I didn't sleep well last week due to my daughter's NYC trip and her first formal dance and all kinds of other thing, so last night I went to bed early and missed some of the biggest news we've had in a while - the death of Osama bin Laden.
When Jason woke me up this morning, he asked if I had checked my texts and sure enough, there were 19 new messages from a few people I follow on Twitter, my sister, my husband and some other friends. No more bin Laden. After years of hunting, he was found and killed.
I admit, the first thought that happened was from Alise the American. The wholly inappropriate "America, Fuck Yeah!" from Stone and Parker's Team America was the soundtrack running behind my immediate reaction. We did it! We disposed of a murderer! We're awesome! Truth, Justice and the American way! Yay America! Booyah, baby!
Then Jason shared with me Mike Huckabee's official statement, "Welcome to hell, bin Laden." And Alise the Christian woke up. Her first thoughts were a bit more sober than those of her American counterpart.
First, it's difficult for me to understand how anyone who calls themselves pro-life can rejoice in the killing of another human. I simply cannot reconcile the two at all. Either life is precious or it isn't. Osama bin Laden was an unborn baby at one point. If his life was worth protecting then, it makes it hard for me to rejoice in his death now.
Secondly, the idea of "welcome to hell" is incredibly (!!!) flippant when you're talking about eternal things. While I haven't come to a firm conclusion on my view of hell, I find it frustrating that a Christian minister would even give the slightest hint of smug satisfaction in the eternal damnation of someone. We just celebrated Easter a week ago and most churches likely saw some visitors attend who are not Christian. If we've just told them that the price for unbelief is hell, how does it look when we get giddy about someone receiving that sentence? (FTR, really, really, really bad is the answer to that. Really bad.)
The Scripture is full of passages in both the old and new testaments speaking of God's desire that all be saved. We are given stern warnings all throughout the Bible that we are not to rejoice in the downfall of our enemies and reminders that this is not God's reaction either.
You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.
You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:38-48, NLT)I want to be a true child of my heavenly Father. If that means shutting up Alise the American today, so be it.