Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My thoughts on Osama bin Laden

Three days ago it was announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed. Sadly, right away it seems that Christians were divided about this into two groups: the group who celebrated justice being served and the group that mourned the death of a man who is now spending an eternity without Christ. Some quoted a verse from Ezekiel which says that God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked. Others - myself included - quoted verses talking about the justice and righteousness of God triumphing over evil.

Let me just say to start that I should have thought before I posted anything. I learned a big lesson from all this.

Now a few days after the fact, having had plenty of time to think about it and listening to the perspective of Christians I respect who stand on opposing sides of the issue, here are my conclusions.

The death.

First, I don't think anyone would argue that his death was just and was not murder. That being said, as Christians I believe we should do two things with equal energy:

1. We should mourn the death of a wicked man who has now entered a Christ-less eternity. If you have even the slightest idea of what a horrible place hell is like, you would understand why there should be absolutely no pleasure in knowing that OBL is there. Hell is a terrible place, horrible beyond description, and we should take no pleasure in even someone as depraved and wicked as OBL or Hitler being there. Anyone - ANYone - being in hell is a terribly sad thing which we should mourn.

2. We should celebrate the fact that justice has been done. We should not celebrate the death, but we should celebrate the fact that good triumphed over evil and justice was served. The Bible is very clear that the primary role of government is to protect its people. Romans 13 reminds us that the government "bears a sword" for a reason, and the job of government is to bring justice swiftly and fairly. So the fact that an enemy of the State was found out and eliminated as a threat to our nation is right and just because it is a triumph, and that is something to celebrate. There's nothing wrong with rejoicing in the triumph of good over evil, and we should all be tremendously proud of our soldiers for a job very well done.

To embrace one of these viewpoints without the other is (in my opinion) wrong, shortsighted, and shows a lack of a proper understanding of the Bible. Honestly when I first heard the news I embraced #2 without embracing #1 and that was wrong. When it comes to OBL's death, I would encourage you to ask if you are responding to this in a Godly way and repent if necessary, like I've done.

The photos.

Today the President announced that the government would not release the photo of Bin Laden's corpse. He was quoted as saying "We don't trot out this stuff as trophies". When I first heard this, I didn't know how to feel about it. My first instinct was that the government should release the photo so that every American who wants to can see it, as was done with the corpse of Saddam Hussein.

But after a little more thought, I've come to realize there are some good arguments for both releasing and not releasing the photos. One of the arguments against releasing the image is that it will incite muslim terrorists to attack. I think that's a pretty weak argument because terrorists are gonna attack either way. They're gonna be angry about the news alone and releasing a photo won't really do much more to incite them.

I think the best argument I've heard for not releasing the photos is that we should take the higher ground that muslim terrorists and not stoop down to their level of parading these kinds of things around. That seems to be the approach our President is taking and I see some validity to it.

The other argument I've heard is that the government owes it to the citizens of America to prove that our number one enemy had been eliminated. That to dispel rumors and conspiracy theories, the government should be open and honest and show the proof that justice has been served, again, like they did with Hussein.

As a Christian, I agree that we should take the higher ground. But our government is not a theocracy. This is a secular government and because of that, they should release the photos and the video of the burial at sea. There will always be conspiracy theories, but the average American citizen has the right to know the truth and the best way to prove what has been done is through photos and videos.

What do you think about all this? Do you agree or disagree with my conclusions?


Xavia Doshay said...

I enjoyed reading your thoughts and opinions. But I have to disagree with the releasing of the photos. I believe if President Obama allow these photos to be released it can only get bad for him. Somewhere down the line someone will use the releasing of the photos against him, just like every other decision he has made. Mark my words they will find away to use the killing of obl against him as well.

Ariel said...

That's probably true that the photos would be used against our President. It'll be interesting to see how all this turns out.

Inspector Clouseau said...

Nice work. I came across your blog while “blog surfing” using the Next Blog button on the blue Nav Bar located at the top of my site. I frequently just travel around looking for other blogs which exist on the Internet, and the various, creative ways in which people express themselves. Thanks for sharing.

Sreedhar Jeshurun said...

Hi Greetings!

I came across your blog while “blog surfing” using the Next Blog button located at the top of my I frequently just visit around looking for other blogs which exist worldwide and encouraging the various, creative ways in which people express themselves. Thanks for sharing.

Encouraged to agree with your opinions !

Kingdom Blessings!