When my kids were growing up we found it necessary from time to time to discipline them and yes, we would implement corporal punishment when indicated. I hated when we had to do this. While discipline was a necessary component of our parenting, I would never punctuate it with a fist pumping victory dance. I grieved that it had to be done…but it did have to be done.
I responded to the news of Osama bin Laden’s demise with a solemn sigh of relief. I won’t rejoice in an eye for an eye. I acknowledge that justice was necessary but the joyful response from many is little more than a gross satisfaction of bloodlust. Let us not lose sight of the fact that the actions, admittedly reprehensible, by bin Laden were in response to his own sense of violation and attack from “outsiders”. The darkness that drove him to commit his many atrocities is the same hateful evil that motivates many westerners to pop a cork and raise a glass in celebration of this recent remedy…it is a toxic cocktail of fear and hate that brings us to this point. Osama bin Laden was driven by a sense that he and his world had been and continued to be unjustly attacked and a sense that what he was doing was right as twisted as that may sound it is a logical response to his sense of injustice. Therefore he responded in much the same manner as we have responded to his actions. Justice is necessary to forestall anarchy but the meting out of justice over one individual or one offense does not serve to rid the world of evil…which can be found neatly tucked away in our collective selfish nature.
Osama bin Laden is gone; evil, terrorism and al-Qaida are not. Perhaps one day we will comprehend the necessity of combating hatred itself rather than specific individuals, regardless of their character or deeds, through the pursuit of love. (To love people does not concede approval of their actions) Naïve? Absolutely; but I will not relinquish my hope for the best…the desire of God that “no one should perish, but come to repentance”. Hatred cannot defeat hatred and darkness cannot defeat darkness. It would be like using anthrax to heal a rattlesnake bite. Darkness is only overcome by light and hatred only by love.
I salute those who made the difficult decisions, painstaking and diligent research and assumed immeasurable risk to carry out this action in defense of our free world. I can and do express my gratitude however I cannot celebrate what is ultimately just another manifestation of the malevolent nature that is inside all of us.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”