Along with millions around the world, I greeted news of the death of Osama bin Laden with surprised relief, and I was fascinated by the responses it generated.
But two concerns stood out. First, while jubilation at a long hoped-for win is understandable, the scenes of wild celebration outside the White House detracted, I think, from the moral victory that bin Laden’s death represents.
If the sight of Arab crowds dancing in the streets after 9/11 was repulsive, we should not have mimicked them on hearing news of Osama’s death. Gloating and celebrating any violent death is simply wrong.
Second, I was appalled at the way in which some Christians scrambled to find Bible quotes to justify the killing – almost as if the violence cried out for divine endorsement.
If there’s one Bible verse that is appropriate, it’s Ezekiel 18:23, “Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their wicked ways and live?”
Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, Sunday 8 May 2011.
Theologian, researcher, teacher, writer, foodie, husband, dad. Works at Moore Theological College.