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Statement on Orlando Club Shooting

"There's blood everywhere," Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said.

Yes, the blood is everywhere as the Andover Newton community joins hands with the human family in mourning the atrocious massacre in Orlando, Florida, early this morning (Sunday, June 12).

This senseless act of violence at Pulse, a nightclub known as a safe and joyful place for the LGBT community -- already deemed as the deadliest mass shooting in US history -- hits us where we at Andover Newton live. We welcome and affirm those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning. We celebrate interfaith understanding with particular outreach to Muslims, adherents of the faith that the shooter in question purported to practice. This weekend, we celebrate Gay Pride. Earlier this week, Ramadan, the holiest season in the Islamic tradition, began. Our hearts are torn in two.

The only comfort we can find is in God’s promise that even we human beings are loved. We do terrible things. We hate for no reason and kid ourselves into thinking we have good reasons. We watch as those who hate debate over who is more deserving of contempt: those whose way of loving isn’t our way of loving, or those whose belief isn’t our belief. We stand idly by as the debate rages, thinking it has nothing to do with us. We fight for access to weapons that kill, pretending we are so different from those who would mindlessly slaughter young people who just wanted to dance.

And God loves us still, asking only that we love others as we ourselves have been loved. And it is in our keeping of that promise that we can get up tomorrow morning and make our way into the day, ready to try this “loving” thing again, trusting that doing so will continue to repair this broken world. May it be so.

-- Dr. Sarah B. Drummond, Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Campus Prayer Service, June 13, 2016

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