MUSIC, LEADERSHIP, CULTURE… and humor (sometimes)

Osama is Dead. Celebrate good times?

Maybe you’re like me and you first heard about Osama Bin Laden’s death through Facebook, Twitter, or CNN . . . and if you’re really like me, you probably felt a strange sense of relief and retribution.  His death felt like good news. Initially.

But maybe you’re like me now and you’re wondering, wait a minute…why is this really good news? 

Because the person we say was responsible for the death of thousands on September 11, 2001 is now dead and somehow this makes everything better? 

Through his death, will the thousands of lives lost on that horrible day be restored?  Easter resurrection style?

Will the lives of the families who lost loved ones be that much better now?

Is this somehow the end of terrorism?

Is the ever-expanding, ever-autonomous Al Qaeda network suddenly going to call it quits now that their fearless leader is gone?

If the answer to all the questions above are “Yes,” then maybe it is time to celebrate.

Unfortunately, I can confidently say that all the answers to the questions are “No.” 

As long as this is the case, I don’t know what all this celebration is about. . .

. . . Especially when so many of us talk about and value love, grace, forgiveness, peace, and compassion. 

Yes, he did unspeakably wicked things and he needed to be captured and brought to justice.

But at the end of the day, we are celebrating a murder.  And it’s just a little unsettling to me.

So, why are you celebrating?  Help me understand, will ya?


9 responses

  1. wow, i thought that i was the only one that felt that way about osama’s death yesterday.

    I heard the new’s and at first, i was like yes he’s finally gone, but then my heart started to feel really uneasy the whole night.

    I mean it’s good that he’s gone, but he wasn’t also a human ,and he kind of had a family too.

    we just celebrated easter like a week ago, and it was totally about how God forgave us when we where at the lowest points of our lives. i i was thinking shouldn’t we be doing that also?

    it’s kind of sad at the same time too, cause he was only following the traditions of what he was taught over the years.

    i sometimes wonder what it would have been like if he was a Christan, or if like during the time that he was being hunted he gave his life to Christ? what would the world be like then?

    May 2, 2011 at 2:27 pm

  2. i had to wonder tho…how the generation before our parents generation took the news of Hitler’s death? Granted he took his own life in a bunker…i wonder what the reactions were to that…

    i agree that his death doesn’t necessarily change the world, but it brings a sense of closure to the victims and just the nation itself.

    May 2, 2011 at 4:32 pm

  3. yeah I agree with abe, it can give a sense of closure to the victims’ families, but I agree with you DK that we should not sigh in relief as if it’s all over. If anything, we need to be more wary of an al quaeda counterstrike, especially since they are upset with the way he was buried (“Osama is dead, al Qaeda is not”). But I disagree with you that this was a murder — he was killed in a firefight which he invited a decade ago. This wasn’t in cold blood – this was a fight that HE started. As it says in Ecclesiastes 3:3, there’s a time to kill. Could we say that this was one of those times? Not that we should celebrate it, but perhaps this is akin to the times in the old testament when God sent the Israelite armies to wipe out other nations. That was a time to kill, and it was dictated by God…

    If a bad guy broke into my house, you bet I would fight back. I would rather kill him than let him kill my family. If we think of our military as America’s dad fighting off the intruder, then maybe it’s a similar situation. I wouldn’t be glad that I killed the bad guy, and I would feel bad for his family, but I would also be grateful that my family was made safer by the death of that man (and of the threat that he posed).

    But yes, this is definitely NOT the end of terrorism, unfortunately.

    May 2, 2011 at 5:50 pm

  4. DK

    Some real solid points have been made so far and I really appreciate you guys’ contributions to this discussion!

    @bunny – i think the thing you bring up about traditions is very interesting to think about and it all comes back to perspective. I wonder if George W. Bush’s WAR on terror was viewed in many other countries as ACTS of terror….

    @abe – yeah, i imagine the reaction to Hitler’s death was something similar to Osama’s. Perhaps on a grander scale? great point about Osama’s death bringing closure to the victims’ families. I agree with that.

    @jeff – yes, I agree that death in the middle of a fight does not count as murder (as I stated) but I really wonder if how he died really makes a difference? This seems like an issue of semantics to me. Whether he took his own life, was killed in a cross-fire, was taken down by a sniper or tripped on an XBOX 360 controller to fall to his death really makes no difference. The people rejoice regardless. That is what I have found a little bit hard to accept completely.

    I appreciate you bringing a lil scripture into the mix. I’m no theologian but I have a thought for you so bare with me! I think Jesus introduced a new reality for the world when He lived, died and rose again. Bloodshed would not be necessary for redemption and retribution. That work has been done and finished… forever. We can debate war and its purpose but I don’t believe God needs to dictate and order bloodshed anymore. It was a “time to kill” in the Old Testament but Jesus wasn’t down with that in his time… and He showed us all a new way.

    I rejoice that hurting families received their closure but a celebration over death (no matter how deserved) is something I would have a hard time teaching my kids as right and just.

    GREAT thoughts, guys. thank you so much. keep ’em comin…

    May 2, 2011 at 7:04 pm

  5. Someone on my facebook wrote this quote on their wall:

    “I will 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

    May 2, 2011 at 7:17 pm

  6. Anne


    May 2, 2011 at 9:19 pm

  7. Good thoughts, DK. Osama’s death doesn’t bring an end to terrorism, and no, it isn’t even a small payback for what happened in NYC. POTSC’s Sarah Cunningham wrote a great article recently that talks about people who supposedly get what they deserve, and before that, The Shack looked at grace and judgement for the ‘evil doers among us’. You’ve given us some good things to ponder.

    May 2, 2011 at 9:54 pm

  8. DK

    @nyc (carol) – love that quote, love MLK. what a man.

    @anne – as always, thank you for reading!

    @Pat – “Grace for evildoers” sounds like bad juxtaposition but that’s how it is in the eyes of Real Love! gotta check that Sarah article out… thanks!

    May 3, 2011 at 10:12 am

  9. annyongbunny10

    @nyc that’s such a cool quote 🙂

    @dk yeah i guess the war on terror would probably be viewed as an act, cause certain people/cultures believe different things. What do u think?

    I love this tweet posted by 3rdwave

    ” we declare love! Terror , fighting , and war will not change nations, the love of god radically changes.”

    May 3, 2011 at 4:50 pm

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