Many Americans broke out in celebration when Al Qaeda mastermind Osama Bin Laden’s death was announced Sunday night, May 1, 2011. The demonstrations of glee weren’t nearly as wild as the scenes from almost every Muslim nation the day the twin towers in New York fell. There was no firing of AK-47 weaponry into the air, but it was ebullient demonstration nonetheless.
President Obama was said to have turned to an aid and remarked: “We got him!”
There was the same sort of reaction recently when the terrorist known as Jihad John was said to be killed in a pinpoint bombing. The terrorists was infamous for beheading people, including Americans, on camera and putting the murders on YouTube.
How did you react when you heard the news? My only reaction was to think that now Osama and Jihad John face not the seventy-two virgins promised to all Muslim men faithful to Allah once they assume room temperature, but that they confront something far different. Their deaths gave no pleasure, no sense of retribution or vengeance–but neither did I then or now have any regrets that they are gone from this world.
Had I lost a family member or dear friend in the World Trade Towers, the Pentagon, or the crash of the airplane in Pennsylvania that day, or if one of the people beheaded were personal relatives or friends, perhaps I would be satisfied to the point of elation at the news of their deaths. But, I don’t think so.
The satisfaction I receive is that of knowing that they can no longer add their demented thought processes to those of their fellow Islamist madmen. To me, there is no joy in the demise of anyone, except in knowing that, in each of these cases, they won’t be in on planning future murders in the name of Allah. This is indeed a significant volley in the war declared on terror by George W. Bush following September 11, 2001. Killing Osama Bin Laden and Jihad John, however, can’t change the fact that they and their henchmen murdered thousands of people. It can’t alter the fact that thousands of U.S. service men and women have died or been wounded in pursuit of dealing with the evil these men and others perpetrated and their fellow terrorists continue to carry out.
These terrorists’ deaths don’t stop the trillions of dollars and counting cost of the military action against radical Islam the U.S. has and is footing. In this, the two now dead terrorists have been successful–helping achieve their vow to bring the great Satan to its knees, economically speaking. So, their being killed isn’t reason to declare victory, even though it is obviously a cause for celebration by those who are so inclined.
There are thousands, even millions, to take their place. There is little time to spend reveling in these two, demonically driven men’s deaths. Their assassinations are that sort of violence on which the jihadists feed. Violence feeds Islamist war-makers like the warm Gulf waters feed a hurricane.
Am I saying that Osama Bin Laden and the one termed Jihad John should not have been dispatched? Of course not. I am saying that to vigorously celebrate their being killed should not be allowed to become, either individually or collectively within the American psyche, a visceral bloodlust to render evil for evil. Especially, this should not be the mindset of the Christian, in my view. Such action should be taken only in order to try to make civilized society safe from such beastly activity as carried out by these murderers and their ilk. The Bible condones such action by duly authorized governments because this is a sinful, murderous world, and such killers must be stopped to promote the general safety of peace-loving people.
Hypocrisy and worse is front and center in all of this taking down of these terrorists, while the mainstream media takes no notice. The present American president operates within a political philosophy that disdains capital punishment, no matter the crime–primarily, I believe, because he thus wins the hearts, minds, and votes of minorities who view themselves as victims of injustice. Yet he and his political associates see nothing wrong with the taking out of the two terrorists in question, because it was the politically expedient thing to do. Executing a man–within the American judicial system, for murdering a person–is something the liberal mindset considers barbarism. They slap each other’s backs, however, for the good fortune–or well-executed plan—in sending Osama Bin Laden and Jihad John on their eternal journey. Their poll numbers might benefit from the action taken.
Such duality of thought shows a trend toward the same sort of madness carried on by the fanatic Islamists. Fanatic Muslims see nothing wrong with killing, when it serves the best interest of their cause and is sanctioned by their “holy book,” the Koran. It is justice of a grossly perverted sort by which that self-indulgent mindset operates.
So, those who name the name of Christ should not find carnal enjoyment in the deaths of Osama Bin Laden, the one called Jihad John, or anyone else. They are gone, and I am glad. They presented danger to those I love, as well as to everyone who might fall under their unalloyed evil plotting. But, I take no pleasure in their deaths–only a degree of solace. The Lord of heaven Himself has set the example for what should be the Christian’s attitude in such matters: “’As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways!’” (Ezekiel 33:11).