Whether or not you say “sending thoughts and prayers” or you just think and pray without saying you’re thinking and praying, CNN suggests maybe you shouldn’t. It’s almost as if CNN doesn’t know CNN is a punchline to many a joke. Or perhaps they do and they’re generously supplying us with free material. Regardless, CNN saw all the attention The New York Times got for its now-deleted tweet about penises in faces being fun, and thought “You know, we should get in on that negative attention action.”
Here’s what happened:
Thinking of sending your "thoughts and prayers" to those affected by tragedy or a natural disaster? Not everyone wants them.
While Christians value these gestures from religious people, some atheists and agnostics want to avoid them, a new study finds. https://t.co/iiGRm5n7hk
— CNN (@CNN) September 17, 2019
Now, full disclosure to an outrage mob member: I am not a thoughts and prayers tweeter, so if you sort through my tweets or social media postings, you’ll likely find I’m silent in the prayer and thoughts issuance department. Nor am I an avatar flag-change filter girl. But I do open the door for strangers whether they like it or not, for much the same reason people send “thoughts and prayers.” Because we’re all in this life thing together, and sometimes a little thoughtfulness goes a long way. While I am not a thoughts and prayers poster, I would never reject or scold someone for telling me they were thinking of me. I relate all this personal information because when it comes to humanity, my soul is black. Yet even I understand the importance of the thoughts and prayers gesture.
What hit CNN’s tweet next was a ratio. “Ratio” refers to a tweet being commented on (usually negatively) more than it is liked or retweeted. Here are some of the best responses to CNN, in no particular order.
If you're an atheist who rejects expressions of sympathy because they use the word "prayers," then you're just an asshole. https://t.co/XNgW3eWBuR
— neontaster (@neontaster) September 17, 2019
If it BOTHERS somebody when someone wishes them well and prays for them, then they have some serious fucking issues. That's a them-problem, not a problem for Christians to be aware of. GTFO with this.
And I'm saying this as a non-religious person. https://t.co/lwt7pJkW5B
— Gretchen Lynn (@Bubola) September 17, 2019
The majority of atheists and agnostics I've come across don't get offended at all when someone offers prayer. It's done out of kindness and concern, not agenda. https://t.co/5kBYBpEIdc
— Kimberly Ross (@SouthernKeeks) September 17, 2019
Kimberly is right. Media has a way of blowing something way out of proportion when it comes to certain demographics, especially minority demographics.
"As if losing my house and almost dying wasn't bad enough…" https://t.co/pr1wov4gJP
— Hey, guys (@jtLOL) September 17, 2019
— Come&Take it #2A (@eleuther0mania_) September 17, 2019
I’m agnostic and certainly can respect someone that says they will pray for me. It’s basically you are in my thoughts. Lighten the hell (might not be real) up.
— Steve Shank (@stvschwnk) September 17, 2019
Thank you Steven Shank, agnostic, for speaking out against CNN for speaking for you. Sending you thoughts and applause.
CNN janitor: My house burned down. I lost everything.
CNN writer: Not thinking of you.
— Fr. Evans Julce (@FrEvansJulce) September 17, 2019
As an Agnostic, I don't mind this at all. I'm not so ignorant as to spit in someones face when they wish me good will, especially in times of need. Sometimes that's the only kind of support one can offer. It helps people stick together. I pity those not mature enough to see this.
— KHAOS ANIMA ~ Goddess of the Void (@DSartworks418) September 17, 2019
I left this one for last because it’s perfect.
One issue many have with the “thoughts and prayers” aspect is the offering isn’t an action. Okay, fine. But in most cases, he or she offering thoughts and prayers has no other action than to offer those thoughts and prayers. Which is the point “Goddes of the Void” perfectly made. So yes, if your house was demolished by a hurricane, a slew of internet strangers telling you they’re thinking about you doesn’t mend your house. Nor was the prayer supposed to. “Sending thoughts and prayers” is an act of solidarity for those who cannot actually do more than show emotional support and empathy.
You know what else doesn’t help someone rebuild their house? A hug. Yet people will still offer hugs. It’s almost like gestures matter.
What doesn’t matter more and more is CNN.