Politico's Simon to John Edwards: Less Jesus, More Gun Control
Update at bottom of post: other bloggers reactions.
In a column this afternoon, Politico's Roger Simon took a swipe at Democratic presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) for giving a public prayer for the victims of the Virginia Tech gunman "in Christ's name.":
Does John Edwards include Jews in his prayers? Or Muslims? Or Hindus? Or any other non-Christians?
He didn’t the other day. The other day, in order to commemorate those killed at Virginia Tech, Edwards led a prayer “in Christ’s name” at Ryman Auditorium, which bills itself as “Nashville’s Premier Performance Hall.”
Edwards has a perfect right to pray publicly or privately any way he wants to. But people who are not Christians often feel left out of prayers like his.
But wait, there's more. Not only does Simon accuse Edwards of callous insensitivity to Virginia Tech professor Liviu Librescu and his survivors (Librescu was Jewish and a Holocaust survivor), Simon found Edwards's prayer too apolitical, namely, too silent on gun control. Simon continued:
My mother, who did pray, also used to tell me, “God helps those who helps themselves.”
So, along with his prayer, I wish Edwards had included something meaningful about gun control.
He, and all the rest of the candidates who stayed silent on the subject, could have started with an easy one: a ban on the 15-shot gun magazines like the one the killer used at Virginia Tech. Recreational shooters don’t need 15-shot magazines. Mass murderers do.
Before Simon went online with his political analysis, he was most recently an "objective" reporter for U.S. News & World Report magazine.
Update (April 25 | 17:57 EDT):
Other bloggers have picked up the story have picked up on this story, here's just a few:
- Christianity Today's Ted Olsen.
- Liberal blogger Brad DeLong attacks Politico for its "rookie mistake":
Mr. Simon seems not to know that prayers must be addressed to a god in whom one believes: a prayer to a God in whom one does not believe is the ultimate in insincerity.
- Von at Obsidian Wings has a similar take:
Suggesting that Edwards' prayer needed to reference Gaia, Vishnu, Little Red Riding Hood, and Lucy the Ape to be suitable inclusive? It's a freakin' prayer, for Chrissake: that it includes reference to a particular religion is a feature, not a bug.