Ricky Gervais is using the tornado tragedy in Moore, OK to mock people of faith.
The atheist comic, apparently rattled by the rash of #PrayForOklahoma hashtags on Twitter, tried to start his own social media meme with the hashtag #ActuallyDoSomethingForOklahoma
“I feel like an idiot now,” he tweeted on Tuesday morning. “I only sent money.”
Gervais’ message has been retweeted 14,140 times. Predictably, however, #PrayForOklahoma is currently winning out as one of the social media site’s top-ten trending topics.
What Gervais is missing in his disgust for organized religion is the role people of faith play in helping people recover from tragedies like the Oklahoma tornado.
Many undamaged and secure structures, such as churches, served as emergency shelters for those whose homes were destroyed as the result of the 200 mph winds. Government-funded disaster relief teams were joined by faith-based organizations, some already mobilized from previous disaster efforts, for immediate action.
Or, consider this report concerning the speed with which faith-based organizations rally in times of crisis.
Often, in days after disasters, faith-based groups are among the first to respond. Greater Miami Jewish Federation President Jacob Solomon has an idea why.
“We really understand the power of community, and when people are hurting, and community comes together to provide support, relief, financial assistance,” Solomon said. “There’s nothing more powerful than feeling like you’re not alone.”