Piece on prayer is divisive, misleading


Once again I write to respectfully disagree with a commentary by Mr. Hubert D. Osteen Jr. His recent piece titled "The left mocks prayer after U.S. tragedies" mostly consists of reprinting an article by William McGurn that first appeared in the notoriously conservative Wall Street Journal on Nov. 7.

The piece cherry picks some six quotes made after the Texas church massacre along with The Sumter Item's bestowed title attempts to make the dubious claim that all progressives are somehow against prayer. He includes an especially foul quote from actor Wil Wheaton, another more reasoned one by ultra liberal Congresswoman Elizabeth Warren, a headline from Huffington Post while quoting Keith Olbermann, actress Marina Siritis and Joy Reid. This Journal writer seems to miss their intended point by miles; or did he? I read the quotes as collectively stating that repeated prayers after mass killings absent any tangible effort toward reasonable gun control are less likely to be answered. Many of us were taught and I firmly believe that God helps those willing to help themselves.

The Journal writer strongly suggests that conservatives have a monopoly on faith in prayer while all progressives seek to belittle or dismiss it's power. This is not true!

On the same opinion page appears a warm and sincere letter from a reader honoring the lives of two good friends who recently passed away. I quote from his letter: "One was white, the other black; one was a Democrat, the other Republican; one was Catholic, the other Protestant. Both were invaluable members of their church, and both took on duties helping youth and devotional services."

Despite their different political and religious affiliations there is nothing in his letter to suggest that either of these good men doubted the power of prayer or the power of tirelessly working on shared interests to improve their community.

It is my hope that Mr. Osteen read this well penned letter since it speaks a greater truth than the professionally written but misleading and divisive piece he reprinted from The Wall Street Journal.