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“Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin [above] said in a jam-packed meeting Thursday that his plan to confront Louisville’s growing violence is to have roaming prayer groups in the West End,” reports. “Bevin urged faith leaders, public officials and residents to take a 10-block span, walk corner to corner, and pray with the community two to three times a week during the next year.”

I’m not sure what these “prayer patrols” will do to stop firearms-related crime, given that the vast majority of these incidents involve battles for turf/money gained through illegal activities. Will illegally armed gang bangers refrain from shooting someone because they see church members urging them to “put down the gun”?

That said, I’m equally positive that Christian churches can and do have a positive impact on their communities’ moral character. If nothing else, they preach the traditional Christian value of obeying the Ten Commandments (i.e., thou shalt not murder).

What can urban churches do — if anything — to stop firearms-related crime amongst those who inflict it upon their community? Or are they simply preaching to the converted/pissing in the wind?

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    • Not just no, but hell no.

      We all know that by now we have decades of solid data from the FBI any number of other alphabet soup agencies and state level LEOs that ‘gun violence’ all boils down to urban street crime and suicides. Neither of which will be resolved with ‘religion’. Although in the case of suicides ‘religion’ might help with some people, given that going to church usually involves a community that’s willing to be there for people in need. But ultimately neither of these are cure-alls in the way politicians want it to be.

      • Huh… weird… must be some glitch with the website. Made the second post when the first didn’t show up. >,,>

        • It’s been happening frequently lately to me as well.

          Like the new(ish?) avatar, by the way.

  1. Not just no, but hell no.

    The issues with gun violence are very well understood. We known from extensive decades long data collection from the FBI and other law enforcement agencies that ‘gun violence’ as a block only has one signification cause: Urban street crime and suicide. Neither of which will be corrected with just another pointless law. Anyone that says anything different is trying to sell something, be it a new law or a politician that wants to sign that law.

    • We also know Noishkel, by many studies, what happens when a single mother raises a child outside of wedlock. They have a much higher incidence of the children getting into early drug use, illegal and criminal behavior, early sexual experiences out side of marriage, depression and suicide.

      Because of Christianity, the percentage of married couples raising children in a stable environment was over 90% for most of our history, and even for blacks, the marriage rate was over eighty percent. up until the sixties. and the over all murder rate for, much of that time was one or two percent. Then the sixties happen, the “Cultural Revolution” tidal wave begins with the breakdown of traditional morals, welfare starts breaking up the family, the “Drug War” really begins making drug dealing a very profitable endeavor, and violent crime and murder explode, especially when crack becomes available through the nineties.

      So to say that religion, if practiced, will have no effect on reducing “gun violence”, is to me, patently false.

      • You’re probably right. But Noishkel is also right. Religious groups praying on street corners aren’t going to have even the slightest effect on the broken society outside their little prayer circle.

  2. Short term? Not so much. Long term? Of course. It takes time for a culture to destroy itself as it turns from the biblical principles that support a strong family that teach the children well in a stable and loving environment.

    It’s that whole r/K selection theory that explains why a k type culture that was our foundations as a Christian society that built the most freest and prosperous country in history, is being destroyed by the r types as people reject G-ds plan for a stable culture that is replaced by the “if it feels good do it” type corruption and degeneracy that in a few generations, brings on the next dark age.

    • Totally Agree!!
      will most people love “freedom” (basically as a excuse for there own lawlessness) will never know True Freedom till they turn to Jesus Christ.

    • Luke 22:36 , roughly translated , fight back with the best weapons available. That would solve a lot of it.

      • How about armed prayer walking with a cell phone on speed dial to 911 and a video camera to record questionable transactions? And remember that Jesus sent his followers out in pairs.

  3. IN CAPS !!!

    THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ‘GUN VIOLENCE’. Why does TTAG repeatedly post articles using the term ‘GUN VIOLENCE’? This is nonsense, as this web site is supposedly of the intelligent pool.

    • Notice that in the headline “Gun Violence” was specifically and intentionally put in quotes.

      In the body of the article the phrase did not appear – it was always “firearms-related crime”.

