Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Why Are We Not Somber?

I waited a few days and thought a lot about what I wanted to say.  I had written a whole post on why it bothers me to see people gleefully celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden.  I deleted it in favor of sharing a link to this brief piece from a 9/11 widow.  While Bin Laden's death serves justice in my mind I still think the publicly displayed joy over it is inappropriate and akin to the celebration extremists engaged in when the Twin Towers fell, the Pentagon burned, and the plane crashed in Shanksville, PA.  It speaks of a nurturing of hatred and a dangerous hardening of heart.  None of these are admirable qualities.  They only breed more of the same.  He is dead and may the death of the man who proudly claimed responsibility for the murder of thousands bring some measure of closure to the families and friends of the victims but let us not dance.  Let us be somber as we consider what brought history to this chain of events, the cost,  and what may prevent it from being repeated.


You're free to disagree in the comments.  I only ask that you express yourself respectfully.

29 comments:

Beach Bum said...

I admit I'm glad the man is dead but I agree, the celebrating was more than over the top for me.

Craig said...

I share your misgivings about the glee some have expressed at OBL's violent demise.

I can admit that the world is a better place without him in it, and I can even hope that his death might be a catalyst for peace (whether that is a forlorn hope remains to be seen). But the death of any human being is, in and of itself, a tragic thing.

I found this pithy little quote from the Vatican, which resonates with me -

"In the face of a man’s death, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibilities of each person before God and before men. . ."

G.G. Mueller said...

I must agree with you. The man had serious hatred but that is not for us to spread by being like him or his followers.
There are those that loved him and they will hurt like all other humans. But as someone else said taking an eye for an eye leaves both parties blind.
I would hope we could learn.
Thank you for your post.

g-man said...

Well ... Buh Bye.!!!!
May he rot in Hell ....

Dave said...

Michelle, I was impressed with your well-written item here and I agree with you in all respects - Dave

Cosima said...

His death does not matter. It is nothing to rejoice in, nothing to rouse feeling of revenge, and in my mind there is deep justice in that. He was a meaningless little worm like the rest of the world's sociopaths. What matters in the future is that we stop these people before they can do any harm. Needs courage, thinking against the grain, and love. Luckily human kind has some of those as well, and they always seem to win in the end.

~Tim said...

Thanks for that link. I'm troubled by any rejoicing at death, even if we think the word is better off without them. I remember how disturbing it was to see people celebrating the attacks against the U.S. I'm certain the people who supported Bin Laden view our celebrations the same way, motivating them to continue the violence. And the cycle continues.

Suldog said...

Thank you. You have precisely expressed the feelings I've felt during the past couple of days.

Reprehensible human being? Yes. Human being? Also, yes. Being a Christian, I know in my heart that to be joyful now is wrong. We are all, even those we view as most despicable, created in the image of God.

I pray that the future shows this to have been a good thing. More than that, I can't indulge in.

Kat said...

The world is better off without him. It is true. But true justice will not be given until he is judged by The One who judges us all.
And I completely agree with you on the celebrating. It made me so uncomfortable to watch. It really did seem barbaric. Are we no better than that?

Bijoux said...

Kat above me expressed my thoughts perfectly.

Jeni said...

Your words, your sentiments, as expressed in this post will definitely get no argument from me! I wish people would think back to the time immediately following the 9-11 attacks and the scenes from around the world of others rejoicing, reveling in the destruction and deaths and how that made us, as a nation, feel. Like rubbing salt into a raw wound. And yet, here are many of our citizens doing exactly the same thing! Even questioning the "why" of the burial at sea which was in accord with the Muslim tradition of burial within 24 hours. As Kat said, "Are we no better than that?" Justice served, yes I think so but disrespect of the dead? No excuse for behavior like that.

Craver Vii said...

We go too far to compare the rejoicing of Bin Laden's death with the post 9/11 revelry. It is not the same thing... not even close.

But having said that, Scripture forbids gloating over a fallen enemy. Can we be thankful that he can't hurt anyone else? Sure. Can we show appreciation for the hard work and sacrifice of our armed troops? Sure. I can, with a clear conscience breathe a sigh of relief, but I wouldn't "dance on his grave."

