When there is a terrible tragedy in the U. S., a standard “follow up” news story is one about a prayer service. When their are mass shootings or tornados, they are followed by stories about prayer services.
If these services help people, they should attend. And, the press can do stories about the services. It’s just that, in a perfect world, there also might be news stories about people who don’t pray when disastors happen.
The prayer story script is so institutionalized in the U. S. news media it is even being followed in the Norway event. There was a headline, “In Their Grief, Norwegians Turn to Prayer.” I said to myself, “That can’t be true.”
So, I read the entire story. Yes, a Christian talk show host was praying and some extra church services were scheduled. But, there was nothing in the entire story indicating the secular country of Norway was having second thoughts about being secular. It seemed like the story was posted because in the U. S. a story like that is always written after a disaster.
I recall after 9/11, President Bush gave a speech in the St. John’s Cathedral were Presidents always do this. By appearing there, the President contributed, at least a bit, to blowing the importance of 9/11 way out of proportion.
Our 9/11 was a rogue event. So was the one in Norway. Praying will not help anyone understand them because they have no good explanation.