Monday, May 2, 2011

Is there a right way to feel about tonight?

So news just broke about the death of Osama Bin Laden. I have many reactions to this, including a sense of a conclusion of the terrorist attacks on America on September 11. But I'm surprised that I don't feel the remorse that some of my friends are showing on facebook. Is it because I never met Osama? Is it because of the thousands of deaths he's responsible for? Or does it mean that I just have a cruel heart?

These are the things I wonder about as my night comes to a close. People are reminding me of Proverbs 24:17, which says not to rejoice in your enemy's defeat. I understand that, but I wonder how these same people would react at similar moments in American history (the death of Hitler comes to mind).

I've told myself and my friends that we are at war, and death is a consequence of war. But is this really the case. Was Osama actively engaged in this war, or had he resigned to a life away from it? I remember having actively different feelings when we killed Sadam Hussein. I thought he was more of a casualty of war than an active participant. But for some reason (media and political influence) I feEl like Osama was actively engaged in this. He continuously released tapes threatening America. His terrorist network was still conducting bombings. Does this mean he deserved death? I don't know.

I had an online conversation about what MLK would say. I have no doubt that he would be against this killing as he preached the power of love in all cases. As much as I'd like to day I believe in the power of love, I am much confused about it. For instance, was David practicing love when he was a soldier for King Saul?

Or a more specific example that bafled me, say there is a burglar who breaks into my house and wants to rob me and my family. What is the loving thing to do? My first thought would be to try to reason with him, or at worse to use physical restraint. But what if that doesn't work? Should I just turn the other cheek, allowing him to kill me as well as my family? And would that be loving him? I'd think that if I were in his position, I'd expect the person I'm attacking to try to kill me in self defense. So would the universal law say that in this case, its okay to kill in self defense?

This is the logic I seem to have regarding war. I do not like war. I do not want to be in any wars. But some say that wars are necessary, and if this is the case, and if we believe that what we're fighting for is the ultimate truth, then its hard for me to argue with the consequences of war. Does this make me a bad person? I do think we need to continuously question if this "ultimate truth" we are fighting for is in fact ultimate, though, as many wars have been fought over unnecessary causes.

1 comment:

Angela said...

if you don't want to hurt anyone and you want to be 'loving' by allowing an intruder to kill you and your children, you are certainly not showing love for your family...I think biological instincts for self (and offspring) preservation trump logic and philosophy any day of the week. having said that, I think there is room for having compassion for your 'enemies'.

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