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.


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…