‘Banish Fear and Live in a Spirit of Welcome’ After Boston Tragedy — Rev. David Benke

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City of Boston.

It’s my privilege to use this blog to lift up the voices of my colleagues, allies, and partners. Today, in the aftermath of the tragedy in Boston, I’d like to share the thoughts of  Rev. David Benke, District President, Atlantic District LCMS.

If anyone knows the harm that comes from jumping to conclusions and indicting all immigrants due to the violent acts by a few individuals, I do. I am a pastor in NYC and remember all too well the violence and the aftermath of the terrible tragedy that was September 11th. Sadly, many of my immigrant congregants are still living under the shadow of what happened after September 11th, when we let the voices of a fearful, uninformed few dictate how we would be with our immigrant brothers and sisters.

Today, as my heart bleeds for Boston – for the victims, for the trauma of unthinkable violence – my heart also quakes at the thought of moving backward to the dark months of fear and suspicion following September 11th. We’ve learned since then that a society that lives with fear does injustice not only to those it considers “other” but to all of us.

As a pastor and as one who still lives with the memory of terror, I urge all of us faithful Lutherans to banish fear and live in a spirit of welcome.

My prayers are with Boston – all of Boston – and with all of the United States. May we not use this tragedy to avert the hope that immigration reform has in store not only for our aspiring American neighbors, but for all of us.

Image credit: 2nified

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