Taking to his Facebook page earlier today, Andrew L. Seidel suggested that praying is not the answer or a practical solution to events such as these, and that responding to an act of religious terror with a counter religion is not helping anyone.
“To everyone who suggests that we pray for #Brussels,” Seidel wrote, “More religion is not the answer to this problem. And while those prayers might make you feel good, that’s all they are doing. Instead, try donating to a charity, like the Red Cross of Doctors Without Borders/ Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), that actually gets on the ground and helps people. Or donate to an anti-extremist charity the Maajid Nawaz’s Quilliam Foundation and help fight what is likely the cause of these attacks. Pray if you must, but in addition to action, not as a substitute, and don’t expect much from your prayers. Religion is not the solution, it’s the problem.
#PrayForBrussels? Not so much.”
Seidel, who works as a civil rights and constitutional attorney at the Freedom From Religion Foundation also spoke out on this issue following the Paris attacks.
In November he wrote, “We will continute to exercise and cherish our freedoms. WE will continue to work to drag their ignorant, arrogantly certain ideologies into the enlightened present – though they might kick, scream, and kill.”
The post has been shared over 3000 times and liked over 5000 times since being published almost 24 hours ago.
As to be expected with such a controversial post, the comments have ranged from supportive to straight out accusations of Seidel being a terrorist himself.
“You are no different to these terrorists,” one user wrote. “”Telling” people what do and what to think. If we all respected each other this world would be a better place. Live and let live !!”
Others offered to pray for Brussels AND Seidel. “Praying is always good…I feel sorry for you..” another user commented.
But many people seemed to agree with him.
“Prayer, that thing you do when you don’t really want to do anything but make yourself feel like you’ve done something,” another user commented.
“Well said,” wrote another.
Online posts aside, we think that Brussels has earned all the prayers and donations people are willing to give.
***Featured image via Facebook/Andrew L. Seidel
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