Why I am not celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden.

So, in case you’ve been hiding in a cave (pun intended) you’ve heard that Osama Bin Laden is dead. I happened to be on twitter last night when the news broke.  In fact, because I don’t have tv, that’s the only source I received the news from.

 

I’ll be honest, my first thought was, “So?” Followed closely by a “Man.  That’s kind of sad.” So I was a little disturbed when Twitter erupted in Christian celebration over the news.  E. Rupted. 

 

Hear me out, I don’t think I’m being terribly naive or an idealist to not be personally offended by 9/11.  I think it was terrible, destructive, painful and down right bad.

 

My life has been directly and indirectly shaped by the events of that day. Husband joined the Air Force not very long before Sept 11th, 2001 and we had just arrived at our first base.  The events of that one day would affect the rest of his military career. He did two tours in the war.  He missed the first 6 months of my pregnancy with Four Year Old.  He has a bullet in his wallet to this day that nicked his ear while he was not wearing a helmet.

 

And let me tell you, folks: Post Traumatic Stress is a real thing.  He has suffered greatly from night terrors, paranoia, the inability to be in crowds.  The inability to have anyone (including me) near his head/face, or to touch him unexpectedly.  And there have been worse consequences that I won’t share today.

 

But did my war-torn veteran wish Bin Laden dead?  No.
 

In fact, his war-time caused him to have to cling so closely to God that he eventually left the military.  He could no longer justify aiding in the killing of enemies when God has called us to love them – and save them. And so we have spent the last two years working towards the goal of moving our entire family to the place where Bin Laden breathed his last to spread Good News.  Not bad.

 

Because we follow a Jesus who said:

Blessed are the Peacemakers.

Turn the other cheek.

Forgive so that your father in heaven will forgive you.

Don’t even pray before you’ve forgiven.

Love your enemies, bless those who curse you.

 

Even Jesus did not curse the very hands that nailed him to the cross.  He said, “Father forgive them, because they know not what they do.”

Do you think the Muslim world seeing this yesterday -
celebrating bin laden

 

Felt any differently than when we saw this?

 

Am I saying the crimes are equal?  No.  Am I saying the fanning of the flames is the same?  Absolutely.

 

You know “they” equate America with Christianity, right?  And their news and religious leaders tell them that we hate them.  That we want to kill all of them.  That we want to take over their countries.

 

So, please – Christians – let’s not give them any more reason to reject our love, our beliefs, and our God.  Our actions here affect the missionaries over there.  And I hope to be one of them one day.  So don’t make my job harder, okay?

 

Because, frankly, Jesus died for Bin Laden, too.

 

And those in the snare of the enemy know not what they do. So please, join me in praying for those who persecute us.  And blessing those who curse us.  And loving even our enemies.

 

-Jessica


Comments

  1. Yes!! Thank you for posting this.
    My recent post Meal Plan Monday &amp Other Stuff!

  2. You're welcome. I just couldn't hold it in any longer. :)

  3. Powerful words.

    I am no christian and no american either. I am dutch. Our papers our flooded with the news about Bin Laden and ofcourse, about the americans who are celebrating his death and 'that justice has happened'.

    Well.

    I am so glad to read this. First of all, Bin Laden is just the posterchild, there is much ore going on then one strange dude who came up with an idea to fly planed into towers. And yes, I feel really, really sad for the victims of that crime BUT I can NOT celebrate a death. I do not care who it is.

    I don't believe in the death penalty, it's plain stupid and I am so glad to live in a c ountry where it doesnt excist. Killing someone is not serving justice, it is a crime. I don't care if you're a judge or not, we have no right to kill a human being. Two wrongs don't make a right. Really, it does not.

    So I am glad to read this post. As a counterweight to all the stuff in the newspapers. I know there is at least 1 american who doesn't celebrate this death.

    Apart from it all, my husband always says death it is quite an easy way out punishment.

  4. Yes, I didn't even go into the fact that because one man died, an organization didn't crumble. I don't feel any closure from this situation. Glad I could be a voice of reason for you Mama Bumblebee! :)

  5. I absolutely agree with you, Jessica.

    There's a first time for everything, right? I actually thought of how they danced in the streets when 9/11 happened and we were SO offended. Then "we" did it right back.

