After bombings, Bostonians must remember its founding fathers’ “model of Christian charity”

John Winthrop, founding father of Boston
John Winthrop, founding father of Boston

Boston’s anti-Muslim backlash, which I touched upon in the Huffington Post Religion, in the aftermath of the marathon bombings reminds me of John Winthrop, one of Boston’s founding fathers, and his famous sermon “A Model of Christian Charity.”

Winthrop’s sermon, delivered in 1630 aboard the Arbella ship before English Puritans settled in what they called New England, is a document, according to scholar of Boston Shaun O’Connell, which defines the particular combination of idealism and anxiety which characterizes our notions of what it means to be Bostonian. He said:

“[Bostonians] must delight in each other, make others’ conditions our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together: always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, our community as members of the same body… For we must consider that we shall be like a city upon a hill, the eyes of all the people are upon us.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself! Winthrop’s vision of love and community is more needed now than ever to overcome the animosity and constriction in the aftermath of the bombings.

Though Winthrop was no perfect man, as none of us are, his “Model of Christian Charity” sermon is certainly an ideal to help drive the Boston community forward in the future.



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