Thankful That Bin Laden Is Gone? Yes. Will I Celebrate? No.

Am I the only one out there who is just a wee bit queasy with the celebration of Osama bin Laden’s death?

Don’t get me wrong. I am glad that the world is rid of the mastermind behind countless terrorist attacks, most of all 9/11. Captured and killed? From what I’ve read of the reports, his death seemed necessary. But to read the headline “Bin Laden’s Demise: US Rejoices After A Decade”?

I’m not rejoicing.

Bin Laden’s death does not bring back our friends and family who perished ten years ago or since. Bin Laden’s death will not stop al-Qaida. Bin Laden’s death does not bring closure for anyone who lost a loved one through a terrorist act.

Bin Laden was a loathsome man. He spread hate. He celebrated violence. He encouraged evil. I am thankful that the world population is minus one diabolic villan. But there is still hate, violence and evil in the world without bin Laden.

I’m reassured to find that I’m not the only one uncomfortable with celebrating a man’s demise. An NPR online article revealed:“The Roman Catholic Church responded to the news of bin Laden’s death with this statement: “Faced with the death of a man, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibility of everyone before God and man, and hopes and pledges that every event is not an opportunity for a further growth of hatred, but of peace.”” (Excellent article, by the way. Click on it when you’re done here.)

I don’t think my initial reaction to the celebrations erupting all over America and the world is necessarily Christian. It’s a reaction born of compassion for a human soul and an aversion to being the final judge of anyone’s fate.

But I still wrestle with my satisfaction that bin Laden got what was coming to him. I admit that I am grateful for our US troops and for what the rest of the world has contributed to flushing out evil and stopping it in its tracks.

I am thankful.


But I will not celebrate.


Filed under Observations

22 responses to “Thankful That Bin Laden Is Gone? Yes. Will I Celebrate? No.

  1. Very well said. I respect your opinion on this subject.

    That said, I can also understand basic human nature. Personally I wouldn’t have gotten up out of my chair, put on clothes, and took some form of transportation to the White House to participate in a “flash mob” so late on a Sunday night. I’d much rather go to bed and get some sleep, because I have to work the next morning. To each their own, I guess.

  2. I am happy in that this might bring people closure (or a since of justice), but I think taking the celebrations to the street is dangerously close to the cruel footage we viewed after 9/11 of terrorists partying and rejoicing at the loss of so many Americans. I’d hate to stoop to that level. I feel relieved that he we know he is no longer a threat, but I think I could’ve felt the same relief had he been captured and detained.

  3. Trendy

    Thanks for writing this. I too was taken back by all the excitement about Osama’s death. I can not rejoice in the death…murder of another.

  4. I am relieved, but not celebratory. Relieved, but not unconcerned. I am sure he’s left behind many many well-trained followers. Relieved and I would like to be hopeful that the united front we’re seeing from our politicians is not momentary. Hopeful, but not holding my breath.

  5. Agreed, Jane. I am comforted that you and I are not the only people who feel this way…


  6. Jane: I agree with you. Celebrating seems uncomfortable to me. I like these words by Martin Luther King Jr.:

    “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. … The chain reaction of evil—hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars—must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”

  7. You’re definitely not alone on this one. I feel relief and some closure that justice may indeed eventually prevail, but overall, the notion of celebrating seems filled with falsity, on so many levels.

  8. Jayne

    You’re not alone. I’m not celebrating but queitly feeling that a form of justice has been meted out and, for me, an appropriate justice. I can’t really judge those jumping around in the streets however as I didn’t lose a relative to one of his plots – and maybe they did. I can’t help feeling, however, that *some* of those dancing around actually don’t fully comprehend the implications of what has just happened: The US has just cut off the head of the hydra. I feel a sense of closure therefore, but also a large sense of foreboding.

  9. My kid hailed a newspaper man out the window yesterday and took to school a newspaper with the headline DEAD. I went home and wrote this as my Facebook status:
    America can be proud of our President and our troops without ever forgetting the sacredness of all life. Our American hubris should be left behind in the rubble of 9/11 and our humility and humanity and grace should be left to rise

    However Martin Luther King Jr as always said it best:

    ‎”I will 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.” ~

  10. I’m also a bit queasy, Jane. All I can think is, “NOW what’s going to happen?”

  11. I didn’t rejoice.
    I felt his death was necessary. Having him alive in a prison somewhere would have only given the people that hate a focus. And his simple burial at sea also denied them an opportunity to rouse people.
    It was necessary.
    But that doesn’t mean that I can find joy in the death of a person.

  12. I had read that same article. I think many of us share your thoughts on the inappropriateness of the flash mob celebrations. It wasn’t like VJ Day– let’s have the celebrations when our soldiers come home.

  13. I was disgusted by the celebrating too. I kept thinking, “Come on, people, we’re better than this!”

  14. Once again you have put my thoughts into words perfectly. I posted on my FB that I felt weird about celebrating and people commented that I was “un-American”.

    • I was told by someone that we should celebrate this because of what has happened to Americans in the past. But then it makes us into the thing we hate. I also heard someone say that you cannot understand how important this death is if you have not lost someone to bin Laden or do not have a family member over there right now. But the person was saying it to someone with a family member in the service.

  15. Once again Jane I agree with you. Totally.

    I love that quote by Martin Luther King Jr, I may need to steal it! 😀

  16. I did feel some level of justice and relief, but I did not celebrate his death. (The MLK quote perfectly reflects my thoughts). I am glad he is no longer in this world to lead others down a path of evil. However, it takes more than one evil man to inflict the kind of pain, death and destruction on Osama bin Laden’s crime list. It is going to take a lot more than his death to eliminate the hate filled conflict he generated in this world. Time will tell whether this was one step in the resolution to the problem or an escalation of the problem. I am afraid it is the later.

    Thanks for starting the discussion brave blogger ….

  17. I am comforted by the news, I think. But like you, I cannot celebrate.

  18. I’m way late on this, Jane, but I agree. I posted the same on Twitter as it was all happening. Creepy. Embarrassing. Disgusting. And hitting my nerve about Americans. It would have happened any where, I guess, but I wish we were better than drunken frat ghouls.


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