The death of the most wanted terrorist in the world brings me mixed feelings. On one hand I am glad that he can no longer provide leadership to al-Qaeda. I take comfort in knowing that no American soldiers were hurt in the mission that lead to bin Laden’s death. I am glad that many of the people who’s lives were turned upside down by the attacks that were carried out under his directions now have closure. On the other hand, I am saddened that another human being is now in eternal separation from God. The fact that another person is in Hell does not bring me joy. Knowing that there will most likely be some kind of retaliatory response by al-Qaeda members/supporters seeking revenge for bin Laden’s death brings me distress.
Seeing so many people finding joy in the death of someone saddens me. If bin Laden’s death meant that there would finally be peace, there might be something there to celebrate. The problem is that this mission was one battle in a war that is bigger than Osama bin Laden.
As I looked through Facebook, Twitter, and various news outlets, I was struck by a few people making comments in line with what I’ve felt since I heard the news on my way home last night.
Grieving over how quickly we forget those in need around us to rejoice over the death of someone evil. #stilllovedbyGod #tornadovictims
– @HeartRedeemed (Twitter)
“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls…” (Proverbs 24:17) and “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.” (Ezekiel 33:11)
– E. F. LaMarca (Facebook)
I will not rejoice in the death of any human whose salvation is not assured. Lord, keep our troops, our country and our families safe and in Your hands.
– J. Nance (Facebook)
[I wonder] if there is a connection between people celebrating violence and the cycle of violence continuing.
– R. Warren (Facebook)
There is a point of punishing for injustice. Yes it was right for Osama to be executed (not killed) by a trial according to God’s law. We are not called to just let things go because there may be more violence. However, I do agree that by going in and trying to eradicate evil is a hopeless task.
We should praise God that he can no longer help plan and fund the murdering of thousands. However, we can not be happy or relish in the face of execution. We should take the time to look and see how evil sin is and how much we need God’s mercy in our own lives.
– B. Schneider (Facebook Comment)
Let me add to those quotes with this. “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19 NIV ©2011). I don’t mind that people are happy that about a military victory, but the way the nation seems to be glorifying revenge worries me. Even some news papers are going a little far with their headlines:
GOT HIM! Vengeance at last! US nails the bastard
– New York Post
ROT IN HELL!
– Daily News
I am glad that there was a small victory in the war against terror, but I am somewhat disgusted by some of the other responses I’ve read. The headlines above and many of the things being said through social media outlets are no better than al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremists celebrating nearly ten years ago on September 11. It’s almost as if we are asking for retaliation from bin Laden’s followers.
I pray for the safety of our troops and our nation.