"I think people misunderstand the backlash against 'thoughts and prayers,'" the director tweets.
"Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn jumped into the tweet fray after Chris Pratt's message of prayers and support to Kevin Smith resulted in several fans trashing the Marvel star for his gesture.
Gunn was quick to defend Pratt's kind words for the filmmaker, who suffered a "widow-maker" heart attack on Sunday, from people he thought were misunderstanding "thoughts and prayers."
"So I just read Chris Pratt's tweet to Kevin Smith saying he would pray for him and made the mistake of reading the comments, many of which go off on Chris for saying he'd pray," Gunn tweeted. "I think people misunderstand the backlash against 'thoughts and prayers.'
"There is nothing wrong with sending someone positive thoughts and prayers, but when this is coupled with inaction when action will benefit the situation, it's empty. If you're offering Parkland shooting survivors prayers, but are unwilling to deal with the problems of fun violence in this country in a practical way, those prayers are empty," he added. "And if you're going to offer prayers to the folks suffering Puerto Rico, you might consider adding a link for a donation or calling on your representatives to take action, in addition to those prayers."
He went on to say, "Prayers alone will not change the world, but no one expects Chris Pratt to shoulder doctors out of the way and perform heart surgery on Kevin Smith, nor does Kevin need Chris to pay his medical bills so I think his prayers are appreciated, and about all he can do."
Gunn continued to explain that he's not defending Pratt -- "he’s a big boy and can take care of himself" -- but rather trying to express that, at least for him, prayer and mediation are "great boons" to life.
"I honestly would not be doing what I'm doing in either my career, or in speaking out on political matters if I wasn't led there through prayers and meditation. I feel lucky to have these tools," he wrote. "I don't think that means you need to pray. I don't. There are many ways to navigate this life. Mine is only one of them. Prayer isn't for everyone, but in the face of helplessness, it's often meant as an acknowledgement that one cares, and we all care about Kevin Smith."
Gunn's remarks came after Smith suffered a massive heart attack during the first of two standup comedy shows in Los Angeles Sunday night. Smith posted about the event, which he says he was fortunate to survive, in a lengthy Facebook post. Pratt was one of many celebrities to express their support and relief that Smith is recovering.
Kevin we don’t know each other too good but I have loved you since Clerks and I’m praying my ass off for you cause I believe in the healing power of prayer. Can you please pray with me people!? 🙏♥️ https://t.co/syB7BiQaoY— chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) February 26, 2018
Praying for you. I will continue to. You inspired me with Clerks when I was a senior HS. I’m tagging my Lb/rb football coach who showed me the movie cause he believed in me and knew I’d be inspired. @hodge1916 🙏♥️🙏 https://t.co/syB7BiQaoY— chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) February 26, 2018
Shortly after Pratt's tweets were published, fans started quote tweeting his warm wishes to savagely remind the actor that "thoughts and prayers" no longer mean anything considering president Donald Trump's prayers didn't help the victims of the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting.
"Yup, thoughts and prayers to mass murder victims too," one fan tweeted. "Praying clearly does not work! If it did and if there was this 'God' you've been brainwashed to believe in, those poor people at the school in Florida wouldn't have been shot to death," another added.
Still plenty of others came to the defense of Pratt and prayer in those threads. One woman tweeted, "What are prayers but positive energy and when does it ever hurt to send positive energy to someone? I’m a Parkland resident and I appreciate all positive energy being sent my way. NEVER dissuade that in any situation." Gunn would totally agree.