    • We always put “gun violence” in scare quotes to signal out disapproval. But that IS the term used by those opposed to American’s natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

      • I bow directly to Mr. R. Farago –in this instance– …

        While I, or anyone, can appreciate the above explanation (after the fact), up to this point in time –I have not learned that quoting is a sign of disapproval, but rather, quoting is a reprint/post of text/speech verbatim; I must have missed that class.

        My apologies to TTAG and others who took the time to reply, and additional thanks to Mr. R. Farago for the lesson on the additional usage of double/scare quotes.

        I will forever dislike the use of that phrase or term ‘with or without’ quotes

  4. As far as what can the churches do to reduce “firearms-related crime”? They had better provide armed escorts for their people marching and praying.

    • My thought exactly. Also that I would not be the praying, nor the armed escort. As we’ve been told so often, avoid doing stupid things with stupid people in stupid places, and this plan violates every one of those.

  5. “If you pray hard enough, you can make water run uphill. How hard? Why, hard enough to make water run uphill, of course!” – Robert Heinlein

    • Robert Heinlein is the man! He’s one of the main science fiction writers in my youth that really influenced my early development in being a Libertarian. Of course, it was the Christ that filled in the rest of the picture in my later years.

      I still enjoy reading his material today. I just finished re-reading “Star Ship Troopers”. If people have not read any R.A.H, I would suggest that one, as well as “Time Enough For Love, “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress” and “Stranger in a Strange Land”.

  6. All one has to ask is how many people have died in their places of worship while fervently praying from salvation from the forces of evil that are planning to kill them one and all, and the question answers itself: HELL no! Young Mr. Roof sat with a prayer group inside a church for an hour–and then he killed all but one person to act as a witness. This was just the most recent example. The Crusades were a wholesale slaughter in the name of religion. Islamic terrorism is all committed in the name of religion; and even though it is sinful for one Muslim to kill another (as long as it is not his wife), fundamentalists get around this prohibition by deeming all who disagree with them as heretics and worthy only of death. As I recall, the Italian and Sicilian Mafioso are famously Catholic–and murderous thugs at the same time.

    When it comes to behaving badly, religion has been proven to have little if any deterrent effect.

    • When it comes to behaving badly, religion has been proven to have little if any deterrent effect.

      Depending on one’s exact definition of religion, religion has certainly stopped me from killing people … even people who have committed serious wrongs against me.

      Regarding the Crusades, my understanding is that Christians decided to finally fight back after Muslims had taken-over and killed countless thousands of people in/around the Mediterranean Sea — and were positioning themselves to conquer Europe from Spain and the eastern Mediterranean region. I have seen no evidence that Christians were bored and decided to march off to kill Muslims for entertainment or because Muslims were not Christians.

      • Stefan Molyneux, (for those wondering, a raging atheist) 🙂 , has an excellent series on Free Domain Radio with posts on YouTube, called the Truth About series, that describes the truth about the crusades, and how they were a response to the constant slave raids by the Muslims along the Western European coast line, and the land based invasion attempts into Eastern Europe.

  7. Evil has no interest in religion except to defeats it’s apostates. I have no need for religion. For those who do believe I wish you the best. I choose to stay armed and alert for evil in all of it’s manifestations. Far to many people have died waiting for their god to save them. I’ll fight my own battles with the knowledge that I did all I could do to protect me and mine.

  8. The only way I see the church being involved with stopping gun violence would be to provide for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of young people with the goal of providing hope and an alternative to the lifestyle of drugs and gangs which contributes so much to the violence problem. Other than those tangible actions, simple words won’t be effective and I doubt anything will make someone already embroiled in a life of crime change their ways.

    • This.

      For a long time, it was standard practice that 1/3 of income for a church was spent on helping the poor in their area. If we were to return to that, the practice could not help but make a difference.

      And if wolves in sheep’s costumes like Joel Osteen would stop worshipping Mammon, it might help as well.

  9. What are they supposed to use, harsh language?

    Actually yes … Demanding better schools, and calling for parents to become and stay engaged in their children’s education and upbringing. In as strong a fire-and-brimstone threatening manner as necessary.

