“An Eye for an Eye”… is still an Eye.

The death of Osama Bin Laden was a significant day for all people, but especially those of us in America. Let’s face it, the man was a monster and he deserved to die, right? Well whether you agree with me or not, that’s exactly how I felt when I first heard the news. I think I even told one of my friends something like “I hope that bastard burns and is paying for what he did…I wish I could have been the one to put the bullet through him…that would have been sweet!” I typed that all over Facebook a few times too, I admit it – I was beyond thrilled. Strong words, but I felt like justice was served and that made me happy.

Many of you are nodding in agreement. Others of you aren’t sure how you feel about it. And then they are some of you who are appalled at that statement. As for me, I have experienced all of these emotions. I was pretty comfortable with my first reaction of complete and unbridled joy, until one of my friends referenced the following piece of Scripture:

Proverbs 24:17
Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice.

Damn, did that stop me in my tracks. I’m a Christian and I firmly believe in the teachings of Jesus. Since Jesus was undoubtedly the pinnacle when we’re talking about the concept of loving others – and that’s ALL PEOPLE regardless of their beliefs, words or actions – how could I possibly say that I was acting the way Jesus would in this situation? So wow, how do I like being a hypocrite? Yeah, I DON’T. But that’s sure how it appeared considering what I say I stand for in my daily life.

Without trying to say I know exactly what Jesus thinks about this (who can honestly say that, really?) I feel comfortable making the statement that while Jesus in no way condones the behavior of Osama Bin Laden, He probably still loves him. If I am someone who claims to be making an attempt to be more Jesus-like, how in the world could I justify celebrating his death like a rich kid on Christmas morning?

Not only that, but how could I possibly rejoice in the death of another human being? Death is the end of a life – and even the life of a monster like Bin Laden is still one that is now gone. I cannot grasp the concept of celebrating the death of an individual. At funerals, my belief is that we are celebrating the life of that person. But how can you have a party in honor of the despicable life that Osama Bin Laden led? Yeah, you can’t. I’ll say it – I am NOT sorry that he’s dead. But that doesn’t mean I am participating in a parade because he is. That just doesn’t feel right to me, especially after reading that piece from Proverbs that kicked my ass. The reason it did? I believe every word, even if I don’t always follow through with what it says.

YES, I know he’s a monster.
YES, I am glad he is gone because the world has a safer place to live.
YES, I am very happy that the family members of Osama’s victims are more at peace now.
YES, Jesus loves him unconditionally.
YES, I believe that loving all others is the right way for me to live.

YES, I have a long way to go.

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11 responses

  1. Let’s face it: Jesus was taken down by the Sanhedrin’s version of Seal Team 6. So, if anything, he might have a few words and a hug for Bin Laden.

  2. You have articulated my thoughts and feelings perfectly. Sometimes it is a real bear trying to be a better person, may God have mercy on his soul.

  3. YES you are honest. At least there is that…. You are smart enough to point out the hypocracy in celebrating his death.. So thank you for that.. I got into it with some people on line about this exact same thing so I for one really appreciate this one. thanks again
    Always Ms ET

  4. Karen, you articulated my exact thoughts and feelings about this topic perfectly. The morning I heard about the assasination, my feelings were completely torn. I cannot rejoice in the the taking of another man’s life – it’s simply not right (how would we feel about a Muslim posting something similar on his blog about one of his soldier’s taking the life of an American leader?).

    However, was I relived to know that he was no longer a threat to the US? You bet!! The only response I could come up with was to thank God that we no longer had to fear this man’s wrath. But in all reality, it will be replaced with yet another man’s wrath, won’t it? Our ultimate goal, as Christians, would be to quit fearing man. The only one to truly fear is God. Man can only take our life – God has our soul!!!

    • Heather, thank you so much! I don’t think there is any better feeling when you are a writer to know that you articulated something that others were thinking. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and really appreciate the kind words, my friend!

  5. My son talked to his dad after it happened and chastised his dad for gloating and whooping it up. My son said that while he was relieved bin Laden was dead because he hurt people, he wouldn’t celebrate his death because he had family who loved him and were crying that he was dead. Pretty profound for an 11-year-old.

  6. I wish I knew of this blog back when this happened, this post pretty much embodies how I reacted. I was shocked and appalled that our country was so ecstatic over the death of a man, no matter who that man was. Celebrate that justice has been served, that the man can no longer cause pain and hurt, but NEVER celebrate death itself. Great post, LWL.

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