I really should get news alerts on my cell phone. I rarely watch TV and since I only listen to the radio in the car, the internet is my main news source. When the computer is off, “the internet” consists of email and Facebook via my cell phone. Getting news via Facebook is actually kind of nice because I have friends all across political, social and religious spectrums. Therefore, I get to see different sides to the stories. (Sometimes, I even go Googling on my own to find two or three different articles about an event. If I wanted to know only viewpoint, I’d watch TV news.)
So of course, I found out about Osama bin Laden’s death on Facebook. I was pretty disturbed by some of the reactions I saw. He was evil. He masterminded devastating terrorist attacks that killed and injured thousands of people. Hundreds of soldiers have given their lives fighting his disciples. I get that. Really. But rejoicing because another human is dead? How does that make us any better than him? The bible says we are ALL sinners. Obviously, mass murder is worse than something like lust or lying… Except God makes no such distinction. I’m not righteous enough to say I wish he were still alive. I just think we need to stop for a minute and think about what we’re saying.
Now that bin Laden is dead, what happens? Will the troops come home? That’s something to celebrate. Will Congress repeal the Patriot Act and restore our civil liberties? I’d probably cheer about that, too. Are all the terrorists going to take their toys and go home? I don’t think so. I could be wrong. I would LOVE to be wrong. (Mark that down. I don’t say it often.)
Fortunately, I have several friends, online and IRL who feel as I do. Otherwise, I would wonder if I was missing something. Not only did most of them say something before I had a chance, most of them said it better than I could have. Here’s what a few had to say, along with some appropriate quotes that I saw today. (All personal Facebook posts are used with permission from the original poster. My thanks to everyone who allowed me to share here.)
“Only once in history has the death of one man changed the world. This is not that time.”
Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’
“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” –Martin Luther King Jr
Ezekiel 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.” – Jessica Dovey
“As a person who values human life, but recognizes evil, I have very mixed emotions this morning. I hope that the events of yesterday will be helpful to some of the many hurting people whose lives were touched by his hate.”
Proverbs 24:17-18 Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice, or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from them.
“We kill them, they kill us. For what? To prove whose version of God is the right one? Hell, Christians can’t even agree on that. So when do we start fighting in the streets over what denomination is right? It has to make God so happy. When do both sides say enough?”
“An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” – Gandhi
“I am a pacifist. I’m anti-war. However, I am still pro our troops, this is why I want them home so badly. I don’t like Bin Laden, he was a terrible man, I don’t think he should have been free but I don’t believe in taking people’s lives. THIS is the problem with war. Both sides are fighting for their beliefs right or wrong. War causes way to much pain.”
“Am I the only one not rejoicing over death? Where’s the outcry from my pro-life friends?”
“I am having trouble “enjoying the moment.” 1. Are we sure it is OBL? 2. His eternity is not something I’m willing to celebrate seeing as I deserve the same judgement? 3. What is the difference between killing a criminal who remains human and justice which seems right. 4. Thank you, Lord that your providence and sovereignty cover these questions, but I still have questions.”
“Justice was served, and for that I am very thankful, but please do not think that GOD is somewhere up there jumping up and down in exuberant joy because a man was killed for justice sake. God mourns with those who mourn…….war just sucks…just saying……..”
“Such a mixed bag of emotions. So so so thankful for our military who didn’t give up the search for the bad guy, and worked so hard to bring his reign of terror to an end. So glad he was stopped, but sobered that his death was the only way. Sad that such an evil and lost man died without finding some redemption in this life. A little torqued at some of the misguided celebratory assertions.”
One last note: I’m tired of hearing about how the U.S. “brought bin Laden to justice”. No, we killed him. I’m not sure that’s “brought to justice.” However, eternal justice will come from God.