I am sure that there are a million plus blog posts, commentaries, and thoughts on this subject, and I don’t like to be a part of the popular stream. Yet something about the very recent news of Osama Bin Laden’s death has moved me and I feel that I should write something for the three or four of you that read this.
It is more about the reaction than anything else that moves me. So I am writing a reaction to a reaction.
What I would like to offer is a Christian response to this news. This is not a flag-waving-country-loving-yellow-ribbon-patriotic response, but a response that comes out of the life, the crucifixion, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In a word, I grieve. I grieve because with the death of Bin Laden something is lost. It is not that I am lamenting the absence of Bin Laden on this planet. He was someone who was very twisted, who was full of hatred and blind because of his rage. I am lamenting the loss of the possibility of reconciliation.
This is what the cross is about, humanity being reconciled to God through the death and resurrection of Christ. The resurrection is assurance of our reconciliation and such reconciliation should be shared through humanity. We are called to reconcile our hurts, wounds, and pains with each other and with God.
Maybe you say that such a call for reconciliation is only among Christians, but I will look to such parables as the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son as examples of taking the outsider in. If all people are God’s children, and if all are divine in the eyes of God, then there was a potential for grace in Bin Laden. Yes, he is responsible for some of the most heinous actions in current human memory and he needed to be held accountable for such actions but death takes away the potential for reconciliation.
Perhaps some of you feel that such reconciliation was impossible, but so was the resurrection and we have been celebrating that for two weeks now.
I’m not blaming the military – from what it sounds like, they did what they could to capture him and the level of engagement made a live capture impossible. I’m not blaming the government for it is a system that works on a different set of values and morals than we do. I don’t think there is anyone I can or should blame. What I am doing is lamenting the jubilation that many people, people who profess to be Christians, are embracing.
We live in a broken, violent world. 9/11 was a horrific symptom of that brokenness. The violent death of Bin Laden is a symptom of that brokenness. So as a Christian I cannot rejoice or celebrate on this day but grieve the violence, the hatred, and the loss of hope that we all find ourselves apart of.
May God’s kingdom come, and may it come soon.