    But beyond that, well .. as others have said, it will take a long time to reverse the damage done by the welfare state. Now that we have a couple of generations who have lived under it, it’s going to be a real PITA to change. (And if it just .. stops .. there will be some serious upheavals. I’m glad I live away from the big city…)

    • Religion does affect urban areas. Having lived in a town with a lot of car break-ins, the best place to park was next to a busy church – the foot traffic allows little unobserved time and few homeless want to break in next to the place that feeds them. Say what you say, religion lowers crime

  10. Praying may well help children when accompanied by parents who go to church and teach their children morality.

    I suspect that praying for or with the gang bangers will not dissuade them from their activities and may well be dangerous for the people who are praying. It’s too late to pray for them.

  11. Yes, But not just Yes Its the ONLY WAY that the Right change will ever be seen!
    Now Religion has taken many forms and has a bad name in today’s moral less culture but the only was we will see change is if the US has another revival. Because we would all agree that Guns are not the problem, Knifes are not the problem, or any other inanimate object, it is the HUMAN HEART that if full of corruption from our sin and the curse. The only Way crime and all other lawlessness will go from our cities and states is if The Lord Jesus Christ sends his Spirit to come into the lifes of the Lost and changes them that they would Cry out “Abba, Father” Rom 8:15 any other way will only lead to Tyranny or utter lawlessness. Will Prayer Help? Yes. But we should be calling men to repentance as well.

  12. Nah, come on guys, let’s let the power of prayer stand up in front of projectiles fired by criminals in possession of the lawfully owned firearms of good citizens; I’m certain prayer groups are the answer.

    I know, aside from the power of prayer, perhaps there could be a call for REMOVING WEAPONS CHARGES FROM F@#$@#$KING PLEA BARGAINS!!!!@#!@#!@#!@# Make these criminals preying/praying (hehe) on the populace an example to the next generation by bringing back the stocks. Lock these wayward souls by the neck and wrists in the town square, downtown, mainstreet, and let their associates see them pissin and shetin themselves. Prayer groups can come out on the weekends and hose them down with water. Bring back SHAME to this country, people are by and large afraid of public speaking, so dangling in the stocks in public for days on end would scare em right up a treat, no?

    Or is my suggestion too much, perhaps not as bad as what these criminals are already doing to the innocents in their own communities?

  13. Is this a trick question!?

    Religion has started FAR!!!!! FAR!!! more fights than it EVER EVER EVER STOPPED!

  14. Well not to get all raciss but the south and westside of Chiraq is literally dotted with church after church. And few live their faith. Contrast that to formerly all-white South Holland,Illinois. Tons of most dutch reformed churched-with a mind-bogglingly low violent crime rate. They lived their faith. SIMPLE…

  15. Yes prayer can help and thank you for asking. I doubt I’m the only one who remembers when most pickups had gun racks. Firearms were carried onto planes. Guns were brought on the school buses, left in cars, or carried to the principal’s office by children for after school activities. We all know it hasn’t been the guns which changed, they are still sold today; it is the people who have changed.

    Another change has been the hostility directed to people who pray and their beliefs. The flippant use of heaven and hell is one thing; the use of the Lords name is another. Just look at the references to religion from the movies of the 50’s and today, there has been quite the change. I believe a cause and effect is taking place. Devalue Christianity and its standards and what is it replaced with?

    Most readers here should understand that laws are for the law-abiding, and the criminal justice system is for everyone else; just as they understand the 3 S’s. The problem is what is the standard for stupid or any other behavior or law? Those praying have a good answer. While avoiding a fight is like turning the other cheek, it is not the same.

    If you really want the question answered, ask someone if they pray, then ask them. It won’t hurt it just might ……

    • The day I let zealots like you tell me how to speak and how to believe is the day we all go ice skating in Hell with Jesus Christ on a vacation from Heaven.

      • Like the guy whose ideas of open carry looks like Rambo on a bug out. Just because we can do a thing, doesn’t mean we should. I’ve worn a uniform to protect your right to believe and say what you wish. Just as the Christian faith is a choice, to believe or not to believe; nothing in the Bible speaks of force. Thank you for making my point and the undeserved compliment.

  16. As a Kentucky voter and a Bevin supporter notice what Bevin did not say. He is in the middle of an urban liberal Wasteland making a speech about violence and he absolutely refused to propose new “gun control laws”.

    Thank you, Governor Bevin.

    Kentucky has Statewide pre-emption for gun laws. It is a misdemeanor crime for a local politician to propose a gun law in Kentucky. The local politicians in Louisville are screaming at him to release the power to make local gun laws. But he refuses to do so.

