Should We Rejoice Over the Death of Bin Laden?

The Internet has been buzzing ever since the announcement that Osama Bin Laden was killed. Like wildfire, the news has spread and more and more stories have arisen reporting what supposedly took place. Each author twisting the story ever so slightly to get the edge that he/she believes will gain the most attention. Some creating pictures as “proof” and others alleging that the United States is “crying wolf.” All the while keeping emotions high and perpetuating the frenzy.

Social networks like Facebook and Twitter quickly added to the craziness. These sites became a place for commentary and opinionated statements on the situation. Everyone standing on soap boxes yelling to the world “HEAR ME!” I read  things being like “Bin Laden’s Dead. Thank a soldier not Obama”, “Why throw him to the ocean we should have put his head on display at the White House”, “It’s about time, death to them all” and “Bin Laden’s death is just the start. Who’s next?” There are just too many things being said to quote them all, but these give you the gist of it. All a bit disturbing.

I continued to watch the news Sunday evening and then proceeded to surf the net reading story after story and comment after comment. I am not one to focus on politics or news, and in fact in most cases I try to avoid them but that night there was nowhere else to turn. I couldn’t help but notice that in all of the reports and comments there was one theme that was radiating from every direction–rejoicing, excitement and joy in a man’s death.

Rejoicing in death? Seriously, is that what we have come to? Do we really jump up and down and praise God, Allah, Buddha, whomever, for the death of a man? Have we become a society that is so desensitized that death is now rejoiced?

Yes he was a huge enemy. Yes he did terrible things. I know that the man planned and executed a hugely detrimental attack on our country. I know the pain we were caused from that and I am not making light of that situation in the slightest. But does wishing death on an enemy make things right? Are we all of sudden healed from the loss because we murdered the man who caused our pain? Was all of the time and money spent to hunt this man down and kill him worth it? Or are we just causing more pain and continuing the cycle of attacks.

One has to ask oneself what makes us think that we had more of a right to kill our enemies then our enemies have a right to kill us? It is like religion–I can believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ is Lord but no matter how hard I try, no matter what facts I share, if the person standing across from me believes in a Buddha with all of his heart, I am not going to be able to convince him I am right. The same goes for the reverse, he will not convince me he is right.

I am afraid that while we as a united country feel extremely justified in our actions, may have just fueled the fire and added to the problem rather than solved the problem.

Yesterday while scanning through the statuses of my friends on Facebook I slowly started seeing a quote being used time and time again. It was “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that” and it was credited to “Martin Luther King, Jr.” Interestingly this is not actually a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. but it words ring incredibly true to me–an eye for an eye will solve nothing.

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