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5/4/11

"I have never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure."

"I have never wished a man dead,
but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure."
- attributed to Mark Twain

First of all, it is important readers know I am writing this as one Christian. Since the Bible is not important to everyone, I realize much of the support I give my positions will be moot in the eyes of many of you. These are continued ideas found in an earlier post on Osama bin Laden's death.

I am among those who disagrees with Mark Twain's glib remarks on a serious subject. In fact, I reject it whole-heartedly. That temptation to find any pleasure if the death of any man is flesh, not the spirit of God in us. If bin Laden's death was necessary, and carried out properly, we, as Christians, must be sober -- we too deserve death, but our savior paid the price.

What if Jesus Christ said, "I have never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure"? Our Lord, I do not believe, would delight in the loss of one soul, even one as defiant as Osama bin Laden.

I wasn't there, but wish we took him alive and made him stand trial. If we chose to kill him on the basis of avoiding trial, then we let politics kill him, not justice. If he was armed, and our men were incapable of relieving him of a weapon, then, what happened was not avoidable. As I understand, these were our best men trained and prepared for all circumstances, so I don't know.

If we killed him symbolically, that, again, is politics. Either we killed him in an unavoidable gunfight, or we murdered him without trial.

Revenge is the Lord's, so if killing him was retribution for 9-11, we killed not in justice, but to steal the Lord's role.

On Twitter I saw by a well-known Tweeter said he hopes bin Laden rots in Hell. Whatever he really meant, I am sad to think any man is bound for Hell and suffereing eternal damnation. Nothing about bin Laden tells me he gave his life to Christ, but my heart breaks just the same.

This is not to diminish his crimes, nor to consider his heart as anything but against everything I stand for. However, I have no choice but to love my enemies and pray for the lost.

Meanwhile, we cannot secularly deify bin Laden. That is, his death is not secularly sacred -- not one man who died in 9-11 will have closure. There is only death, and now, more death.

Am I less worthy of Hell than Osama bin Laden? No. I am forgiven of my crimes. He chose not to be. I need to serve and give glory to the only living God, our Father, who art in Heaven, whose name itself is hallow.
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