    Thank you, Governor Bevin.

    People all over the state freely open carry guns with very few restrictions. The only High murder rate area seems to be the West End of Louisville. This tells me this is not a gun problem, it’s a West End of Louisville problem. The community leaders in the West End of Louisville need to change that culture. That’s what the governor speech was about.

    Instead the press chose to mock him. Please don’t join in the mocking if you care about gun rights.

    • You speak the truth. I seriously doubt that daytime prayers will have much effect on night time hoodlums. I’m willing to bet there’s a bit of dope coming here from Chicago and bringing more problems than ODs and misery. It’s looking like a long, hot summer.

  17. So the two institutions famously created and conceived by man to control people’s behavior: Religion and Gun Control, are tackling “gun violence”. Ok, so how is prayer any different (an ineffective) from a “gun free zone” sign?

    Hope is not a strategy.

    • Um, where did Gov Bevin propose “gun control”? He didn’t. That is WHY everyone is mocking him.

      You and TTAG have both missed the boat on this one. The local officials in Louisville want full Chiraq style gun control. This governor is recognizing the real problems in the urban culture and proposing multiple community based solutions instead of gun control. As a result, people here in Kentucky want to call him a religious nut and a racist.

      Kentucky is a remarkable gun friendly state and Governor Bevin is a friend of gun rights.. Don’t join the distortion and hate against him or we will lose.

      • I never said the church or gov was proposing gun control…. I said prayer groups are as effective as gun free zone signs — criminals don’t and won’t care. And putting groups of people on the street creates soft targets. It’s symbolic and foolhardy if they aren’t going to provide security.

        My point was, anything labelled “against gun violence” = gun control in the public mind. So while the Church may not be promoting gun control, it’s going to appear that way because the media narrative.

        • The “media narrative” is that Governor Bevin is a fool because he will not let the local city government propose new gun control.

          I work and carry in Louisville every day so I am close to this issue. It angers me that TTAG is jumping on the bandwagon of tar-and-feathering a good pro-gun Governor by distorting what he said.

  18. I expect that this will be roughly as effective as an evil black rifle ban; which is the same as prayer patrols in that both are simplistic, superficial solutions for problems which their advocates don’t want (or know how) to take by the horns.

  19. Thanks to Spanish missionaries, Mexico, Central America and Brazil have embraced Christianity as the dominant religion for centuries.

    Japan on the other hand has never been a Christian nation and most likely never will be.

    Nevertheless Latin American countries are still some of the most violent, deadly countries on Earth in spite of the overwhelming presence of Catholicism ( and Protestant Christianity to a lesser degree ) among it’s people.

    Yet post war Japan lacks the vicious day to day slaughter and brutality among it’s citizens that is present in Christian Latin America. The sense of unity and selflessness among the Japanese was evident after the 8.9 magnitude earthquake in 2011 when there was a pronounced lack of looting on the streets and social order was mostly maintained.

    In Japan Buddhism and Shintoism are the dominant religions while Christians are less than 2% of the population.

    • I think you are confusing cause and effect PDW. . You left out how the Japanese are a homogeneous culture with high education and a large middle class with very little racial and cultural diversity, and they keep it that way by very strict immigration policies, and it is proven that such cultures, with a western type democracy, is very stable and law abiding, regardless of the religion they practice. Where as central and south america has multiple cultures, with multiple races, languages and very little actual unity, with a great deal of poverty, which leads to great instability and comflict, regardless of the religion that they might practice.

      But you might say that whatever Central and South America might be today with Catholicism as the primary religion, it is still an improvement of what was there before; unless you think the Aztecs were preferable, when they dominated the lower North American Continent, and would sacrifice to their Sun god, by cutting out the beating hearts of tens of thousands of prisoners in one long ceremony, on top of their blood soaked pyramids.

      • It may shock you that I agree with you that Japan’s xenophobic immigration policies are a large part of why their society remains relatively free from violence. Japan is for the Japanese and they don’t care what the rest of the world thinks about it.

        Also Japanese cultural ethics emphasize the importance of the group even at the cost of the individual. They very much operate within a Hive Mind.

