conflicted

I was watching the news tonight, as I’m sure many of you were, waiting to hear President Obama declare Osama bin Laden’s death.  I listened to the diplomatic analysis, the future safety of Americans analysis, the what-the-Pakistanis-think analysis, and I was surprised that I didn’t feel a little more excited.  
Because really, bin Laden was a murderous bastard and shouldn’t I be glad, at least a little bit, that he is dead?  
Miss O came downstairs, because nothing says “I don’t respect your boundaries for bedtime” like nineteen trips down the stairs to fetch nineteen different things, but I digress.  She wrinkled her nose and asked what was on the television. 
There was a terrorist, a man who crashed four airplanes into buildings, because he wanted to hurt people…
Mom, I know what a terrorist is.
It was kind of like a punch in the stomach.  I know my short people are superty smart, and I shouldn’t be surprised that she knows what a terrorist is.  We don’t watch the news, we don’t discuss war or murderous bastards or related subjects.  I try to keep that stuff off my people’s radars.  (People’s radar??? Where are the grammar police when I need them!)
We talked about the events of 11 September, 2001; I told her about the planes and the people who died.  I told her about the heroic efforts of the passengers of Flight 93 who prevented more death and destruction by giving their own lives.  I told her that bin Laden was proud of what he had orchestrated that day, and that he boldly took ownership of the carnage.
He pretty much had it coming, huh, mama?
Yep, kid, he sure did.
And yet I wonder: does anybody really feel better now that he’s dead?  Or are victims’ families going to wake up tomorrow and find that the news of his death leaves them with an odd sort of emptiness?  Their loved ones are still dead.  Al Qaeda is still there; al Quaeda still hates everybody.  
There is no safety that comes from this murder, justified as it may have been, and I say may have been justified because in my deepest spirit, I am not entirely sure where I stand on the issue.  My instincts hate that we kill people.  I hate the execution in the same way I hate the reason for the execution, and I cannot compare the costs of either.
My kid knows about terrorists.  I hate that most of all.

13 thoughts on “conflicted

  1. I know. While understanding why everyone is so overjoyed, I feel weird that anyone would rejoice over the death of someone else. It feels so. . . savage to me.

    I know, I know, he was the mastermind behind the death of 3000 innocents.

  2. There are so many more that he murdered than the 3000 here in the US. And even so, I will not celebrate his death. What sort of lesson would *that* be for my children???

    Celebrating death cheapens it.

  3. “The AFTERS” said it best
    Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,
    http://esv.to/Prov24.17

    I took the news of his death and I just didn’t feel anything. I hate what he did, but I have to keep in mind that Jesus loved him too. (not for what he did), but because he was a creation of His….and I wonder, would I feel different if I had a loved one who died that day?? Would I hate him? Would I rejoice with everyone else had I been on the other side of this?

  4. I share your thoughts on this. Celebrating the death of him, even the death of an evil human, just goes against everything I have lived by example for my children. I hate that our children know about terrorists, I hate it.

    Brian Dale was on flight 11, he left behind a wife and 3 very young children. I don’t think anything is going to make that better.

  5. Matt woke me up to tell me the news because he thought I might want to change my morning newscast. I responded, half-awake, “I only do local stuff. Did they find him in Allegany State Park?”

    Matt answered in a joking tone, “No, but I can check on that for you just to be sure.”

    My last comment before I fell back asleep, which might have only been said in my head, “There’s still more like him you know. Gadafi is still out there. People like that.”

    I didn’t feel joy, relief, or hope. He was responsible for some beyond terrible things, but his death is not something I celebrate.

  6. i was on twitter and rocking to sleep my baby (again) as i heard the news. and heard the celebrating. and it made me sick. because everyone is loved by someone.
    and i agree that “he” had to be stopped … but i feel for his mama. because i’m fairly certain in the deepest crevice of her heart that she loved him. and i said that (on twitter – silly me). and someone backlashed that i shouldn’t feel bad about him dying.
    i told her that i wasn’t going to argue how i felt. because i guess i’m just not an eye for an eye kind of person.
    i will not celebrate in the streets as so many did in his land when our people died. i will be better than that.
    and olivia. dear olivia. please be one to change this world.
    and mama? sometimes knowing what “it is” is the best way to fix things.

  7. I raised the same feelings you did. Trying to keep the news off today, my kids are still very young (4 and 2.5) and although this man killed MANY people, this isn’t the end. I seriously worry about what’s to come.

  8. i came to thank you for taking action for Anika. thank you so much for being a voice for her and for helping her adoption fund. i’m blessed by each person that links up!

    i understand this post very much. to me? Jesus died for him the exact same way He did for me. i hate what OBL did, but i still mourn the fact of one of God’s children [seemingly] never accepting the gospel & living now in eternal hell because of it. i wonder if he ever even heard the gospel? oh, sigh.

  9. How many kids saw celebration of what is to me an assassination? That makes my heart hurt for them. How confusing is it to condemn this man while he’s alive for his evil ways and then rejoice that he’s killed using similar methods?

    I don’t know about the children, but it confuses me. My feelings have swung all over the place today. But the one thing I cannot do is celebrate this death. Because, as you say, it changes nothing about what happened on 9/11. Someone sent this quote to me today and it was SO appropriate:

    ‎”I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

    — Martin Luther King Jr.

  10. I cannot celebrate the death of this man. I was disappointed to see Americans dancing in the streets after the news was announced. At the same time, I felt a sense of relief that the Bin Laden chapter of American history has come to an end. I can be pleased that our country scored a victory in a battle against an enemy that has and will continue to kill innocents in our country and throughout the rest of the world. Unfortunately, as history has shown us time and again, sometimes the only solution to a difficult problem is to remove the problem, even if that problem is a person. Luckily, it is not an option that we exercise often or easily.

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