Monday, May 02, 2011

Ding dong the witch is dead...

So if you haven't seen the news tonight you will undoubtably see it soon enough and learn that Osama Bin Laden has been killed and his body is in US custody. And while someone being killed is most definitely not the topic I'd planned on talking about upon returning to blogging so soon after my mother's death - I think that maybe somewhere in this is a lesson - and perhaps a little healing......

Screenshot from
I was watching a DVR'd episode of Army Wives and didn't even know Osama had been killed until I checked Facebook on my phone. The overwhelming amount of hoorays and joyous responses about Osama's demise prompted this post.

I will start by saying that the horrors faced due to the actions of Osama Bin Laden are unfathomable and I am most definitely glad that the immediate threat and dangers that Osama directly posed are over. But I do not now, nor will I ever rejoice over the loss of a life - no matter how atrocious the actions were that the person committed while alive.

I remember exactly where I was on 9/11 and how surreal it felt. I was sitting on the couch next to my then fiance (now ex) when his mom called and told us to turn on the news. We watched the plane crash into the second tower. I remember feeling tears roll down my cheeks as I saw people jump from the flaming buildings to their death. I started calling Red Cross and everyone else I could think of to offer my aid and see how I could help.

But what I DIDN'T do, not for one second, was fill my heart with anger and hatred and wish death on the person or people who were responsible. In those moments - I felt closer to God than I think I'd ever felt in my life and my heart filled with such a deep sadness, an almost paralyzing anguish over the actions I was witnessing. I could almost see Him crying, shaking His head and asking 'why'.

It was, I imagine, similar to the bone deep grief a parent must feel - watching their child go off on a horribly wrong path and knowing there was nothing you could do to guide them back to the way you'd brought them up in.

Though on a much lesser scale, that is kind of how I feel now - seeing so many people, both Christians and non rejoicing in Osama's death. Being happy and thankful he was killed.

While I don't always agree with the actions of our country, our involvement in matters that don't concern us, and are often not asked to participate in, I AM and always will be thankful for the freedoms I enjoy living here and I am most definitely grateful for the brave soldiers who volunteer their service and often their lives to fight for those freedoms.

That being said I cannot help but feel a heavy heart that so many of my fellow Americans seem to be so blood thirsty. The responses I've seen so far on Facebook range from giving thanks to the military for a job well done to all caps yelling for Osama to BURN IN HELL!!!!!!!

What he did and the deaths he was responsible for are terrible, so many lives were lost, so many loved ones living with missing parts of themselves. There is no question that his actions were those of an evil evil man. But does that make it right for us to rejoice in his death? Does Osama being a bad person make it any less wrong of us to be happy he's dead?

One person who commented on my post - the sister in law of my husband - and a military wife said that I'd feel differently if it was my husband over there fighting for our freedom. She said she was HAPPY Osama had been killed and blamed him for 'ten years of hell' that she'd endured as the wife of a serviceman. She's wrong.

Now I've no doubt I'm going to get a lot of, for lack of a better word, passionate replies to this, and will quite likely piss more than a few people off, but I am a strong believer in self responsibility and not blaming others and outside forces for our lives and the events in them so I wouldn't be me if I didn't say what I was thinking so here goes. Please know that there is absolutely NO disrespect intended toward our military or the families of our servicemen.

With all of that being said I ask this - did Osama make her husband enlist? Did Osama make her marry a military man? Did Osama make our troops go on a wild goose chase for WMDs and invade a country that we had no business being in? It was many actions of many people who goaded Osama into his war on America. Now please do not for one second think that I am excusing his actions - no way no how was anything he did even remotely OK in my book, but that being said I don't think it's OK for us to blame a crazy man for every bad thing that's happened over the last ten years.

The US is as I type randomly dropping bombs on Lybia - our 'part' in trying to help the Libyan people find their freedom. Do you for one second not think that innocent people are being killed by those air strikes? Women, men, children who are guilty of nothing more than being in an area of unrest - murdered. By our soldiers.

In any war there are casualties - sure the 'bad guys' usually get caught or killed in the end - but how many innocent people are slain along the way?

I have a friend who was an Army Ranger in Iraq and he told me stories of being ordered to open fire on shacks that suspected insurgents were hiding in and how after the building was basically shot to shreds they'd have to go in a do an 'assessment'. Do you know what he often found? Grandmothers crumpled over trying to shield their grandchildren. Mothers huddled over their babies. Oh yea - there may have been a bad guy in there too. So what - we say yay that the bad guy is dead and forget all the innocent lives lost?

There is NO loss of life that effects just one single person. Every single human on this planet is connected to at LEAST one other - so for every YAY we shout when a 'bad guy' an 'evil terrorist' is killed, we are also celebrating the loss of other innocents who were guilty of nothing more than being related to or living next to that 'bad guy'. You are also celebrating the death of someone who believe it or not someone else LOVED.

Some of the Christian's justification for their joy in Osama's death is that he 'reaped what he sewed', or that 'the wages of sin is death'. Some others are calling it karma. Most all are saying there is no room for forgiveness because he didn't repent for what he did.

I'm pretty sure the Romans didn't repent for nailing Jesus to the cross..... I'm also pretty sure He forgave them anyway.


So before you rejoice in Osama's death, or the death of any terrorist, or rapist, or murderer or bad guy of the moment ask yourself this - are you the type of 'Proud American' that rejoices in death? Are you the type of Christian who doesn't forgive a wrong unless asked? Or are you the type of HUMAN who feels compassion for misguided actions, for lives lost?

And what if the bad guy were someone you knew.... grew up with.... loved? Would you want others celebrating that they were killed?

I know I wouldn't.