Ricky Gervais thinks praying for Oklahoma is useless and is spearheading a Twitter campaign of atheists revolting against the popular #PrayForOklahoma hashtag on Twitter.
Gervais responded to a tweet sent out by MTV News that reads, “Beyonce, Rihanna & Katy Perry send prayers to #Oklahoma #PrayForOklahoma.” The british comedian and well-known opponent of organized religion writes, “I feel like an idiot now … I only sent money.” The tweet was later removed, but not before being retweeted at least 350 times.
Subsequent tweets from Gervais included donation instructions along with a new hashtag:
And his view seems to be a popular one. “If all people are doing is praying, it is worthless,” Hemant Mehta, an atheist blogger, tells CNN. “If they are praying and donating to the Red Cross, that’s more like it.”
The debate between believers and non-believers spilled over on to CNN’s Facebook page, with commenters making remarks such as, “God is still in control!” and conversely, “If prayer works, there wouldn’t be a disaster like this in the first place … so please keep your religion to yourself.”
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama seems to have taken a stand on the issue, tweeting, “Our prayers are with the people of Oklahoma today.”