Monday, May 2, 2011

Conflicting Emotions After bin Laden's Death

I'm listening to around-the-clock coverage of the death of Osama bin Laden, the terrorist credited for planning the 9/11 attack on our country.  I'm struck by an onslaught of conflicting emotions and am trying to sort through them even as I type.

I am continuously overwhelmed at the sheer perserverance of our military members and honor them for their vigilance, courage, and sacrifice.  I feel great pride in our armed forces and gratitude for the many servicemembers who have spent the past years serving in harm's way.  I am heartbroken for those servicemembers who never made it home and mournful for their Families. 

I am glad that there is one less criminal mastermind on earth to plot evil against our country and sensitive to the fact that, for many who lost loved ones on 9/11/01, this event could bring some sense of closure and justice for them.  I am hopeful that this serves as an indicator that we are one step closer to peace.

When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers.
Proverbs 21:15

Justice is good.  This man was evil.  So why am I torn watching the endless coverage of this event?

Seeing these jeering crowds around the country is both uncomfortable and disturbing to me.  In my mind, the screaming fans tearing apart a poster of bin Laden is eerily remniscent of other groups defacing an American flag or burning our Soldiers or leaders in effigy.  For me, these effusive celebrations seem to diminish the amazing people that we, as Americans, truly are.

Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble,
do not let your heart rejoice. 
Proverbs 24:17

So despite his reprehensible behavior and the unforgivable destruction he has caused to our people and to our country, I cannot 'rejoice' in his death.  I cannot yell for him to 'rot in hell.'

Perhaps its just a play on words, but I can rejoice in the victory of our military.  I can find joy in the resolution of an issue that started so many years ago.  I can be joyful that we have a country that displays such courage and diligence.  I am an American.  And that is something I am proud to rejoice.


  1. Well said... I agree with everything you said and wish I could have said it so well.

  2. Nicely said, and I agree. It is important to remember the difference between an observation (Proverbs 21:15 & Proverbs 11:10 When the righteous do well, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there is joy) and a command (Proverbs 24:17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and when he stumbles do not let your heart rejoice,). As a friend of mine said, "prescription vs. description, it is useful to know the difference." That said, I agree with your entire post.


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