He was a bad guy of course. Has caused and financed irreparable damage to countless lives. But…I cannot rejoice in the death of another person. I am a Christian first, before I am an American. Christ would have never, never rejoiced, celebrated, or condoned a murder no matter what the circumstances were. Jesus never condoned violence. He never supported it. He always chose another way. When Peter cut off the ear of a soldier who was arresting Jesus, Christ scolded Peter and healed the man. There is a strong argument for taking up the sword (or whatever weapon) to protect the innocent. If ever there was an excuse for justified violence wouldn’t it have been when Peter picked up his sword to protect Jesus? In the book “Jesus for President” Shane Claiborne writes—“Jesus was laying down his life not for a country or nation or even his closest companions; he was laying down his life for sinners, evildoers, and enemies. He loved his enemies so much he died for them. After all, Jesus never said “greater love has no one that this: to kill those who oppress.”
Dietrich Bonheoffer regretfully plotted an assassination to kill Hitler. Unlike most people today, he made it clear that what he was doing was evil and sinful, but felt left with no other choice. He asked for God’s mercy and planted a bomb under Hitler’s desk. When it failed, Hitler became more convinced than ever that God was protecting him and his mission. Hitler rolled forward with plans to “rid the world of evil,” as he put it. History is filled with similar accounts of people doing wrong out of a deep sense of right.
Church martyrs over the centuries have prayed that love would overcome hate. That men dying for their faith instead of killing for their faith, would save the world. As a Christian, I think my only “war cry” should be to love others, even if it kills me. …Isn’t that what Christ did?
I’m not going to pretend like I have all of this figured out in my head. But I can’t possibly believe that murder in any sense is a victory. I don’t remember the figures exactly, but something like well over 100,000 innocent civilian Iraqi’s have died at the hands of Americans. I can’t possibly believe that “we” are better than “them,” that we are any more precious or valuable. Christ died for you, for me, and for bin Laden. I have no right to think that I am more deserving of life than another.