        Also, you seem to imply that in spite of the alleged supernatural redemptive and sanctifying aspects of Christian monotheism upon human nature that it still cannot perform well in the presence of racial / ethnic diversity.

        That doesn’t speak well for Christianity and it’s omnipotent deity that something so mundane as diversity can render it’s stabilizing effects upon society useless and that in the end a hell-hole will remain a hell-hole.

        • Not at all PDW, our “omnipotent diety” also gave human beings the gift of free will. So it is a choice to follow his will, or not. And as I mentioned, if not for the Catholic influence in the area, you might still have the Aztecs, or thier equivalent, still sacrificing live human beings on the altars of their pagan gods, and still practicing slavery. After all, it was the Western nation’s that first outlawed slavery in the early and late eighteen hundreds, which was practiced by all peoples around the world, including the native Americans of the Americas before Europeans ever arrived to the new world.

        • Based upon crime rates, illegitimate births, and other social pathologies the Shintoists ( 50.7 % ) and Buddhists ( 43.6 % ) of Japan handle free will much better than their Christian competitors around the world.

          If you have examples of Christian majority nations that rival Japan in these matters I’d be willing to acknowledge them but I’m not aware of any that even come close to approaching the domestic tranquility found among the non-Christian Japanese.

        • True, PDW. Except for their suicide rate. It is almost double ours. If one looks at that as a measure of satisfaction and fulfillment in ones culture, then it is not all rainbows and group hugs in the Land of the Rising Sun.

          But the history of Japan, with their Xenophobia towards others “lesser races” , gives them a particularly personal brutality towards conquered races. The Rape of Nanking; the brutal treatment of american soldiers that surrendered, the most well known was the american soldiers during the battle of the Philippines; Unit 731, where the completely demonic and brutal human experimentation done on human test subjects that makes what the Nazi’s did in their own human experimentation’s look like child’s play.

          So why did you pick Japan as the example you set against the rest of the christian west? Oh and if you wanted to immigrate to Japan to participate in their virtual utopia, you most likely would not be able to. Remember, they are extremely xenophobic. You picked Japan because there really is no other significant example that can even come close to, let alone surpass the level of abundance, freedom, respect for human rights, education or opportunities of personal expression and over all social stability and freedom from overt police state tyrannies and brutalities that the christian west represents.

          It was Christian nations that first developed the theory of the scientific method, logic and the use of mathematics to develop advanced manufacturing methods. It was christian nations that first outlawed not just slavery in their own nation, but fought against the Muslim Ottoman empire to stop their slave trade of Blacks out of Africa. We were the first to give the right to vote to women and support their being treated as equal in the eyes of the law. And unlike Japan, we have been willing to allow the immigration into our countries from all around the world, from all races and peoples, so they to could partake in the abundance, the freedom and the opportunity that our christian charity says we should have for our fellow human travelers. That brings it’s own problems, because like I said, diversity in not really strength. Studies show that the greater the mix of cultures, languages and races, the greater the feeling of isolation, paranoia and conflict. But the really amazing thing, is that it overall works. We still have the greatest level of freedom, opportunity and respect for human rights of any country, in any time in history, in the world.

          I can say this with such confidence, because the rest of the world agrees with me, to the point where instead of needing to build walls to keep people in like the godless “utopia” of communist Russia had needed to, we debate about the need to build walls to keep people out, desperate to get into what is still the Land Of Opportunity, where seventy five percent of Americans, even today, say they are christian in their belief system.

        • Overall I agree with much of what you say. Japan has a high suicide rate but Japanese culture doesn’t stigmatize suicide in the same way the west does.

          In their more distant past ritual suicide was a way to restore honor as the ultimate act of contrition. It wasn’t enough to just say they were sorry, they proved it.

          In regard to slave practices many ( most ? ) of our nation’s forefathers and even our early presidents owned slaves. Somehow they were comfortable with their Christian beliefs while also owning humans as property.

          Later on our Christian government worked diligently to force Native Americans to adopt Christianity, abandon their traditional ways and ultimately decided to just destroy whole swaths of their population.

          The early Christian emperors beginning with Constantine had no problem putting the sword to members of rival Christian sects and especially the pagans. There was no such thing as freedom of religion in Christian Rome.

          Emperor Charlemagne had 4,500 Saxons beheaded at the Massacre of Verden for refusing to convert to Christianity. Conversion by the sword was not limited to followers of Islam.

