A Day Late and A Dollar Short, As Usual…

Stop the presses. Jo-Lynne is blogging about politics.

Okay, first of all, I hate politics. I can count on one hand the amount of times I blogged about politics. In fact, it was once, I believe. If you remember what it was, you get a prize.

I don’t like politics because you are forced to take sides, and I prefer everyone just get along. I’m a Pollyanna like that.

So I was laying in bed last night, half asleep, and my husband comes in and states matter-of-factly, “They got Bin Laden. He’s dead.”

In my sleep-induced fog, I replied, “Who’s they?”

“The Seals. Obama just got off the air.”

And I went to sleep and that was that.

This morning at the breakfast table, my husband brought up the topic again, and of course my 11-year-old son wanted to know who Osama Bin Laden is. We explained that he was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, and that was all he cared to know. He wasn’t even 3 years old on 9/11, and no one we knew personally was touched by the tragedy. It had no impact on him.

Throughout the day, Twitter has been all abuzz with news and commentary. Some are cheering, and others are expressing doubts that it is even for real (although it appears that there is DNA evidence at this point.) Some feel that justice was served, and others feel that we should be extending grace and mercy not rejoicing in the death of another human being, no matter how much terror he inflicted on so many.

Me? I’m eh.

As I explained in my comments on Michelle’s blog, perhaps I should feel more vindicated, but the truth is, this is just one guy when there are hundreds (thousands? millions?) of others just like him who hate us just as much who are just as capable of inflicting terrorist acts on our nation.

Articles like this make me wonder if all of our rejoicing will only make matters worse.

That said, I’m not sure what our reaction SHOULD be. I am not sad at the news, that is for sure.

I actually had more to say, but after discussing the issues with my husband, I decided that I am not well enough informed to state my opinions so I’ll keep them to myself, at least until I have more time to read up and mull it all over.

How about you? What is your reaction to the events of yesterday?

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48 Responses

  1. This was my Facebook status this morning: “I have never wished a man dead , but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” -Mark Twain. Maybe “pleasure” is not the right word so much as “satisfaction.” Do I rejoice in the death of another? No. Do I hope that this brings some measure of closure to the families of those who were lost on 9/11, including the 40 people from my husband’s hometown? Yes.

    1. You make a good point about closure for families of the victims. Yes, I do hope it achieves that. And I am not sad that he is gone, I just wonder if rejoicing is going too far. And yet, if I had lost a loved one in that attack, I can’t say how I would react.

  2. I feel like it’s been so long since the terrorist attacks that he has had a ton of time to build an even larger terrorist group. I think this move will set us up for another round of (attempted) attacks.

    I don’t know as Christians if we are to believe in the “death sentence” or not. I am conflicted.

    1. Yeah, the death sentence is a topic for another day. Ha. He was basically assassinated, right? Honestly, I need to read more before I even attempt to discuss this intelligently.

  3. i agree with megan. i’ve rarely been happy to hear someone was dead, but i do take pleasure in that he WILL answer for what he has done.
    to the perfect judge.

    i too am worried that the rejoicing is dangerous. i can see soldiers celebrating — but random people on street corners? REALLY? we have family overseas in dangerous places and these displays are putting them in great danger. praying for their safety!!

    1. Yes, exactly. I fear this will escalate matters. But then again, I doubt there will ever be peace and I suppose we are always in danger to some extent, no matter what we do.

    1. True. But I would question that the same way. However. With Hitler, didn’t that kind of end his regime? I know that it didn’t end immediately, but his death and the victory in the war kind of went hand in hand.

      This war on terror is very different because it is ongoing and the death of Bin Laden will likely escalate the already bad situation.

      Which is kind of a separate issue than whether or not we should openly celebrate his assassination, but I think it is partly why I am having a hard time feeling too excited over it. Because I feel that this is just another episode of a very long, sad TV show, not the end of a reign of terror as I wish it were.

      Ya know?

  4. I am with many who do not think rejoicing is the correct response. I am just disappointed that it took this long to do the deed. I worry that he has had too long to prepare his army and we will face retaliation.

