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Sunday, May 01, 2011

Mixed feelings on Bin Laden's Death

I had to shut off my Twitter and Facebook for a while, because while I understand the relief people are feeling at finally being able to close a painful chapter of our history, I'm not sure that this is a reason to celebrate.

Thousands of people have died in this endeavor. People whose names and faces are all but forgotten except for the ones who've lost them. For whom is this a victory? Just because Osama bin Laden is dead does not mean all the terrorists are going to hang up their guns and say, "oops, my bad." And, because of the structure of al-Qaeda, bin Laden's death changes nothing in terms of the terrorists' agenda.  It may be too soon to tell, but this death could very well mean that terrorists now have a new martyr to justify their cause. And we've given them pictures of Americans celebrating in front of the White House just as we had the awful visions of them celebrating 9/11.

I think, for me, the worst was reading comments from people who wanted to rejoice in bin Laden burning in hell. Now I am not going to go all Rob Bell on you, at least I don't think, because I have not read his book, but I do want to know- who are we to say that bin Laden is in hell? And I do not believe for a minute that if bin Laden did arrive in hell, that God is rejoicing over it. I don't think He rejoices over anyone going to hell, no matter how much they deserve it.

Some of my friends from church shared some encouraging Scripture on Facebook, and right now, I'm sitting with it and just letting God's word soothe my soul.
Proverbs 24:17-18 - "Don't laugh when your enemy falls; don't crow over his collapse. God might see, and become very provoked, and then take pity on his plight."
Ezekiel 18:23 - "Do you think I take any pleasure in the death of wicked men and women? Isn't it my pleasure that they turn around, no longer living wrong but living right—really living?
I don't have any answers about bin Laden, I really don't. I am glad that some people have the closure they need to move on with their lives. I pray that this closure doesn't open up a whole new chapter of increased violence. For some reason, I am reminded of Israel, when they asked for a king, despite God saying they didn't need one. What price will we pay for the satisfaction of thinking we've received justice for the lives we've lost?


Gina Conroy said...

I feel the same way... I only heard the news a little bit ago and all the "hate" and "rejoicing" sort of grieved me. Not sure what I should be feeling, mostly feel nothing, but all the emotion out there definitely deserves prayer. Was justice served by his death? What is justice and who says if it's served or not? Only God, I believe. And to throw a wrench into the plan (cliche, I know) who's to say the government isn't...well, you can figure out the rest.

UnoMom said...

Thank yo for this; it states my feelings exactly. I think God would want us to behave differently than we are by celebrating in the streets and planning rallies. I sure enjoy reading what you write!

Jana said...

I just said a prayer about this not two minutes ago so you summed up my feelings quite nicely. I simply cannot rejoice that anyone is burning in hell. I might feel differently had I lost a loved one in 9/11 but even then, probably underneath it all I could never truly rejoice.

Gina~I kinda wondered the same thing about the government.

Denise Miller Holmes said...

I am not rejoicing that a man lost his soul (there is no indication Bin Laden was a Christian) but justice was served. The US cannot look the other way when attacked. Passivity only invites more attacks. It was necessary, but sad nonetheless.