Why I don’t feel bad for Bin Laden: Post Edit

*After having some time to read and reflect, I’ve changed the wording of one sentence.  I don’t think Osama Bin Laden’s death is cause for celebration.  I thought the dancing and singing in the streets last night was a little weird.  We didn’t win the war.  Killing Bin Laden is a symbol, a final act of justice for what began so many years ago.  But celebration?  No.  I don’t think we have cause to celebrate.  I don’t want my faith to be one of revenge.  I’m a little more subdued today in my feelings about this turn of events.  No less glad that he is dead, mind you.  But a little more measured…

I’m not sure if you heard.  Osama Bin Laden is dead.  I KNOW?! Crazy, right.  Too bad news spreads so slowly these days.  The whole world knew this almost a full hour before the President of the United States took the podium.

Thank God for Twitter, eh?

Like every other American, I pumped my fist in the air upon hearing the news.  I did it while laughing at Geraldo Rivera who was annoucning it whilst grinning like the Cheshire Cat and laughing like Pee Wee Herman.  “We got the SOB,” he said…twice.  And I smiled, shook my head, and breathed a sigh of relief.

I don’t think this necessarily means anything for the war on terror.  Osama Bin Laden has been reported ill for many years now.  He was but a figurative face of Al Qaida, but he has many, many minions.  And they aren’t the cute little yellow guys from Pixar.

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No.  Bin Laden’s minions are much more sinister and their mission is not to steal the moon, but to kill and destroy.  So I don’t think his death means anything for the war we are fighting, and likely will be fighting for a long, long time.

But his death is cause for celebration a sigh of relief.  It’s closure.  For those of us who huddled around our TV sets ten years ago and watched the towers holding our countrymen fall to the ground, the idea that justice has prevailed against the man responsible is like a balm to an open wound.  And for the men and women whose loved ones never came home…this is the final piece of the puzzle.

I’m not sorry for Osama Bin Laden.  In fact, I kind of hope he experienced pain.  I hope he was alone and sad.  I hope he wasn’t sleeping peacefully, unaware of what was about to hit.  No.  I hope he suffered great fear, just as the men and women who were stuck at the top of the towers sat in fear, knowing they wouldn’t survive.  I think about the men and women who made the choice to leap to their deaths rather than burn inside the buildings and I hope that Osama Bin Laden’s final moments were filled with equal amounts of terror and fear.

Is this wrong?  Maybe.  I’ll pray through it.  But right now, at this very moment.  I don’t feel bad about it.

The evening of 911, I was living in Frisco, Texas.  My husband of one year was supposed to fly home from a business trip in Atlanta that day.  Instead, he was waiting on a rental car to open up.  I went to our church, Chuck Swindoll’s Stonbriar Community Church, and cried with everyone else.  I was angry.  I was scared.  I was sad.  And I felt hatred for the first time in my life.  I’ve never felt hatred before or since.

As Chuck Swindoll stood up to address his congregation, he shared in our tears.  It was comforting to know that he, too, needed to cry.  He needed us like we needed him.  And then he spoke.  I don’t remember much about what he said, except for this one line:

“There is not a hell hot enough for the monsters that committed these acts today.”

I was surprised, of course.  Those are bold words.  But I was also relieved, because it was what I was thinking.  I spent much time in the months after that night thinking and praying about those emotions.  Swindoll preached on the idea of righteous anger and I spoke with many wise leaders within our church and I came to a place of peace in feeling a truly righteous anger.

We should feel righteous anger toward evil.  Does this mean I wish hell on men?  No.  But, it does mean that I wish for justice.  I’m glad that God is the Judge and not me, because if it were left to me, justice would most assuredly not be done.

I believe and trust in God’s just power to judge a man’s heart and I believe that God has the power to change an evil man’s heart toward Himself.

But I don’t always believe that He will.  There is example after example of God hardening the hearts of men in the Bible.  Pharoah is the first and foremost that comes to mind.  And with righteous anger, God deals with the men who have hardened their hearts.  I feel no pity or sympathy for evil men like Osama Bin Laden, Sadam Hussein or any other terrorist leader who meets his fate.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to see that area of the world come to know and understand the power of the Living God.

But I want justice to be served and Osama Bin Laden met justice on Earth.  His eternal judgment is not for me to decide.  I know what I want to happen to him, but again, I’m thankful I’m not the one who makes that charge.

God Bless our country, and protect our troops.  This war is not over, but tonight we can rejoice in victory.  And with that, I now officially tuck away my soap box.

You’re welcome…

Comments

  1. amen sister!