  5. I’m concerned that all the media coverage and the people rejoicing in the streets will inflame those in the terrorist community. While I am not sad that Bin Laden is dead I don’t think all the media coverage is good. We will make a martyr of him in the eyes of those who believe as he did and this could lead to more attacks. There are times when I feel that the barrage of media coverage is not a good thing and goes too far causing more harm than good. This may be one of those times. Sometimes our citizens and the world do not need to know all the details. Complete transparency sounds good in theory but for security reasons it’s not always best.

    1. Yeah… perhaps that is part of it too. It’s not that I’m not happy about it but all the press coverage makes me nervous.

      And of course, to us, it is cut and dried. He masterminded a horrible act of war on our people – innocent civilians at that. So we want justice. But in THEIR minds, this is a looooong ongoing conflict and now we have given them good reason to keep it going. It’s just too complicated to ever sort out, I suppose.

  6. I’m right there with you!
    I can’t say that there’s anyone that’s death would cause me to rejoice. As Christians I don’t think that’s what we’re supposed to do. I’m not sad about it, but I don’t think it’s going to solve the problems and threats that are so prominent.

  7. Funny you should mention not wanting to post anything political. I hemmed and hawed, thought about deleting my first ever politically charged post, erased some, and finally figured, “eh, I’ve only got 13 followers; who will it hurt?” : ) I was washing my face when my husband came in and made the announcement about Osama. My reaction was much like yours…meh.

  8. Conversation threads on facebook today showed me that this is a complex issue, and even my own intuitive reactions to his death are muddled. When I heard that people were celebrating in the streets, I felt immediately that that wasn’t quite right; I would want to do that. But I didn’t exactly know why not, and I’m relieved that he won’t hurt more people again. I believe God’s in charge, so I’ll trust that his timing is right. I have friends who are appalled at the idea of a deliberate assassination, and friends who are thrilled the Seals nailed him. Hmm.

    My personal desire was for Osama to have been converted to Christ. To me, that would have been a much bigger victory than his death. But it didn’t happen. I don’t think our gov’t was wrong to select him for execution, after his international attacks. But we shouldn’t celebrate like a war is over. It’s only beginning, I think. Body or no body, he will be a martyr now, and a rallying symbol for extremists, I suppose.

  9. I don’t mind political differences as long as everyone can be polite and keep an open mind. Just because someone disagrees doesn’t mean they are “stupid” or “crazy” or any other derogatory thing. They just believe differently.

    I agree with Megan that is a sense of satisfaction I feel, along with some relief. I have kind of a vindicative personality (which I’m not saying is a good thing), and this kind of feeds into that personality trait. I think he got what he deserved. Does it make things better? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t need to happen.

    1. I have that same vindictive personality trait, and I felt the same when I heard the news. Well good. But then the more I think about it, the more I realize that it really solves nothing and might make matters worse. Ugh.

  10. Unfortunately 9/11 is a part of our country’s history but I think “Wouldn’t it be great if people would get behind other issues surrounding our country the way they are celebrating Bin Laden’s death?”. People are celebrating with PASSION. There are so many people in the south that have been devastated by last week’s tornados…Standing on the street’s celebrating death…I don’t know, seems wrong somehow. I am a conservative Chritian woman with 2 young daughters and I just don’t think they should see a death like that being celebrated. That being said, I sincerely hope that his brings closure to all of the men and woman who have lost loved ones at the hands of that man.

  11. That’s a really good post. I’m glad it happened. However, in reading your post, I began to remember that we (Americans) are always upset and disgusted when we hear of the “opposition” rejoicing when they kill one or more of “our guys”. Does it look just as ugly when we rejoice? Of course, don’t get me wrong. I am ALL about righteous justice, and I am from a long line of military service, including myself and my husband (both in the past), and now my son is serving in the AF. I am glad that OBL is dead. But, yes, there are many more, and we CAN expect that they will retaliate with a fierce vengance.

