Vice President Mike Pence has responded to critics who have questioned the usefulness of prayer following Sunday’s mass shooting at a church in Texas which left 26 people dead.
“Right now I truly believe that covering those families in prayers is making a difference in their lives, and it will continue to support those families and that community in the days ahead,” Pence told Fox News in an interview on Tuesday.
Online debate has unfurled across Twitter and other platforms in the wake of the massacre at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, with some suggesting that prayer does not work if it can’t protect Christians at church.
“I’m a believer. I believe in prayer and I know that at this moment of such heartbreak and loss in that community that what most Americans are most able to do is pray for those families,” Pence said.
The vice president added, however, that prayer takes “nothing away from our determination … to get to the bottom of what happened, to understand the why, to determine whether or not there were errors along the way.”
Authorities are investigating if and in what way existing laws and background checks were not properly applied to shooter Devin Kelley, who illegally purchased the guns he used in Sunday’s attack.
House speaker Paul Ryan also told Fox News in a separate interview on Monday that he stands by his offers of prayer, even though he was specifically targeted for his tweets.