(OPINION) Pastors and conservative leaders weighed in on reaction by journalists and entertainers who have mocked prayer and brought attention to Tennessee’s drag show ban amid the Christian elementary school massacre that took six lives Monday.

As the nation grapples with the murders of three adults and three children at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, faith leaders responded to the criticism by journalists, commentators, entertainers and activists who have mocked prayer and blamed conservatives for outlawing drag shows for kids and not guns.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins reiterated that people should still turn to prayer as a way to combat the “spiritual battle” that “is raging for our country and our culture” which “is targeting our children.”


“We must return to the only lasting source of hope and freedom – the Lord Jesus Christ,” he added. “The Church must stand uncompromisingly upon the truth of God’s word, which is the source of hope and freedom. Nothing Washington is doing will matter until we acknowledge and address the moral decay and brokenness plaguing our culture.”

Covenant Presbyterian senior pastor Chad Scruggs lost his 9-year-old daughter, Hallie, during the massacre Monday. Two other 9-year-old students, Evelyn Dieckhaus and William Kinney, as well as school janitor and father of 8 Michael Hill, the head of the school Katherine Koonce and substitute teacher Cynthia Peak were also killed during the attack.

Curtis Houck of the right-leaning Media Research Center, who practices the same Presbyterian faith as the school, said the coverage had been “horrendous.”

“The media coverage is absolutely tainted by the facts of the case with both the location and victims being outside what one could view as the traditionally liberal, secular world in which much of the journalism profession operates. So, there’s already a bias and lack of both compassion and knowledge about the victims of this school run by a church in the right-leaning denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America,” he told Fox News Digital.

“But along with the proximity bias, the coverage has been horrendous on account of the fact that the victims represent the kind of worldview that the left views as backward and hateful and whose very existence contributes to the suffering of groups they hold dear — supporters of abortion, the LGBTQ community, traditional views on sex, etc.”