More prayers are not needed. Action is needed. If prayers were enough, why bother acting? It is only through acting that anything can be accomplished.

Thoughts and prayers are nice, but they are like flowers--fleeting. No amount of prayer will ever solve anything. Not now, not ever.

Religious people constantly say that more prayer is needed to prevent any tragedy from happening again. Prayers did not help the first time, it did not help the second time, or even the hundredth time. Praying does not help. If prayer helped, why do religious people go to the doctor or wear seatbelts? The power of prayer should protect them and others. Improvements to the world are only made through action. Prayer is not a social policy because it does not work.

When is there enough prayer? Some of the most oppressive countries in the world are theocratic. Prayer and religion are everywhere yet the quality of life for their citizens is worse than in many secular countries. If prayer works, why aren't those countries Eden?

The world needs intelligent leaders who make informed decisions based on research, not prayer. The world must be dealt with as it is, not as a person wishes it to be. Only then can we make the world it into an Eden.

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Schloesser lives in Fargo.