We are all very aware that “thoughts and prayers” don’t help stop school shootings, police brutality, or a myriad of other things. Only laws, a united society of people, and action can make a difference in those situations. Other times, dependent on your own belief system, it’s kind of nice to get thoughts and prayers sent your way.
Case in point: Kevin Smith suffered a massive heart attack on Sunday, February 25th.
After the first show this evening, I had a massive heart attack. The Doctor who saved my life told me I had 100% blockage of my LAD artery (aka “the Widow-Maker”). If I hadn’t canceled show 2 to go to the hospital, I would’ve died tonight. But for now, I’m still above ground! pic.twitter.com/M5gSnW9E5h— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) February 26, 2018
That’s a terrifying tweet to see from someone you know, even if you only “know” them through their work. Some people are religious and turn to their faith or belief in a higher power during times where they feel helpless. I can only assume that Chris Pratt, who is religious, had the best of intentions when he tweeted the following to Smith:
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
My first instinct is that this a sweet gesture from Star Lord to the Clerks director. It’s nice to know that people care about you when you have something so medically terrifying occur. It’s nice to know people are thinking of you and sending good vibes your way, whether it be by sacrificing goats in your honor or praying to a dude who lives on a cloud. There’s nothing else to be done here by Pratt. He doesn’t need to use that Marvel clout to get Smith better doctors. He doesn’t need to crowdfund Smith’s bills.
Pratt is just being nice. So, of course, some people on Twitter decided to burn him for it.
That's cool and everything but Doctors and nurses save lives not prayer.— Retro Bigfoot (@RetroBigfoot) February 26, 2018
Great now I won't enjoy your films as much knowing you're a Jesus nut— Ewan Wilson (@scotstralian) February 26, 2018
You should really be believing in the hard work and skills of the doctors that are helping him, not ‘prayer’ 🙄— ☠ (@r0bynnn_) February 26, 2018
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn stepped in to give his two cents on the reaction to the tweet and to clarify the difference between Pratt’s intentions and those of useless government officials:
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
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
6 I’m not tweeting this to defend Chris - he’s a big boy and can take care of himself. But for me, personally, prayer and meditation are great boons to my life and help me navigate my way through this world, and I don’t want to dissuade others who find those things useful.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) February 26, 2018
8 I don’t think that means YOU need to pray. I don’t. There are many ways to navigate this life. Mine is only one of them. Prayer isn’t for everyone but, in the face of helplessness, it’s often meant as a acknowledgement that one cares (and we all care about @ThatKevinSmith).— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) February 26, 2018
9 If I am ever sick I will gratefully accept any of your thoughts and prayers. And will not be as grateful for some random fan knocking down my doctor and performing his own brand of kick ass surgery on me. Love to you all. Have a great week.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) February 26, 2018
TL;DR? Don’t be a dick. Let people pray when someone is sick or in need of good thoughts, even if you don’t believe in it.