    And like you said, THIS is not closure.
    My recent post Jenna

  6. I don't think you should turn off comments though. THIS could be the one that goes viral. ;-)
    My recent post Jenna

  7. Only if you hit that "like" button! :)

    I laughed at you saying "first time for everything". Lol.

  8. There's a like button?
    My recent post Jenna

  9. OH! It was under the big glaring bold print! I don't have FB.
    My recent post Jenna

  10. Oh, I forgot about that!. Then just retweet it. ;)

  11. Well said. This is one of those rough days on the social media. I posted my bit, am trying to visit a few of my favorite blogs to read their thoughts and then I'm shutting it down. Hearing people celebrate death is just not my idea of a good time. Great post.
    My recent post Alise the American vs Alise the Christian

  12. I'll have to go read yours, too. :)

  13. Right on Jessica…
    Thanks for putting it so succinctly;-)

    Oh, and I would love to talk to your husband more about why he left the military. I have similar views to his, and I'd really like to ask him some questions. How could I reach him?

  14. Direct Message, coming your way. :)

  15. I agree. I definitely have mixed feelings about the whole situation. I don't believe that what Bin Laden did was right… In the least, but didn't we just stoop to his level?!?!

    Well written!
    My recent post Monday Musings

  16. Jennifer L. says:

    There is one more Christian here that feels this way. I was in the hospital last night when the news broke out about Osama's death. There was a woman in the lobby waiting on news of her father who was brought in by an ambulance. My heart broke for hers as everyone in the lobby had their eyes glued to the TV. As scenes from the news flashed through the screen of the celebration happening in front of the white house, her eyes were downcast as she waited on news of her father. I can only imagine what was going through her head as she looked around at everyone's reactions. I heard the nurses whispering about her father's death and just felt horrible there was celebration going on around her about somebody's death when she was about to hear news of her father's death. I immediately thought of Osama's family. He was a person who did horrible things, but he was someone's son, brother, father, etc…. And as mean of a person that he was, I don't see how other human beings could celebrate his death. Especially Christians. Most say he was a heartless man, but what does that make those who celebrate. Are they not acting heartless also? Don't get me wrong, like every other American, I can tell you exactly where I was at and what I was doing on that horrible day (9/11) and I will never forget the pain and fear I felt (still hurting for those people today). But I just can't tell you I feel justice over his death. I would feel like celebrating if I was told he was arrested, but not killed. Especially by another human beings hands of who I am sure will now receive medals for nothing more than murdering another human being.

  17. You are right on and you wrote what I was thinking in a much better way!

  18. I absolutely agree that the images of celebratory Americans in the street are a bad, BAD thing (I tweeted about it last night)…but I don't think Twitter exploded in "Christian celebration." I think it exploded in celebration of justice (of sorts). I was kind of split: the American in me was glad to see a tiny victory in an overwhelmingly negative (and seemingly unwinnable) battle, but the Christian in me recognized that there's a lot to be sad about, including the fact that so many in the Middle East still haven't heard The Truth. But I'll quit ramblin' here: I rambled about it on my own blog today. LOL

  19. Thanks.

  20. Good to know I'm not alone!

  21. Thanks. :)

  22. Check your spam folder, because my comment didn't show up after two tries on your post.

  23. Weird. The third one showed up but the other two were marked as spam (maybe because you mentioned PTSD?). Anyway…all is well in blog world now. :)
    My recent post New Theme- Linen

  24. Shannon says:

    Hi Jessica, this was my FB post this morning,
    "When your foe falls, be not glad, and when he stumbles, let your heart not rejoice, lest the Lord see and it be displeasing in His eyes, and turn His anger from him." Prov 24:17 I have read that to mean the Lord's anger would be turned from my foe towards me! It is never to be celebrated a soul in hell. So, be sure you are right with God after the fall of our enemy!

    I have been very disturbed, not that Bin Laden is dead but the celebrating of his death. Our celebration should be of our God, who is love but you can not have love without justice. I agree with you generally, not totally.

    I thank your husband for his service to our country. I am very proud of the people that serve our country in the military. I pray for the Lord's healing to come to his soul and his mind-Jesus died for that too!

