We all know that the internet can sometimes be a wonderful place where collective opinion turns into definitive action. On the other hand, it can sometimes be a very stupid place full of misguided anger and irrational comments.
This story falls under the latter category.
Chris Pratt, who was recently under fire for (GASP!) eating animals that were raised on his farm, is in hot Twitter water again, this time for something as innocent as sending "Thoughts and prayers" to a fellow celebrity.
Kevin we don’t know each other too good but I have loved you since Clerks and I’m praying my ass off for you cause I believe in the healing power of prayer. Can you please pray with me people!? 🙏♥️ https://t.co/syB7BiQaoY— chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) February 26, 2018
The term "thoughts and prayers", in general, is under scrutiny, especially after countless politicians sent up empty "thoughts and prayers" following the tragedy in Parkland just a couple weeks ago.
Chris Pratt, as well-intentioned as he was, is not exempt from criticism.
That's cool and everything but Doctors and nurses save lives not prayer.— Retro Bigfoot (@RetroBigfoot) February 26, 2018
You meant well, @prattprattpratt but praying does nothing; nothing to help, nothing to hear as there’s nothing there.— Craig Ratcliffe (@therealcraigr) February 26, 2018
You know, the good old healing power of prayer. The same power that protects people from mass shootings happening again...oh wait.— Science.⚛🇮🇪 (@ohern_scientist) February 26, 2018
These arguments, while I don't necessarily agree with them, have their merit in certain situations. However, in a situation like this, other than "thoughts and prayers", what else can Chris really do? His former director James Gunn took to Twitter to defend his friend, and I have to say I agree with this rant EXACTLY
2 There is nothing wrong with sending someone positive thoughts & prayers. But when this is coupled with inaction when action will benefit the situation, it’s empty.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) February 26, 2018
3 If you’re offering Parkland shooting survivors prayers, but are unwilling to deal with the problems of gun violence in this country in a practical way, those prayers are empty.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) February 26, 2018
4 And if you’re going to offer prayers to the folks suffering in Puerto Rico, you might consider adding a link for a donation or calling on your representatives to take action, in addition to those prayers. Prayers alone will not change the world.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) February 26, 2018
5 But no one expects Chris Pratt to shoulder doctors out of the way and perform heart surgery on Kevin Smith. Nor does Kevin need Chris to pay his medical bills. So I think his prayers are appreciated, and about all he can do.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) February 26, 2018
This has nothing to do with the religious implications of prayer, or the belief in its healing power. The frustration with the term comes from people in a position to actually solve a problem offering their "thoughts and prayers" as a hollow expression in lieu of taking actions that are within their means and abilities to take. To Gunn's point, Chris Pratt is not a doctor, nor is Kevin Smith in dire need of financial help. "Thoughts and prayers" is a nice sentiment from a person who does, in fact, believe in the healing power of prayer, and a gesture of hope from one man to another.
So, internet, I'm asking you to lay off Chris Pratt. Not for the sake of Chris Pratt - I don't know the guy - but for the sake of the sanity of the human population. There are far bigger issues in the world than a Twitter exchange between two celebrities.