  2. Pain, no pain, whatevs. He’s gone, off for the one true God to deal with.

  3. Very true, Dave.

    But I can’t help hoping there was a little pain involved…. 😉

  4. Paul S says:

    No one leaves this earth without a fair shake from our Maker. Good riddance.

  5. Amen, Paul. Couldn’t agree more.

  6. Welp, I guess we’ve got the same stuff on the brain today:
    http://faithlikemustard.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/should-i-be-sad-that-osama-bin-laden-is-dead/

  7. You are so right. A quick death by a bullet is not enough for the likes of him. We Americans can never shake the pain of that day and the images of suffering seared into our cortex.
    But if our beliefs are correct, then there is a special corner of hell where he will toil forever with Hitler, Stalin, and the rest of mankind’s evil ones. Afraid there are no virgins there, despite what he and other radical Islamists claim as suduction for the poor and misguided to wear vests of bombs. But it is warm.

  8. Rebecca Elam says:

    This is something I need to pray through as well because I really agree with you. The 9/11 attacks happened 2 weeks before our wedding when we were living in northern NJ, 20 minutes from NYC. My boss called me from the road (he lived in NY)and my best friend called me quite hysterically (she also lived in the city)to tell us what was happening. We could see the smoke from the towers from outside our office and the jets flew over our home for what seemed like eternity. Michael’s family (all in CA) decided not to attend our wedding…who could blame them. The images are seared on my brain. I’m glad he’s dead and I hope there was some pain involved as well! Thanks for your posting!

  9. Kathy Hart says:

    I’m also glad that he’s dead and am sorting through mixed angry emotions. One thing’s for suure–justice will be served when he gets his punishment from GOD!! But I encourage all to join me in prayer for the safety of our country and our troops–I’m sure his strong followers will try and retaliate. One evil one may be gone, but the fight is far from over I’m afraid.

  10. I agree, Kathy. This was not an end to the war by any stretch of the imagination.

  11. I am so tired that I can’t even formulate how I think about this. I know that one of my students posted something about how we shouldn’t rejoice in another’s murder, and got 30 facebook comments (on both sides) afterward. So in this state of mind, I’m going to say nothing. But I didn’t want to stop by and not say hi to YOU. Thanks for thinking for me today. 🙂

  12. Hi back atcha, Nicole. And once again, thank your brother for his service to our country. How grateful I am to men and women like him!

  13. I’m thankful for this post. Mainly because you kept it real while still remembering which country’s side you’re on. We’re Americans, and Osama committed terrorist crimes against our country! I’m extremely patriotic, so forgive me if I’m silightly elated over the fact that he’s no longer ont he scene.

    It’s not that I’m rejoicing that he’s potentially in Hell. I’m not walking around screaming, “Well, he got what he deserved! I hope he fries!” No. But I am rejoicing that justice was served.

  14. @ Heather Joy I am admittedly not patriotic. Yes, I was born in America, as were my parents, as were their parents. But I am not on a side when it comes to countries. And know it sounds like a terrible Jesus Juke but, I am not American. I am Christian.

  15. But can’t we be both? Do we have to be one or the other?

  16. Swissmiss says:

    I work in Wash., D.C. and we could look out a window and see the Pentagon burning on its far side. Someone killed on the flight crew of the plane which crashed into the Pentagon grew up in my neighborhood. A co-worker’s sister-in-law was killed at the Pentagon. I stayed at work later than most people on 9-11 and walking outside was like a ghost town since our street runs by the White House and it was closed for security. My sense of security was forever affected by that day.

  17. A great article from John Piper. He said it much better than I did…and with more grace. He should really think about writing a book sometime. Oh wait…

    http://www.crosswalk.com/news/is-god-glad-bin-laden-is-dead.html

  18. Candy martin says:

    I am proud to be an American and proud to be a child of the King. I will boldly defend both. Swissmiss, I can only imagine the emotions that ran through you and agree with our sense of security being greatly affected on 9-11. My son had just left on a deployment with the Navy and their ship was immediately sent to the Gulf. I am not dancing in the streets, but I am celebrating that an evil person has received his justice. I believe in a loving, just God.

  19. Well…you know how I feel Kel. He was the reason why I have 3 of names of the 24 that died from my unit on my right wrist. Glad he is gone.
    SGT. Troy O. Tom
    CPT. John Hallett III
    SGT. Dale Griffin

  20. Yes. Fox ran a special last night going through the events of 9/11 once more and I was immediately saddened and sickened. There is no getting over that horrible day and the images will always be shocking.

    They ended the piece with a photo of Bin Laden and the word DECEASED written over it. It was the period at the end of a long, horrilbe sentence. And I smiled through my tears. It was right.

    The End.

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