  25. Five years later, he's doing much better now, thanks. :)

  26. "I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure." – Mark Twain
    My recent post Music makes the world go round 5-1-11

  27. Did you just counter Jesus with Mark Twain?

    LOL. I'm sorry I couldn't resist. Forgive me. I kid. <3

  28. Thank you for posting this Jessica, I agree. I linked to this post on my blog this morning.

  29. Thanks!

  30. HAHA! Yes, I guess I did.
    My recent post Ding dong the witch is dead!

  31. I love me some Mark Twain!
    My recent post Jenna

  32. I must live in a cave….I really hadn't heard this yet…..lol. We thankfully don't have TV either. I agree with you so much. Bin Laden isn't truley the enemy. Satan is! And the only way to defeat him is to love one another and spread the good news of Christ!

  33. I did not even acknowledge it with my post today.
    My recent post Art and Childhood Friends

  34. I have to say as a believer I am absolutely not sad at all that Osama Bin Laden is dead, nor do I feel bad about the eternal fate of his soul. Harsh? Yes. But I don't apologize. Osama Bin Laden had a lifetime to turn his heart toward the One True God. But he didn't. He hardened his heart, just as Pharoah and countless other Kings of the Old Testament did. Does this mean that I think I am not undeserving of the same fate as Bin Laden? Nope. I am equally deserving of eternity separated from God, but by His Grace I have been saved by faith. In that regard, I consider myself not above Osama Bin Laden. HOWEVER, Osama Bin Laden was a monster. He was evil to the very core of his being. I don't think his death was worthy of dancing and joyously celebrating in the streets, but his death is worth a sigh of relief. Particularly for those who lost loved ones on 911.

    My recent post Why I don’t feel bad for Bin Laden

  35. My last comment was too long and I had to split it. Here's my final paragraph. :)

    I am unapologetically glad that Osama Bin Laden met the fate he did.(And I kind of hope he felt pain – wrong? Maybe. Just being honest.)

    I'm also grateful to your family and others like you that passionately want to see that area of the world told of the grace and love of Christ. I, like you, want them to know of that love. It's good to be reminded to love our enemies and even to turn the other cheek. But sometimes, justice must be served. We serve a God of justice, not just a God of Love. He is both Just AND Love. Thankfully we are not the ones who get to stand in judgement.

    My recent post Why I don’t feel bad for Bin Laden

  36. Yeah, I'm down. My cheeks are turned. Hehe.

  37. Right on, Jessica!! So much of this post resonated with me…

  38. rockandrollgary says:

    I disagree… with your font choice.

  39. I won't even go into my thoughts on the war, but can i just echo a little comment you made on my blog? did i write this post in my sleep? thanks for posting so i didn't have to. the whole thing just gave me kind of an ick feeling in my tummy.
    My recent post Boys

  40. So NICE to hear a different opinion from all the celebratory chatter (and I don't even live in the US!) I agree with you wholeheartedly.
    My recent post SPRING!

  41. Love you.
    My recent post What Is This Faith

  42. Wow, must be a big cave! :P

  43. Then you are a stronger woman than I! :)

  44. It's not that I don't think justice is … just. But I can't rejoice in it sometimes. It makes me sad. Just like the parts in the OT when whole towns were obliterated, including women and children and animals, I guess.

  45. Uh oh, have you been eating dairy? :)

  46. Went to the lake today, btw. Thought, "I should totally get her number!" :)

  47. Thank you bff from when I was 15 years old. ;)

  48. Maybe that's where the inspiration came from, you sent it to me subliminally. :)

  49. So glad the comments on here have been nice. I was a little worried when I posted it! :)

  50. And that – right there – is the comment I never expected today. :)

  51. Well said, Jessica! Bless you! x
    :)

  52. My only heartfelt thought on this matter is this: September 11 should be a National Day of Rememberance … not only for those lost or injured on that horrific day, but for every search and rescue/recovery worker involved.

    I will continue to pray for peace around the world …

    My recent post DEVOTION- Lets get real

  53. *applaud* Well said!!!
    My recent post With Love- From Ghana

  54. Is Sept 11th a national holiday yet? If not, it really should be.

  55. I gave up watching TV a few years ago, but last night was the first time I questioned having the internet at all. The celebratory atmosphere didn't sit well with me and left me feeling as though there must be something wrong with me for not feeling the way everyone else seemed to… Such a relief to know that I'm not alone in feeling this way.

