Like many of you, I watched the news last night. I watched as people around the world hit the streets in celebration that the U.S. military had rid the world of Osama Bin Laden. And while I was sitting on my couch, watching throngs of people jumping up and down, chanting “USA, USA,” an emotion crept up on me that I was not expecting.
Let me be the first to say, I’m glad that Bin Laden is no longer able to murder, torture, spread hate, or spew propaganda. I am truly thankful for all those things. And I understand that the world is much safer without that hate.
What i felt uneasy about was celebrating death. I felt uneasy sitting there watching people jump around like they were at a football game, and their team just came out on top. I felt uneasy being glad that someone (no matter how evil) was dead.
As I’ve had time to process it, I’ve come to the realization of why I felt that way. As soon as I start telling myself, “i’m glad he’s dead” or “he got what he deserved” I am saying that my idea of justice is the right one. That what I view as just is what is truly just.
Does Bin Laden deserve death? Sure. Do I? Absolutely. Was he fashioned by his creator? Most definitely. Was I? You bet. Do I think that God wept every time Bin Laden carried out one of his atrocious acts? That God was sitting in heaven mourning for this creation of his that was so far away from him? That if it wouldn’t have violated free will, that God would’ve reached out, wrapped his arms around him, and claimed Bin Laden’s heart for his own? Absolutely.
“As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleaseure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.” -Ezekiel 33:11
“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles” - Proverbs 24:17
Apart from Christ, I am no different of a human than Bin Laden. Without Jesus’ shed blood, I’m capable of anything that Bin Laden was capable of.
This is where my unease came from. In putting myself on a pedestal above another human being, when at the end of the day, I’m a wretch that found Jesus, was washed clean, and am no better than any other man.