    I believe that this is a victory for God, even more so than for America herself. Sort of like a David and Goliath thing, …but in no way do I think it puts an end to the hatred and dangers we face. There is of course, so much more to say, but I haven’t really begun to “digest” it all. I am not highly political in the “public” realm and choose to keep these conversations between my hubby and our close friends, as I too don’t feel overly confident in my knowledge of all the details and want to be careful to make the correct statements.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts at this time, it’s good, we all need to reflect on how we will respond to this.

  12. “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

    What he said…and…I don’t like to get too political either, but I’m tired of Obama taking credit and others giving him credit for an operation that was set into place before he was in office and completed by the Navy Seals!!!!!

    1. Yeah, now see, THAT was part of what I wanted to say but didn’t want to put out there b/c I know it’s a complex topic. I realize that he still had a huge part in this and in the final hours, he was the one who had to make the decision to go for it based on the information he had. I know he deserves some credit, but… yeah, what you said.

      1. 🙂 I suppose you’re right in that he can take a little credit. I was just steaming from some pictures and comments that are giving him ALL of the credit. These poor special opps guys have been doing all of the grunt work for 10 years now, mostly under a different administration. Mkay, I’ll stop. I’m not very political at all, but I wish more credit was given to the guys that his administration almost refused to pay a few weeks ago! Ugg…stop…totally won’t be offended if you delete. 🙂 🙂 (Smileys make everything better, right?)

        1. Someone on facebook posted on their status “Is that the sound of Obama’s approval rating going up? Why yes it is” — I couldn’t help myself – I said,… hunh I thought it was sound of our military doing their job day after after day after day.

  13. DeAnn’s quote from MLK, Jr. above says exactly what I have been trying to put into words since I heard the news yesterday. I am sad that our country felt it was necessary to take a life to protect our own. I feel that same sadness every day we continue to be in Afghanistan and Iraq, taking others’ lives and sacrificing the lives of our own people who are there. Do I think Bin Laden’s death means the end of terrorism, no. I am very concerned that his death means escalated terrorism towards the U.S. I do hope Bin Laden’s death at least brings closure to those who lost loved ones on 9/11.

  14. Oh thank you for this post. I will just say, ditto and exactly to your post and many of the comments. I was troubled yesterday by the myriad of reactions, and the downright glee. The “rejoicing” is offensive to me. The politicizing is and taking credit and assigning credit makes me a bit ill. All the 9/11 coverage just saddens me. We as a nation are so fickle. We overdramatize to the point of disgust for about 3.2 seconds. Then we return to our fluffy lives and hide our heads under our fluffy comforters and pretend that everything is beautiful. So apparently I had more to say than “ditto,” but that is how I’m feeling today. Bleck.

  15. “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the LORD see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him.” – Prov. 24:17-18

    Believing in justice or righteousness does not = rejoicing. Even if you lost a loved one, the whole situation is sad. Sad, sad and more sad. There’s really no room for rejoicing.

  16. I agree completely. I have been torn with how to process this since I heard Monday morning. I too am not sad he is dead, but I don’t think dancing in the streets and making a scene about it is right either. This is different than when Saddam Hussein was killed, I don’t think it ended anything, and will possibly hurt more people in the long run. I was listening to K-Love yesterday and these verses were sent in by a listener. “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice. ” Proverbs 24: 17. ” Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free.” Proverbs 11:21. I do hope for some closure for the families of 9/11and pray that somehow there hearts can heal. Thank you for posting this, it has been exactly how I have been feeling.

  17. The Vatican statement summed it up for me:

    “Osama Bin Laden – as everyone knows – has had the gravest responsibility for spreading hatred and division among people, causing the deaths of countless people, and exploiting religion for this purpose.

    Faced with the death of a man, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibility of everyone before God and man, and hopes and pledges that every event is not an opportunity for a further growth of hatred, but of peace.”

    The parades and chanting made me uncomfortable. I am not sad that he is dead, but I also don’t think I can cheer about it. It feels like that is just continuing his legacy or something. It all leaves me uneasy.

