Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What We Should Celebrate

In my last post I wrote on my distaste for the jubilant celebrations which broke across the country after the announcement of Bin Laden's death. And it didn't occur to me till today why I found it distasteful. It reminded me of the scenes in old Westerns where the whole town gathers to watch a public hanging. In fact I happen to watch a Twilight Zone episode today on Netflix which mirrors how some people must be feeling these past couple days. You can watch the episode, Dust, here and here. There's also a scene where a man brings his whole family to the hanging to teach his kids what happens to a man who drinks and drives.

The Internet is abuzz with mixed emotions on Bin Laden's death. The fact that we are wrestling emotionally over the death of an undeniably evil man (at least in my opinion) is a good sign we haven't become completely heartless animals. I thoroughly enjoyed Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi response to the celebrations "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." People responded differently to different situation, yet the call for reflection is one I believe everyone should consider as the world moves forward. It may be that the human race will never forgive nor forget Osama Bin Laden's actions. What we should remember and celebrate (instead of celebrating his death) is the opportunity to increase our love for our fellow man. Yet this can only be done if we attempt to understand them. Before 9/11 most of us probably didn't know what a mosque was. Unfortunately now we have several states trying to ban their construction and the practice of Sharia Law.

What we should celebrate is that we have the time, freedom, and opportunity to understand and embrace the people which practice Islam. Behind the veils and the Arabic prayers they are still human beings. Osama Bin Laden was not born with hatred, nor were the rest of us. I don't doubt the death of this man will bring closure and peace of mind to many people yet his legacy will live on. The legacy of tribal supremacy (Us. vs. Them); the legacy of fear of the Other/Our Global Neighbors;the legacy of failing to understand/respect the sacredness of ALL life. We must actively seek to continue to bury his legacy long after we bury the man. We have the opportunity NOW to understand and love our fellow man, and THAT should be celebrated.


Chris Ledgerwood said...


shallowfrozenwater said...

i completely agree. well done.

Don said...

Well written post. I agree.

Al said...

This is one of the best things I have read on this. I have tried not to read too much, since there appears to be so much being said and done leaning towards celebration and vindictiveness, and it only raises my own passions against that kind of rhetoric.
The past 10 years (and more) have been an excellent opportunity to learn to understand that which is different from our own experience. Too bad so many have missed that opportunity, and have used it instead to foster even deeper feelings of distrust.

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