Like most of you, I was glued to the television and the computer last night as the news came in. Could it be that we got Bin Laden? Indeed it could. While Geraldo babbled (I had to turn him off) and other Main Stream Media personalities speculated, the news broke on Twitter. And, unbeknownst to one tweep, the entire operation was on Twitter. Regardless, social media won the day.
When it was finally confirmed, I was elated. Yes, I understand that as a follower of Jesus, I shouldn’t rejoice in the loss of any human being.
But Osama Bin Laden was the very personification of evil. And so yeah, I’m glad we got the bastard. Last night brought up too many raw emotions of watching the events of 9/11 to make me feel any other way.
That may not be the “right” response. But, it’s an honest one.
One of my college friends, now a respected seminary professor had this to say:
The divine image in human beings does not rule out capital punishment. In fact, according to Genesis 9, the presence of the divine image in the victim(s) of murder is exactly why God commands capital punishment in the first place. It’s no cause for glee, though as one not harmed by 9/11 and not acquainted with anyone lost in 9/11, I am not going to criticize or castigate anyone else for expressing their relief and satisfaction in a manner that I wouldn’t choose. The Bible never sheds a single tear over the death of a tyrant, and indeed, celebrates their demise. For us all, it should be a reminder that however satisfying this moment might be, we still have a lot to which we must still attend. [Thanks, Lawson]
Lawson is right that there is much to which we must still attend. This isn’t going to make things right overnight. In fact there are already reports of retaliations.
Face it, Osama Bin Laden may have been the most famous extremist who wants us all dead. But he’s far from alone.
Reactions poured in from around the world. The BBC has a great summary of comments from world leaders:
Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said in a statement:
“Faced with the death of a man, a Christian does not rejoice in anything, but reflects on the serious responsibility of everyone before God and man, and hopes and pledges that every event is not an opportunity for a further growth of hatred, but of peace.” The Christian Post
The BBC has a pretty good roundup of statements of leaders from around the world.
Reactions will keep coming in. The pundits will speculate about what this does or does not do to Obama’s reelection chances. Religious leaders will debate the appropriateness of celebrating.
Birthers and truthers will doubt the proof. Leftists will whine that we should never have been there in the first place.
And Pakistan? Well, Pakistan has some ‘splaining to do.
Jim Harper at The Cato Institute Blog
This week, watch the news around bin Laden’s death not only with your own apprecation, relief, or other feelings in mind. Consider how events will be perceived in the communities around the world from which terrorists have come.
Charles Halton, Awilum.com
On one hand I understand this expression of a primal sense of justice/revenge–especially that which is voiced from people who were directly affected by the events of 9/11 (some of the imagery of certain Psalms comes to mind)–, but I have an overriding sense of regret and sadness. While I am glad that bin Laden is dead I have a small sense of what it took to accomplish this.
The Washington Times
Mr. Obama may enjoy a momentary bump in public approval based on the general wave of good feeling now that recent history’s greatest criminal is dead. But reality will set back in hard, and soon. Mr. Obama’s crushing national debt has not vanished. Despite a momentary contraction in crude oil prices, gasoline and food prices will continue to soar. All of the critical domestic political problems that Mr. Obama faced before the Navy Seals showed up in Abbottabad are still there. And these are the issues that determine how people vote.