  18. I did not feel much rejoiced about the news that Osama Bin Laden was dead. I was like you – I glanced on TV and noticed that there were LOTS of people cheering about Osama’s death. I just went ahead and did my tasks. I had no comment about that issue.

    Actually I really enjoyed watching the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate last Friday. I like that Royal Wedding much better than hearing the news about Osama Bin Laden.

    Of course I was disappointed that I was able to watch partially of Desperate Housewives. Even Brothers and Sisters TV show was not shown last Sunday just because of that Osama news! Sigh…

  19. i feel extremely conflicted, and i can’t get a get a peace in my heart about any of this…..my daughter and son-in-law are going to NYC on July 4th, I have a fear that retaliation might be in some terrorist heart and that scares the beegeebees out of me…..there are many feelings floating around in my head, what i KNOW and what i FEEL, this is a very difficult time. i want to trust, but fear rises up, i hate to admit that, it makes me feel weak……i know how this story ends and it is not pretty.

  20. I don’t rejoice in death, but I do believe Osama bin Ladin got what he deserved. I also believe there are others ready to take his place and they will strike again. This year marks the tenth anniversary of 9/11. I am thankful for the Seals that risked their lives-which I know that is what they do-but they were successful and they were not harmed. This couldn’t have taken place without Obama’s approval, and keep in mind he has recently started his 2012 campaign. I am not a political person, nor am I an Obama supporter, but I was pleased when I was listening to his speech and he recited part of the Pledge of Allegience “…one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

  21. I’m like you–I hate politics. It’s so divisive! I want us all to get along. My whole family is very passionate about politics….. some on one side and some on the other, and they always argue over it. It drives me nuts–family and relationships mean more to me than politics, so I refuse to discuss it. I don’t even read up on it because I don’t want it to become an idol for me, like it seems to be for so many.

    But I agree–celebrating death seems wrong. And low.

    Proverbs 24:17 & 18. Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; Or the LORD will see it and be displeased, And turn His anger away from him.

    Ezekiel 33:11 “Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live.”

    I won’t say any more though because I don’t want to offend anyone, I would rather we all get along!

  22. I have to say I’m not sad that OBL is dead, nor am I running in the streets shouting for joy. I have had serval friends of the past few day make comments on Facebook, each on different sides of the spectrum. The only sure thing about politics is that there will always be different opinions. There will always be someone who does not agree with other. And if a friend and I disagree on something I’m OK with that because we usually have more in common than our differences.

  23. i would give the “rejoicers” the benefit of the doubt and say that they {naively} think that maybe his death is the end of terror as we’ve known it for the last couple of decades. that maybe they’re not rejoicing in his death.
    then again…i could be wrong. but i’m with you, rejoicing in the death of another shows our lack of understanding in the gospel – that is; we are ALL deserving of death regardless of the sins we commit, they’re still sins and therefore, punishable by death.
    i’m actually saddened – as I was when Sadam Hussein was executed – that he will never again get the opportunity to hear and be changed by the gospel. of course, this is all part of God’s plan as well, and I take comfort in that. so i guess I’m saying {in lots of words} that i feel as though justice has been served – as i feel the bible is pretty clear that murder is among the sins punishable by death – but it’s a reality check to me to be even more grateful for the grace bestowed upon me by Jesus, that I will not receive justice, but mercy. thanks be to God!

  24. I am so torn too. After 9/11, I remember thinking, “I can’t wait until we get OBL” but now that it’s happened, I can’t say I’m happy. I would have liked to see him brought to trial and justice. I am definitely opposed to the rejoicing in the streets. That’s what people did after 9/11, and I remember being sickened by that. I would like Americans to hold ourselves to higher standards. I also don’t see how this could bring any closure to someone who lost a loved one in 9/11. Nothing can bring their loved one back.

    One thing I am sure of….I am so proud of our military and thank them and pray for them every day.

