...for me to hop up on my soap box.
Since news of Osama bin Laden's death was made public on Sunday evening I've been, as I'm sure you have been, barraged with varying reactions. Some of these reactions have been deeply disturbing to me. On the one hand, bin Laden was a terrible excuse for a human being, teaching hatred and intolerance to thousands around the Arab world and even right here on American soil. His voice and influence needed to be silenced. The way his death is being widely celebrated seems wrong to me though. On the news you see images of people dancing and carrying on in the streets. Let's remember back to 10 years ago in the days and weeks following the Towers falling. Weren't they celebrating the same way over in Northern Africa? Weren't we offended that they would so openly rejoice in the loss of so many American lives? Here we are a decade later reacting the same way to the death of one of their leaders. America is a Christian nation. How can we possibly justify the celebratory reaction against what Jesus taught us? Our religion is about love. Love our neighbors. Love our enemies as ourselves. Love, love, love.
There is no doubt in my mind that God is not overjoyed by bin Laden's death. His heart for each of us is to bring us home to him. He covets each and every one of us, terrorist war lords included. Read the parable of the prodigal son. God is mourning Osama bin Laden's lost soul just as much as he's mourning the loss of your Aunt Edna who led a good life but never gave her life to Him. This Old Covenant eye for an eye reaction that I see everywhere I look just doesn't seem to me to be what Jesus taught us. Did Osama bin Laden need to die? Yes he absolutely did. Do we need to celebrate by dancing in the streets? No. That makes us no better than the terrorists he led.