A Note about the Death

  • O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP 816).

  • Osama bin Laden has been killed.  There's lots of commentary out there in the news, on Facebook, Twitter, and people's blogs.  The commentary as a whole is conflicted - in fact, many people individually say they feel conflicted about this.  I've seen more than a few Biblical quotes, from Jesus telling us to love our enemies to the Proverb about not to rejoice when the enemy falls to "Vengeance is mine, says the Lord."  Several people have quoted the former professor of preaching at Emory, Fred Craddock, saying, "Christians are not allowed to dance on the graves of their enemies."  A number of folks on Twitter have been retweeting a statement by Harry Waizer, a survivor of 9/11, who said, "I just can't find it in my heart to be glad one more person is dead, even if it is Osama bin Laden."

  • I feel the way Harry Waizer does.  I am mindful of all those who have died all over the world because of this man and his followers.  I mean no disrespect to their memories if I do not rejoice at this death; we do not rejoice about any death.  We pray for the dead, whoever they are.  I was disheartened to see people dancing in the streets in what looks like a frat party or a "We're Number One!" demonstration.   In my own mind, bin Laden's death is yet another scene in the cycle of violence that the whole world has embraced.  He lived and died by the sword.  He had much blood on his hands.  He's not the only one.  May God have mercy upon him; may God have mercy upon all who have died; may God have mercy upon us all.

  • Pray for peace, pray for healing, pray that some day we will finally beat our swords into ploughshares and not study war any more.


Perpetua said…
Penny, I couldn't agree with you more. My fear is that this will prove to be an illusory achievement, replacing a fugitive leader whose influence may wll have been waning with a dead martyr whose blood, to some, will cry out to be avenged.

Postscript - for some reason the font size in this post is really small, quite out of balance with the rest of your blog.
Hi Perpetua - I just edited the post and tried to get the font right. Not sure what happened, and now I have a bunch of dots. But I'll leave them as the font size is correct. I did add to the post when I edited it....
June Butler said…
Very good post, Penny. I can't find it in me to take joy in the death of any human being, either.

Still, I take a certain satisfaction in the timing. For all George Bush's bluster, Osama bin Laden was not killed on his watch but on the watch of a president who has been labeled a terrorist by certain citizens of this country. Not exactly a Christian sentiment on my part, eh?
Thanks, Mimi - there is a certain irony in that. I was thinking about the hoopla about the birth certificate and that President Obama was having to deal with that while dealing with this. We are a people who believe that new life comes out of disaster, and so we can hope that our civil discourse might become more sane. Probably not, but we can always hope.
Nancy Wallace said…
Your prayer at the head of this post is so helpful. Thankyou.