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Entertainment Weekly

Last Night on Late Night

Samantha Bee's gospel choir skewers 'thoughts and prayers' response to gun violence

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In the wake of mass shootings in Las Vegas, Nevada and Sutherland Springs, Texas, Samantha Bee put together a gospel choir to sing of a better time, a time when Americans do more about stopping gun violence than sending our “thoughts and prayers.”

“Oh, Lord, we pray one day we’ll do more than pray,” a soloist began on Full Frontal Wednesday night. “What if we did something in addition to praying? Like seriously, literally anything! But mostly, God, I’m talking about legislating.”

“Oh, awesome Father, you’ve given us so much power,” a second singer chimed in. “You’ve given us the faith to make mountains cower, but can faith pass a universal background check law?”

The song further called out Speaker of the House Paul Ryan — who recently told Fox News that “prayer works” as a response to gun violence — and Senator Mitch McConnell. “Give some balls to Paul Ryan… and give McConnell balls,” the choir sang.

On Nov. 5, 26 people were killed and 20 others were injured when a gunman opened fire at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. This came about a month after a gunman fatally shot 58 people and injured close to 500 more at a country music festival outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Many celebrities and politicians sent their “thoughts and prayers” in response to the attacks.

“I’m sorry, but unless you’re praying to the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl and these mass shootings are human sacrifices, your thoughts and prayers are not working,” Bee said in a segment. “Now, I don’t want to belittle the devout beliefs of Second Amendment enthusiasts. We all know God wants us to have guns, he says it right there in the 9 Commandments,” she added with an image of the “Thou shalt not kill” scratched out. “But thoughts and prayers are not a substitute for action.”

Watch the choir perform in the clip above.

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