Monday, May 2, 2011

A Tragic End to a Great Sunday

Yesterday was a great day that was capped off in a sickening way. I had heard about Osama bin Laden's death while we were at our small group, but was greatly troubled to come home, flip on the tv, and see the celebration and revelry taking place around our country and world. OVER SOMEONE'S DEATH!

Now I realize that posting these thoughts will make me seem unpatriotic, which is really is not the case. I love my country (most of the time) and am grateful to live in a nation that holds freedom, liberty, and opportunity as its priorities. Killing bin Laden may have been the right thing to do in this situation. I'm not sure. What I am most troubled with in this whole issue is the joyous celebration we are seeing over the loss of life and the perpetuation of the cycle of violence. Sing and dancing in the street?? Really??

This situation reminds me of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's dilemma over whether to kill Hitler in the midst of his reign of terror. Bonhoeffer willingly participated in a secret plan to assassinate Hitler, but never felt justified in his actions. He wrote of seeing murdering Hitler as a sin, but was willing to stand before God in judgment in order to do what he felt needed to be done. I wish we would have seen the attitude of Bonhoeffer shine force yesterday in the midst of this tragedy. I wish Obama would have said something like, "We regret that killing Osama bin Laden was the decision that had to be made today. While taking another person's life is never ideal, we felt that this was the lesser of two evils, the only way we could find to keep him from doing more harm to innocent people around the world." I could respect a statement like that. At least it would own the tragedy of the loss of life, rather than celebrate it.

I pray that we will begin to see the lunacy of thinking that one more act of violence will finally end the cycle of violence. I pray that we will become people who choose non-violent resistance as an alternative to violence. I pray that we will have the courage and creativity to find subversive ways of non-violently turning the other cheek, rather than blindly gouging out another's eye. In the strong words of Jesus to a room of cowering, hurt, vengeful disciples, "Peace be with you."


  1. Mike and I engaged in conversation last night as I watched the situation unfold. I was sickened, my heart and spirit ached, and i fought back tears most of the time. You echo my feelings, my sentiments, and my prayers.
    Now, I pray for wisdom and discernment in the days ahead. Trying to pray Proverbs 4 and what my response should be.

  2. great post. I wrote a post that in essence said since when do Christians celebrate death and if revenge is what leads to healing then we may have bigger problems on our hands.

    I definitely don't know the proper course of action - as you said, but we HAVE to see that this won't be the killing that ends all wars.

  3. If you really think about it, its good we got rid of the man who killed thousands of our people on our land. We celebrate because we are relieved, why should we morn over someone who killed thousands of innocent Americans and thousands of innocent Afghanistan's?
    But i also see where you are coming from, thats just my opinion.