  25. Wow. I have to say that I am pretty surprised by a lot of the comments here. I think it’s interesting that you say you don’t want to get “political” with your post.Why is this story “political?” The killing of Osama bin Laden is not about President Obama. It’s about our country. And our safety. Navy Seals killed a man who was the leader of a terrorist organization that declared war on America. I’m not rejoicing in death but last night I saw a father who lost a son on 9/11 and a woman who lost her sister that day and they both expressed sincere feelings of closure upon hearing the news of bin Laden’s death. And President Obama is not “taking credit” for this action. He gave an eloquent speech on Sunday night. He didn’t parachute onto an aircraft carrier with a huge banner behind him that said: Mission Accomplished! (sorry, I don’t mean to be snarky, but really! Let’s get real here!) As for the commenter who said she was upset that the President’s speech interrupted her Sunday night t.v. viewing…well…I’m speechless and a little sickened by that. I can only imagine how that dad who lost his son and woman who lost her sister would feel hearing that comment.

    1. The post didn’t really go in the direction I thought it was going when I started writing, so yeah, not much politics here after all.

      You may not be rejoicing but there are some that appear to be – I was speaking of the news coverage of crowds dancing in the streets. As the previous commenter pointed out, there was TV footage of people celebrating after 9/11 and that is just sick and gross. Although, those were innocent lives, and this guy is anything but innocent, so there IS a difference, I realize.

      I think it’s interesting to hear different reactions to this news, and I certainly don’t condemn anyone for being glad he’s gone. I do believe justice was served, to some extent. And if this can bring closure or relief to families who lost loved ones, or to any of us who watched and mourned the loss of innocent lives that day, then all the better.

  26. I have long thought that stating we are in a “war on terror” is futile. It’s war against an idea, and that never gets you anywhere. How do you fight a concept? We need to just man up and say what it is we’re fighting. We’re at war against radical Islamists who hate Americans and everything we stand for, and Bin Laden was one of the top enemies. I’m not sorry to see him dead. Justice has been done.

  27. The odd thing was that it was my nine year old daughter that first made me think about this. She came home from school and told me that someone had told her that Bin Laden was killed and that they were happy. She was confused as to why we would be happy that a person was killed. I tried reminding her that he was to man behind the devastation of 9/11, but she cut me off asking if I thought it made it better that he is dead. I had to honestly answer that I didn’t know. He influenced millions of people before and after 9/11 that will continue to hate America and try to destroy us. Our soldiers will still be overseas for a long time to come risking their lives and leaving their families behind here to do their duty. The families of those killed on 9/11 will still miss their loved ones everyday and mourn their shortened lives. So I don’t know if it’s a “good” thing, but I have witnessed the way it has brought American’s who would not have normally spoken to one another together in celebration. Maybe the celebration is not the “good” part, but the togetherness

  28. My husband’s brother died on 9/11 and we all feel a sense of relief that justice has been served. My mother-in-law said that she feels bad saying that she’s “happy” he’s dead but that’s the way she feels. I told her she can feel whatever she wants. Her 27 yr old son was on the 104th floor of the 1st tower. He died a cruel, terrorizing death at the whims of a madman. So it doesn’t bring closure but it brings relief. Our family will have to live with his loss in both our private lives and public lives for the rest of our life.

    1. I can understand how it would bring relief – I think that is the best word to describe the sentiment that I’ve heard yet.

  29. I didn’t really care one way or the other. You made a good point about there being others out there that could do the same stuff. There were tons fireworks that night, and at least Obama got to go on TV and tell everybody how great HE did. Not really into politics, I too like everybody to just get along. 🙂

  30. Personally, I can’t rejoice over someone’s death no matter how evil he may be. I can’t feel sorry for him, because we are all accountable for our actions but I do empathize with the people he left behind, I mean his family. We have an idea of who Osama is but then again he is still a person with a wife, a mother, children, and I know that they have been hurt by his passing. That alone is not enough for me to rejoice, we might say, the people who were victimized by terrorist too had suffered greatly and i agree, but then again, sometimes even after we think we have been vindicated we still can’t find peace. His death is not the end of terrorism, it was just a break and now they have a new leader and the game is on again.

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