    This post reminds me all over again why I love you — not that I needed a reminder — I won't forget.
    My recent post With Love- From Ghana

  56. That's right, just when you think I'm all frills and funny, I whip out a can of Jesus on you! Snicker. ;)

  57. I wonder if Bin Laden was even introduced to Jesus… Just sayin…
    My recent post Square Peg

  58. just a little.
    My recent post 247- Spin Cycle

  59. well thanks for absorbing it and getting the wording just perfecto!;)
    My recent post Boys

  60. Thank you for writing this, being vulnerable, and sharing your heart.
    My recent post Hosting Winner

  61. Thanks for thanking me! :)

  62. That didn't turn out as bad as you thought it would, eh? :)
    My recent post Jenna

  63. jboring says:

    As members of a peace church we often feel very out of place in the broader Christian community during times like these. You just made me feel less alone.

  64. I agree with you completely. This is the post I posted last night: http://airypersiflage.blogspot.com/2011/05/ding-d
    My recent post A Letter from Fred

  65. Helena says:

    Thank you for this, Jessica. It was beautiful. Thank you for saying so much that is fine, and good, honest, and passionate, and resonates to my bones.

    My recent post why where who what when

  66. I really didn't know which way the feedback was going to swing! Relieved. :)

  67. Ooh, a peace church, eh? Don't really know what that's about but sounds like something I could probably dig. :)

  68. That was lovely, Bev.

  69. You are most certainly welcome. :)

  70. For me, it wasn't that I was excited to see Osama die because I "knew for certain" that he'd spend eternity in a Christless Hell. I don't rejoice when Hell receives new residents, and I certainly did not walk around saying, "Well, Bin Laden got what he deserved. Fry, baby, fry…" No.

    But I am rejoicing that justice was served. I'm thankful that after 10+ years, this particular episode is behind us and we can move forward in winning this war.

    My God is a just God, and sin has consequences. My Bible says that the wages of sin is death, and in Osama's case it meant literally.
    My recent post KJV 400th Anniversary Reading Psalm 119-121-176 youversioncom

  71. What if we had captured Osama? He would have still been put to death… after some time spent behind bars and a long trial. But regardless, he still would have had to answer for the crimes he committed and was involved in behind the scenes.

    So rejoice in some going to Hell? absolutely not.
    But rejoice that justice has been served? every time.

    Just my thoughts on the matter….
    My recent post KJV 400th Anniversary Reading Psalm 119-121-176 youversioncom

  72. As long as you're not dancing in the streets! Snicker.

    A lot of people feel like this is some kind of closure, like something has been book ended or put behind us. I don't feel that. *shrugs* I don't feel like this means anything, really. But I understand that some people do feel personal closure.

  73. Why not dance in the streets? justice has been served!

    David danced in the streets when his army one victories! I have no doubt that there was dancing when the Revolutionary and Civil wars were won. I would bet my life that there was dancing in response to the victories of WWI and WWII. So why should this war be any different?

    When the right wins, there is cause for celebration. Is the war over yet? Nope. But we're one step closer than we were before.
    My recent post KJV 400th Anniversary Reading Psalm 119-121-176 youversioncom

  74. Finally was able to take a look. I spent much of yesterday feeling sad and torn. Hoping for more people to look at this through God's eyes and not through the eyes of our own emotions.
    My recent post Sandals and Osama Bin Laden

  75. Well, like I touched on in the post, I don't think celebrating over the death of an enemy brings glory to God, or helps spread his Good News.

    And honestly, I don't think there's a winner in this war. Except perhaps the missionaries that have been able to enter into the countries where previously they weren't able. Assuming that every place the US goes to war is a God sanctioned Holy War is not the case, in my opinion.

  76. I are emotional, and so can you! :D

  77. rejoice in death? No. that's not what I was saying.

    Rejoice in victory, in justice, in the right prevailing? yes. and rightly so.
    My recent post KJV 400th Anniversary Reading Psalm 119-121-176 youversioncom

  78. I'm so glad that you read this post so that you know that all Americans do not act or believe like what you see in the news.
    My recent post felted hearts

  79. Therefore, out of respect for those who have lost their lives, let this be a time of celebration – not for the taking of one man’s life, but for the lives that will now be saved as a result of the success of a military mission ten years in the making.

