Monday, May 02, 2011

In which I attempt to explain myself...

Last night as news was breaking I put this up on facebook:
Am I the only one a little saddened by the death cheering going on here on facebook? Another death in a senseless war, even if it is a crazy extremist.
And something similar up on twitter too.  Now it led to much discussion in both places.  Some people agreed with me, some vehemently did not, and that is fine.  I suppose it is no surprise that those most in agreement with me are the liberal Lutheran church friends and pastors I have.  We are a diverse country of diverse opinions but I am entitled to my own as well.  And I admit that the primary feelings I have felt since the news of Osama Bin Laden's death last night has been unease and conflictedness.

So I thought I would lay out what thoughts are going on in my head, bullet point style, as a matter of my own processing of the events and perhaps in some explanation about where I am coming from.
  • I am NOT sad that Osama Bin Laden is dead.  I believe he orchestrated unspeakable acts of violence, hatred and war upon our nation and deserved to come to justice.
  • I would have preferred he be captured alive, tried, and then a sentence be passed on him.  It may be that he resisted (I would have no surprises about that) so that any attempt at capturing him alive was impossible.
  • I DO support our military, those people who serve our country and do very difficult, dangerous and life-threatening things everyday to make our country a better place.  I am aware that today their job might even be a little more difficult for fear of retaliation.
  • I DO support President Obama ordering the mission to get Osama after the intelligence proved reliable.
  • I AM sad that the world has come to this - this being everything from 9/11 and terrorism to hate and celebration of death, even death that seems warranted in our understanding of justice.  Osama was a big part of this, committing truly inhumane acts, but I cannot cheer his death.  In my mind, it is another death on a list of "how did the world come to this?"
  • I mourn with the families of the victims of 9/11 and sure that there are many conflicted emotions that last night brought up for them.
  • I hope that the violence of last night can be transformed into a celebration of hope and peace as President Obama said.  I hope this is the end, but I fear it is not.  My son is to young to know what happened in the world last night, and my prayer is that by the time he is old enough to know about it that the world will be a safer, more peaceful place.
Last night was a victory for America, that's true.  It was a successful military mission, without losing an American life, that eliminated one of the key threats to American security.  BUT, are we any closer to peace today?  And will our boasting, and gloating and raucous celebration in Osama's death bring us any closer to peace?

I for one, think not yet.  So I pray for peace.  I pray for the victims of 9/11.  I pray for our military.  I pray for our Muslim brothers and sisters, in this country and abroad.  I pray that this an end and not another beginning.  Last night, and today, my prayer remains that God may bless not only America but the whole World with peace.


    Crimson Rambler said...

    thank you for this...thoughtful and "measured" and I appreciate that.

    Amelia Sprout said...

    Well, I'm an atheist, not a liberal Lutheran, but I agree with you.
    I refuse to celebrate death, as I feel it puts me at the same level as those that do. He was an evil evil man. I can usually find some good in even the worst of people, at least some compassion for the circumstances that put them in the position they are in. Not so much for him.
    Thank you for a very well thought out response.