. Especially people who want weapons that can kill several people in seconds. Raise the legal age to own one. Make owners go through a certain amount of training. Register the weapons the way we register cars. There are many more possible answers to the problem, but Republicans are hell-bent on fighting every single one of them because, as a party, they love semi-automatic weapons more than children. Dead kids are a price they’ll gladly pay to continue their violent hobbies. The NRA always takes precedence over the PTA.

But back to Gohmert, the guy who whined last week about how Republicans weren’t allowed to lie to Congress or the FBI without consequences. Besides the fact that prayer has always been legal in public school—it was only school-sponsored Christian-only prayers that ended in the 1960s—Gohmert is flat-out wrong to blame some Supreme Court decision he doesn’t understand for every societal problem that’s occurred ever since. (Keep in mind there was no spike in school shootings in the decades following those Supreme Court decisions.)

Prayer isn’t the solution. Any God who lets 19 kids get murdered because not enough people were stroking His Holy Ego isn’t a God worth worshipping anyway.

Gohmert says prayers can block deadly attacks, but when it comes time for elections, it’s not like Republicans ask Christians to pray them into office. When it comes to abortion, it’s not like Republicans ask Christians to pray that people won’t have them. They know actions speak louder than words. They know how to pass bills or install like-minded judges when they actually want to get stuff done. When it comes to guns, they call for prayer because they know how useless it will be.

We can even say that with certainty because mass shootings have occurred in churches and synagogues and mosques and other places where prayers were abundant. Forcing kids to listen to Christian propaganda in school wouldn’t fix a damn thing.

And that’s the point. That’s the Republican game plan here. They always go back to the same rhetoric after mass shootings because blaming anything else—even doors—will turn the public’s attention away from gun safety measures.

More kids will die because Republicans have too much power. The conservative Christians who call themselves “pro-life” are voting for people who prolong our culture of death. These people are obsessed with getting deadly weapons in the hands of any damn fool who wants one. The party fetishizes fetuses but won’t do a damn thing to protect them years later so they can actually lead a worthwhile life.

Gohmert isn’t on the fringes of the Republican Party. He is the Republican Party. And even when he leaves Congress after the next election, we’ll all be suffering under the weight of the colleagues who share his brain cell.

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.