Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked her followers on social media what good “thoughts and prayers” were following a horrific shooting incident in Christchurch, New Zealand where at least 49 people were killed.
Responding to a coordinated attack where a gunman entered two mosques and opened fire on the worshippers inside, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “At first I thought of saying, ‘Imagine being told your house of faith isn’t safe anymore.’ But I couldn’t say ‘imagine.’ Because of Charleston. Pittsburgh. Sutherland Springs.”
“What good are your thoughts & prayers when they don’t even keep the pews safe?” the New York Democrat added.
Ocasio-Cortez then claimed the “thoughts and prayers” line that is often said after a major tragedy was created by the National Rifle Association.
She contended the line is peddled by the NRA and its supporters so they do not have to change legislative policy.
The Democrat tweeted: “(“Thoughts and prayers” is a reference to the NRA’s phrase used to deflect conversation away from policy change during tragedies. Not directed to PM Ardern, who I greatly admire.)
The Daily Caller reports conservatives online criticized Ocasio-Cortez for attacking prayer immediately following a situation where people were attacked while praying.
The Washington Examiner’s Siraj Hashmi tweeted in response: “This is incredibly insensitive to my Muslim brothers and sisters who were slain in cold blood while they were literally praying because they want to be closer to their creator and they want to become better people.”
NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch similarly tweeted, “Pretty sure thoughts and prayers isn’t anyone’s phrase.”