(M)ary said...

I am actually surprised by the number of people who I have heard that agree with your point of view. I think the sentiment in the US is definitely more complex than it was on 09.12.11.
I danced a jig when I heard and was surprised to be one of the few people whose mood on Monday was cheery because of the news.
Not sure why but I can smile about this even tho I am usually againts the death penalty.

S said...

I agree.

Mimi Lenox said...

Well said.

Cricket said...

Well, I already shared my initial reaction, but I will reprise a bit of a comment I left at a similar post.

You know, ten years ago, there might have been more of a feeling of justice in this. But now, ten years and three wars later....

I'm sure you remember Reagan's supposed "peace dividend?" Unacceptable. The war machine needs to be fed: dollars and bodies. Even in terms of an eye for an eye, haven't the victims of 9/11 been avenged ten times over? At least? And is vengeance really what we want to stand for?

Yes, we got him, and at least he was actually involved with 9/11, as opposed to someone like Saddam who, as bad as he was, was not. WMDs, anyone?

Yes, we got him, but at what cost? I'm not sure that question has an easy answer.

you know, someday I may do a post on terrorism. It is never as black-and-white as we would like it to be. Case in point: in my neighborhood growing up, support for the IRA was almost a given. You were almost expected to give money to NORAID, and I did, without hesitation. We all did.

I only realized the full implication of this when a bomb in the Edgware Road in London destroyed the block where my sister was living at the time. She was unhurt.

And even so, I am unsure how I feel about the IRA, and my own material support for it, even today. As is even my sister herself. It may sound callous, or crazy, or un-Christian, but it's true. How do I feel about the IRA today? I don't know. It's all I can say. Disturbing, but true.

Good post.

Mona said...

I agree a 100%

Mother Theresa said...

I wonder the same thing. I'm very tired of all the celebration I've seen on Facebook the past few days, and I don't understand how people can rejoice at the death of a human being, even one who has done such horrible things. Now I'm not saying that he didn't deserve to die, but I think that violence only brings more violence, and that killing him may even provoke an even stronger reaction from his supporters. There has to be a better way to stop the terrorism.

Logophile said...

I'm sure you'll be shocked and amazed to hear this,
;)
but I'm with you on this one.

Cadan Henry said...

i think america has been somber long enough. ten years. while celebrating a death may seem crass a weight has been lifted. perhaps more so than any one person has affected a multitude in my lifetime. there was a sense of well being this week not unlike getting everything you wanted for christmas.

C

Juana said...

I agree with you. Although a relief to know he is dead, the celebration was not correct. It reminded me of how THEY celebrated THEIR victory on 9/11.
Anyway, they are probably angrier than ever at us. I hope all this celebration does not end up in more death....more tears....

secret agent woman said...

I completely agree - it reminded me of the celebrations you see when someone is executed. No death should be celebrated, even those that may be necessary.

cathy said...

One man does not cause the death of thousands; It is the fact that so many follow the madmen and revel in their hatred that allows terrorism or extremism of any kind to thrive. There will always be another madman to spew hatred and call for revenge.When will we stop following their lead?

Brian Miller said...

i am not upset that he is dead...the celebrating i thought was tacky...sure they did it, but...just saying

Moannie said...

A very dignified and well-written post, Lime.
I did not rejoice-just felt my heart sink as I read the headlines, knowing what was and is to come. Already it has begun, the doomsayers, the sceptics,the judgements, inquiries, and threats. He is dead, but he is now a martyr and there is no shortage of extremist ready and willing to take his place.

ladyfi said...

Amen. I agree! Sitting here in Europe, it was hard to see the difference between the joy over Bin Ladin's death and the joy over 9/11 from 'the enemy'... Somehow both groups seemed dangerously like each other...

slommler said...

I totally agree!! There is no victory or honor in celebrating someone's death.
Well said
Congrats on your POTW
Hugs
SueAnn

Hilary said...

Well said, and oh so true.
I'm with you.
Disgraceful, our behavior. Makes me sad as well.
And I agree, why grow up completely???

Out on the prairie said...

It seems so silly that we can't solve our problems with words.