As the cover and cover story of today's New York Daily News make clear, the messages about the San Bernardino massacre from Republican politicians seemed strikingly non-spontaneous:
Thoughts & prayers are with #SanBernardino— Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) December 2, 2015
My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, families, and brave first responders during this unspeakable tragedy.— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 2, 2015
My thoughts and prayers are with the shooting victims and their families in San Bernardino.— Dr. Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson) December 2, 2015
And here's another one I spotted yesterday as the incident was still under way -- same message:
My thoughts and prayers are with those impacted by the senseless shooting today in #SanBernadino.— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) December 2, 2015
That's still my response. If your genuinely drop to your knees when you hear about something like yesterday's massacre, this atheist won't attack you for that. But if someone in the GOP consultant class has advised you that "thoughts and prayers" is the response to a mass shooting that tests well in focus groups of swing voters and you go out and post that, then, sorry, you're a phony, and I'm insulting you as a politician, not as a Christian, if I call you on your phoniness.
So I don't want to hear that I'm engaged in "prayer shaming." I'm not -- I'm engaged in politician shaming.