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Pray for the Enemy First - 1954

Seriously wounded in a terrorist attack, Bentley thought of others first.


On this day, March 1, 1954 four Puerto Rican terrorists opened fire from a gallery in the United States House of Representatives, striking five congressmen. The terrorists were from a nationalist group that wanted to separate from the United States, although 82% of Puerto Ricans had voted for an independent commonwealth under U. S. rule.

The congressman most seriously injured in the attack was Alvin F. Bentley, a Republican who represented the area around Owosso, Michigan. A wealthy Christian (Congregationalist), he had been involved in many charitable and Christian activities. He would recover and return to serve in the House. Moments after the shooting, the House chaplain asked him if they should pray. Bentley’s whispered response spoke volumes about his character: 


“Yes, but first let us pray for those who did the shooting. They did not know what they were doing.”


Noble, John. I Found God in Communist Russia. P. 177f.

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