Like many others around the world, I’m distracted by the death today of Osama bin Laden. These are some random (and some not-so random) thoughts going through my mind…

  • There is a part of me that is relieved. Clearly, bin Laden was capable of inspiring great evil. However…
  • These feelings of relief trouble me. To be clear, I’m not celebrating, but there’s some sense of “he got what was coming to him” in my thinking. But…
  • Isn’t the tragic message of Good Friday that we are each capable of evil? But Christ calls us to live in Easter…
  • Bless those who curse; forgive; seek reconciliation; renounce hate and embrace love.

There are plenty of people who are calling this death “good news”. We are told that “justice has been served”. But we conveniently forget that our government has inflicted 40× the civilian deaths experienced in the United States on September 11th. We have spent over a $1 trillion destroying and tearing down. I cringe when I imagine what other uses there are for that money. Has justice really been served? I don’t think so.

I’ll conclude with some wise words from Brian McLaren this morning:

Joyfully celebrating the killing of a killer who joyfully celebrated killing carries an irony that I hope will not be lost on us. Are we learning anything, or simply spinning harder in the cycle of violence?

As you talk about this news, I hope you will consider how your response can counter rather than reinforce the cycles of violence that spin around us. And please God, help us bring healing beauty to the ugliness of violence in whatever small way we can. Today.

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