  80. that is good. Good word girl. You are soo right.
    My recent post Jump Start Your Dayor Your Car

  81. Michelle in Mx says:

    Hell is not something I would wish on ANYONE.
    My recent post Well- its May

  82. Amen.

  83. Totally agree: I felt and feel the same way. We Christians are not bound by borders. I served several years with the Marine Corps, which instilled in me a national pride like no other; but our Commander-in-Chief rules over all the earth and His blessing is upon the face of the earth, not merely our little corner of it. I am not an American anymore: I am a missionary born-again in America, and like Christ, I have no home but heaven.
    My recent post Homeschooling Mothers Journal

  84. I feel the same way, and said as much in the comments of a different blogger. Sometimes the distinction has to be made – when it comes down to it, I'm a Christian – not an American.

  85. Interesting take on the matter. Jesus died for all people, including Usama bin Laden, however, bin Laden rejected Jesus. I'm not celebrating his death, but I'm very glad that he can hurt no one else. I will pray that his followers become followers of Jesus, but I'm not naive to think that they will. Every soul who comes to Jesus is a miracle. It will take a great many of those to stop the madness thrust UPon the world by bin Laden and his fanatical followers.

    UP of Redneck Latte Ravings
    My recent post Happy Mother’s Day

  86. Well written! My heart broke when I heard the news. Not because I'm not patriotic, but because my heart was burdened by the idea that someone {again} left this world without Christ. Of course, I could argue that who knows his last minutes, but for now I won't.

    In the days since then, I've been burdened to not only pray for Christ's light to spread to the untouched areas, but to shine in my life while I am at the park, shopping with my daughters, or browsing through a bookstore. That my heart would be burdened for the lost, that I would love my enemies and be a true testimony to Real Love.

  87. Of course, glad he can't hurt anyone, like you said.

  88. Me too. :)

  89. So true. Isn't forgiving the hardest thing? I struggle with it daily. More than daily, hourly. It's just so hard.

    And your not having a tv? That totally cements our best friendship. ;)
    My recent post My Homeschool Conundrum

  90. You know, forgiving is super easy for me, of a non-christian. But a Christian? Oof.

    And, oddly, in our 11 years of marriage we've never paid for cable or satellite. Of course, Hulu and Netflix make a world of difference these days… :)

  91. Jonathan B says:

    I'll respectfully disagree regarding the death penalty. It's not just about a life for a life approach to punishment. The other responsibility of government is to protect its people. Different people are restrained in their desire to do wrong things by different risks. Some people are restrained from killing by their personal morals. Others, by societal disapproval. Some, by fear of jail. But there are certain people who will not be restrained from killing except by death or the fear of it. Without a death penalty, there's nothing for those kind of men to fear. Even if they're caught, they just go on to kill other prisoners and guards in jail, or escape to kill more civilians. There are some people that reach a point that only death will stop them. It's why peaceful countries have armies and police have guns. …

  92. Jonathan B says:

    ..continued:

    I firmly believe that Osama was not going to stop killing and organizing killings as long as he was still living. So for me, it wasn't so much wanting him dead as wanting him stopped and believing that was the only thing that would do it. I'm glad there's one less person in the world that wants me dead; I'm sorry there's one more person in hell. That's my take on it.

  93. It is so encouraging to hear someone who has served in the military, and yet come to these conclusions about Christ’s teachings. I pray for peace and healing for your husband and your family. Thank you for sharing this!

  94. I’m rather late to this post as I’ve just been reading through some of your older posts, being new to your blog. Totally agree with everything you said in this. I posted “Jesus loved Osama” as my Facebook status the day after it happened and the sole negative responders to my status were CHRISTIANS!! So disappointing. Also, in this post you mentioned your husband’s post-military PTSD. My husband [non-military] suffered from PTSD but no longer does due to sessions with a really sensitive and spiritual counsellor/therapist. Would be happy to share more if you’re interested; e-mail me… :)
    Erin recently posted..Newton Faulkner… 3 May 2012My Profile

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