Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Criticized for Mocking People Who Offered Prayers After Deadly Mass Shooting at Mosques in New Zealand

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) questions Wells Fargo President and CEO Timothy Sloan during the House Financial Services Committee hearing on March 12, 2019.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez drew backlash on Twitter after criticizing those who offered prayers after the mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand.

“At 1st I thought of saying, ‘Imagine being told your house of faith isn’t safe anymore.’ But I couldn’t say ‘imagine.’ Because of Charleston. Pittsburgh. Sutherland Springs,” the first-term Democrat from New York wrote hours after the shooting. “What good are your thoughts & prayers when they don’t even keep the pews safe?”

Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet sparked a firestorm of replies from people who criticized her for attacking those who chose to pray while absorbing the details of the heinous attacks.

The shootings in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday resulted in at least fatalities and the detention of three armed suspects, one charged with murder, in what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called a terrorist attack.

“Just wow. Incredible nasty thing to say after a tragedy,” one woman wrote on Twitter, continuing in another post: “Even if you don’t believe in prayers don’t judge “other because they do. Aren’t we supposed to love and accept everybody for what they believe and who they are ??”

Another person chimed in, calling Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet an “awful take,” adding that it’s “REALLY not the time to belittle people of faith.”

Ocasio-Cortez attempted to clarify her comments in another tweet, saying her “‘thoughts and prayers’ is reference to the NRA’s phrase used to deflect conversation away from policy change during tragedies.”

That wasn’t enough for Republicans, who for months have continuously scrutinized Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described Democratic socialist.

National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch responded, saying Ocasio-Cortez was mocking the act of prayer even after these attacks targeted places of worship.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Christal Hayes