          The Spanish theologian and medical scholar Michael Servetus was burned alive at the stake in Geneva on a pile of his own books because he made the mistake of expressing non-trinitarian views as well as coming out against the practice of infant baptism. His execution was endorsed by none other than John Calvin who apparently could not abide such unorthodoxy and embraced a rather ISIS style solution.

          Japan does not have a perfect record of human rights and in the past has resorted to similar use of an iron fist to suppress “incorrect views.”

          I am familiar with Japan’s general war crimes of WW 2 and with Dr. Shiro Ishii in particular. Did you know that our Christian-based government refused to prosecute Dr. Ishii for dissecting live POWs because we wanted access to his medical research regarding the effects of biological warfare ?

          You can have the last word if you wish.

        • I will say the last word, If you want. The first three hundred years of Christianity was one of being persecuted for our faith, from our founder, Jesus Christ and the 12 apostles, pretty much all died for preaching the faith. For the first 300 hundred years of our history, conversion to Christianity was a voluntary act, at great risk of death from the Romans and the Jewish Sanhedrin. Unlike Islam, with Muhammad setting the tone right from the start as you will convert, be subjugated, or be beheaded.

          So for the first three hundred years, Christians were converting people by example, and preaching the faith at great personal risk, until the Roman government essentially commandeered the faith, and turned it into an instrument of state control, with most of the usual atrocities associated with the evils of state power and control.

          The good to the world that came from Christianity from that point on was inspired by it’s inherent truth and goodness and leaked through inspite of the evils caused from state manipulation.

          Like I said, slavery around the world, including among native Americans , was the norm at the founding of our country. It was our early Christian founders, as well Christian Western Europe , because of the Christian influence, that were the first major civilization to realize the evils of slavery, and were the first to outlaw it, and fought some major battles with other nations, especially with the Muslims, to stop international trade in slaves.

          Unlike Stalin, Mao, Pol-Pot, and other communist/marxists governments, that committed democide by the tens of millions to “re-educate” people to create godless Utopias of state control, or the state supported murder of over Fifty million babies before they were even born, here in the US of A, there was never a concerted state directed effort at committing genocide against the American Indians, despite the propaganda of the progressives. There was the unintentional deaths caused by disease, but once the various tribes were defeated in battle, with the usual atrocities committed by both sides, once the tribes were placed on reservations, there was the attempt to allow the tribes their own management of their own affairs, even if not perfectly.

          Again, people and cultures grow and evolve. There was the early attempt to change through indoctrination in the early education of the Indian children, to be more “Western”, but we as a Christian culture also came to realize that was wrong, and we started to support the various tribes to teach their own earth based spirituality.

          In the end, PDW. You can try to paint our early and current Christian history as being particularly evil, brutal and barbaric, with no positive attributes because of the inherent “evils” of believing in a higher power, (but you will need to completely ignore the even worse, more brutal and bloodier history of the rest of the world) and in the end you will also need to be in complete denial of your own history as an atheist.

          How you, as an atheist, with the truth of what happened in Stalinist Russia and Maoist China and Castro Cuba, and the murdered millions of the unborn in this country, can still say that a society built on the belief in no G-d is an improvement, is beyond me.

          Again, the proof is in the pudding. We, as still a majority Christian country, (75% listed as Christian by the most recent census) are debating the need to build walls to keep people out, because of what our Christian heritage has wrought.

  20. I met Matt Bevin when he was running for Senator against Mitch McConnell — at a gun show. He will NOT compromise on our gun rights. And changing the culture of violence through community activity is really the only way to reduce crime. Increasing employment opportunities would certainly help too, but the real problem is the culture of violence — the belief that disagreements are solved through violence.

  21. As others have said, Kentucky is pretty damn friendly to gun rights. Some in Louisville would love to go full Hillary with gun laws. State law won’t let them. Bevin is right on this one. His idea is backward and won’t do anything. Nor will anyone else’s who isn’t willing to think WAY outside the box.
    Much of the Louisville Metro Council needs to get real jobs instead of making more rules for every damn body. All politics are local, folks.

  22. Prayer is the answer for those with delusional minds, if your god gave a damn they would already be addressing the issue.


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