Finding my ethic – The Death of Osama Bin Laden

I remember 9/11 – I was 23 at the time, about the age, from what I saw, of the celebrants in front of the White House last night. I remember the anguish and the fear, and the casual sayings of ‘My God will kick your god’s butt’ and the such, from myself, but I also remember that I didn’t wave the U.S. Flag.

I remember when the U.S. launched the attacks into Afghanistan and I supported it. It was, in my opinion, a just act, although that justness has since vanished.

I remember the day that I withdrew my support of President Bush – when he invaded Iraq. I had prayed that we wouldn’t do so, since it was clearly a war of propaganda.

Further, I remember the election of 2008, in which then-candidate Barack Obama promised to pull us out of the war zones.

And now, I will add to that list the remembrance of watching Twitter announce that the President would be making an announcement at 10:30 EST, which, of course, was pushed back, further and further. And of course, the subsequent news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed.

But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!

My joyousness was prevalent. It was more relief then anything, but I got the sense that people were actually enjoying the fact that ‘justice’ had been done to Osama Bin Laden (OBL). Justice? I have to ask myself if Justice is what we call it when, after ten years of war, with thousands upon hundreds of thousands of deaths from New York City to Iraq, Spain, and Afghanistan, OBL was shot through the left eye, and his body dumped at sea for fear that his followers would claim him a martyr and create a shrine? Is this really Justice?

In my flesh, I am joyful that this is over, but is it really? In the day light, apart from the 24 hour news-cycle, I am left to wonder about the fear for Americans now, world wide, and what will happen now that others may see themselves as the one to seek revenge. Revenge is a dirty cycle, you know. No one wins that one. In my spirit, I stand condemned because I know that the Scriptures speaks to this, in regard to loving our enemies, not focusing on revenge, and the such. It is not something I have always done, and I am struggling to do now. I struggle in view.

Even the psychotic Prophet Ezekiel wrote,

“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.” Ezekiel 33.11

While I know that this is not a Christian nation, why are those who claim it to be so reacting against the very texts which they claim as the foundation of their faith? (yes, I know of the other passages of Scripture, but if we are to choose, let us choose what we know Jesus would have chosen).

Last night, I was searching for some words to express my internal struggle –

I do not celebrate, neither do I mourn. Tonight, I exhale. (ht – Christian Salafia)

I am not sure I can mourn for the death of OBL – nor do I rejoice at his death, but I can and will mourn for what looks to be the death of civility in our society. We rejoice when our enemy falls, and the more bloody it is, the better for us. We do not enjoy and will shout not for the homeless being fed, or the naked clothed, or the civil rights of some finally protected, but when one man falls, regardless of the result, we will issue a loud applause, a joyous shout, puff up our chests, and claim victory!

“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles.” (Proverbs 24:17)

I wonder if any of the rights which have been denied, and taken away, from us these past ten years will be restored?

I wonder, and I do with with as much sanctity that I can express in written form, because I do grieve for those who this will hurt – but I wonder if the death of OBL will bring back the thousands upon hundreds of thousands who have died in the past ten years? No? Are we expecting now to see them return and thank us for participating in their vengeance?

I support our troops, and I immensely proud of those who serve.

But I am speaking about those of us, today, who rejoice when our enemy has fallen when we gave him what looks to be more and more the only American justice system – death.

While others were celebrating at various places, I wanted to meet at the sanctuary to pray for the future of our country, and indeed, my own sinful flesh and participation in the death of an unholy man who, nevertheless, was created in the image of the Most High God.

I’m not sure my ultimate ethic here, maybe, but a blog is a public conversation, and I haven’t been afraid to share other details of my warped journey. Why start now?

Enhanced by Zemanta

You Might Also Like

6 Replies to “Finding my ethic – The Death of Osama Bin Laden”

  1. I had the same thought about the irony of quoting Ezekiel on the subject, but I particularly liked your way of putting it: “even the psychotic prophet Ezekiel…” Ha!

    1. Well, once I read Ezekiel again (I didn’t know that he had other chapters besides 37-39), I realized that we might not be dealing with a sane individual

  2. I didn’t know this one on my own. It was posted by a fellow Mennonite,lol:
    “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, 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.
    Now, to be honest, I am not a pacifist although I attend a Mennonite church. I doubt I ever will be,but the topic today & the variety of opinions expressed are working on my own rather malleable position on such things.

Leave a Reply, Please!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.