Celebrating Osama’s Death

Osama bin Laden was killed in a U.S. raid of his home in Pakistan over the weekend. I found out about this last night when Drew logged onto one of his social networking sites.

The first wave of reactions: nearly universal glee.

This makes me uncomfortable. Yes, Osama was responsible  for decades of severe human suffering. I completely understand feeling relieved or happy that he can no longer orchestrate the injury or death of anyone but there’s something that bothers me about spontaneous outdoor parties celebrating the fact that someone else is no longer alive.

Osama’s death is the end of possibilities. When someone is still alive there is always the hope of rehabilitation. A corpse can’t be tried in a court of law or sentenced for his crimes. The dead cannot atone for what they have done any more than they help those they have hurt find closure. Death is the last sentence in the life story of an individual. The loose strings of everything left unsaid and unlearned flap in the breeze. In this case there are a a hell of a lot of strings.

A single death isn’t going to nullify the danger of al-Qaeda. If anything I’ve read speculation that it will energize their followers and we will see more acts of violence against innocent people in retaliation. I hope these predictions are wrong, that if nothing else Osama’s death will mark the beginning of the end of their power.

No comment on what the U.S. should or could have done instead. I don’t know what the best answer is but neither can I celebrate the death of another human being.

A final thought. I’m borrowing this from the Facebook page of a friend but will leave self-identification up to that individual. 🙂

As you talk about this news, I hope you will consider how your response can counter rather than reinforce the cycles of violence that spin around us. And please God, help us bring healing beauty to the ugliness of violence in whatever small way we can. Today.


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0 Responses to Celebrating Osama’s Death

  1. teresa

    I was happy to post this quote, but in my ‘linking here and there’ failed to pay attention to the origin of the quote so I can’t give proper credit. I don’t like doing that, but this morning I was reading a lot of responses to this news and one thing lead to another!

    I was also very glad to see your comment and some of my other FB friends as well, who reposted this quote and had similar responses. I felt heart sick really, to see people celebrating, clapping, dancing, etc. over this death. I do agree, he was an evil person! I can’t say I’m sad that he is dead. But, I also remember when other people were rejoicing over the attacks on 9/11 and how that made us feel. What I am seeing in the news and hearing is no different. We are only retaliating in like manner. That does not help to stop the hate or violence but only spreads it.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your thoughts on this, Lydia. I’ve been a little bit afraid to share my thoughts for fear people will think I was defending bin Laden…that is not the case. I do, however, think there is enough violence and hate in the world and adding to that will not make it a better place.

    I want to leave footprints of peace, love, and harmony…just my two cents!

    • The news reports of other people celebrating 9/11 flashed through my mind as well. Muslim news agencies that sympathize with Osama must be having a field day with us at the moment. :O

      I was a little nervous to share my thoughts on this as well. Glad to see there are a least a few of you who agree with me!

      • Becky

        Totally agree with this post. I also feel heartsick. If there’s anything that points to the universality of fallen human nature, this is it. Surely this will only help support the whole cycle of violence, and revenge.

        Thanks for bringing this to everyone’s attention, Lydia.

  2. Me too. It doesn’t feel right celebrating someone’s murder. I would much rather have seen him brought to justice to stand before a court of law.

  3. Sarah Taylor

    Wow, I love this.

  4. There is another issue to consider as well. The US gov’t has spent considerable time and energy painting Bin Laden as the most evil bogeyman. It is something that almost all of us accept as a self-evident fact. The truth, however, is that we really don’t know what things he genuinely is culpable for. All that we’ve been told may be 100% true OR maybe only 50% is true OR maybe almost none of it is true.

    By killing him, instead of capturing him, the truth will remain hidden. That causes me to be a bit suspicious. In the past, we’ve apprehended a large number of supposed “bad guys” and housed them in Gitmo.

    Remember Saddam Hussein? He could have been easily killed on the spot, but he was brought in alive. Why was it so important to kill Bin Laden and dump his body at sea so quickly?

    • I’d never thought of this before. The media has described him as responsible for certain things so long that I never questioned it.

      These are hard questions. I don’t know why Saddam was brought in alive and Osama wasn’t. It could be some sort of cover-up, it could be that Osama didn’t want to be taken alive. I wonder if we’ll ever know?

  5. Twyseschoch

    I am saddened by any death, no matter who it is. I fear that there will be someone to take his place in his organization, and revenge killings will continue. An eye for an eye gets us nowhere. However, I really don’t know how else to run a secular state, except to defend ourselves. This is why I am not cut out to lead anything that has to do with guns.

  6. Antwuan Malone

    Well said!

  7. Antwuan Malone

    Well said!

  8. John

    Hi, I am from Australia.
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