Knee-jerk responses to Osama’s death

Crowds gather outside the White House at news of Osama bin Laden’s death.

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.

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