Monday, May 2, 2011

Not Likely to Make Me Popular

There are some things you should probably know about me. I'm an American, and I love my country. My Dad, both of them, actually, served in the United States Air Force and they were proud and brave to do so. You should know that I hate what happened on 9/11 on so many levels. That we as a nation lost innocent lives is horrific enough. But that families lost dearly-loved ones in such a violent and heinous manner is beyond pardon. That our security, both as a country and as individual citizens, was snatched from under us as we watched helplessly is unimaginable and yet, true. We were forever changed that day.

You should know that I'm not a political sort of person. You won't find me ranting about politics, politicians, or hear me suggesting that the country is going to hell in a hand basket. My choice is to leave that to those who know more than I. I'm interested in what happens in my country. I'm interested in what happens in the world. I'm not interested in politics.

You should know that I care about people and that I believe human life is precious, regardless of age, ability, or the color of the wrapping. You should know that I believe that a kernel of the supernatural, found in each one of us, necessarily imbues the life that we carry with awe and dignity, and quietly demands reverence and respect.

You should know that I was saddened today.

I was saddened as I listened to the people of my country gleefully celebrate that a man was killed. I was saddened as I read words written by a friend. Words dripping with venom and racist hate as they mocked the fallen man's religion and wished upon him a horrible hell.

Do I believe that the death of Osama bin Laden was good or righteous or holy? It doesn't matter really. This isn't about that. I support my country and our troops 100% as they struggle to keep us safe. I believe it's possible that the families of those tragically lost to the terror that this man wrought may now find comfort and some manner of closure in his death, and I do not begrudge them that. My prayer is that they will find peace. I am in no way defending the man or his acts. Do not misunderstand me.

But I maintain that he was human. I maintain that it is never right to rejoice in a man's death, and I maintain that it is never right to rejoice in what we perceive to be a man's eternal damnation. We lower ourselves to a very base level when we chant and cheer and dance to "Party in the USA" because a man has died.

Let us rejoice that families may now find some sense of closure. Let us rejoice that our world is safer, if we believe that to be so. Let us cheer that our country is strong and successful in its defense against evil acts. Let us cheer if we believe justice has been served. But let us not mock or jeer or pray for a hotter hell. For to do so defiles the very justice that we hoped to mete out.


  1. "I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that" - Martin Luther King, Jr.

  2. It seems that the MLK quote was not completely accurate. Please see the link for further information.

  3. Its is somewhat sad how far our society has fallen , a man was killed shot twice , by another nation so a country was invaded and nothing was said but many rejoiced. Does the life of one old frail moslem really avenge september 11 , i dare say almost as many americans have now died fighting the war on terror as did that horrible day. Don't get me wrong we Aussies ran in an joined you arm in arm as a friend should so we too have losr something.

  4. @bigtedd, I find the politics difficult to disentangle, but I know his death has certainly made a significant impact in how people feel. Thanks for your comments. :)