Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Should We Celebrate Death?

I'm having a hard time knowing what to think about the death of Osama bin Laden. Of course, part of me agrees with the majority of U.S. citizens--that this is a good thing. He deserved to die for all of the destruction that he has caused in the middle east and allegedly in the United States. At the same time, I think a bigger part of me (the part that hates war and murder), does not like that anyone has to be killed, no matter how evil they are. I think what got me the most was when I heard that there were celebrations in New York and D.C. over bin Laden's death. Celebration? Really? How does this make us any different from the terrorists who celebrated over 9-11? I'm sure that disgusted you to hear that this mass murder was a victory for others--something to be celebrated. Then, how do we turn around and celebrate the death of four men and a woman? I know what you're thinking. We can celebrate because we killed an evil man who has taken so many lives and ruined others in his wake! I don't know if it's that simple. Who are we to judge who is good and who is evil? And who are we to celebrate the death of someone based on our judgment? I do not at all want to sound like a supporter of bin Laden--God knows I'm not! And I don't want to sound anti-patriotic or insensitive. I know I'm walking a fine line by writing this post and sharing my thoughts. I guess I just hate to think of anyone getting pleasure out of hurting or killing another human being. And, to me it seemed like that's what many citizens were doing Monday morning--taking pleasure in death and celebrating violence. As I was catching up on the details of the story, I found this, which helps to sum up the way I'm feeling:

"The death of Osama bin Laden should not be an occasion for rejoicing, but serve as an opportunity to seriously reflect on death and the responsibility we all have before God and man.

Osama bin Laden was gravely responsible for sowing seeds of division and for promoting hatred and violence in the name of religion. But how often do we do the same in the name of personal selfishness and greed?

This should be an occasion for us all to analyze our own weaknesses and prejudices. Ultimately, there can be no world peace unless there is peace of the soul."
— Paul Kokoski, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

I don't know who Paul Kokoski is, but I thank him for his eloquence. Thank you for hearing me out. I hope that you can respect my opinions and I'd love to hear what your thought are on this tough topic.


Ashley said...

Hey Jenn

Thanks for sharing your opinions.

I hear you about the celebration of Osama.

I've been hearing on the news that people are demanding to see pictures of Osama's dead body as proof of his death.

I don't agree with that. I believe that this is not a form of proof but a sick presentation. We were appauled when they showed pictures of Americans being tortured.

As for judging good and evil, we think we can do that but at the end of the day, we aren't the final judges. Who can say one "evil" deed is worse than another deed?

It's a tough subject!

Kelli said...

Jenn- I completely agree with you here! I had exactly the same reaction to the news (or at least, America's celebratory reaction to the news). The idea of celebrating murder - even if it is a murder that, perhaps, will make the world a better place - makes me uncomfortable. If we value human life, don't we have to value ALL human life - even those, like Osama bin Laden, who do not share that value?

Even though many reacted to Osama bin Laden's death with celebration, many others have reacted instead with reflection. I'm happy to know that people are thinking critically about this and sharing their thoughts - especially when they risk sharing an unpopular opinion. Bravo, Jenn, for starting the conversation here!

PS Sorry for such a late response! I've been behind on my reader lately!

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