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Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Is taking a life ever 'justice'

Of course the entire world is talking about the death of Osama bin Laden, so I am jumping in too...
I heard the news of his death whilst sat on the beach yesterday, as someone perused their iphone and saw the headline. My initial reaction was one of surprise but not much else I have to say. I am fortunate that I do not personally know anyone who was injured or killed by the atrocities said to be organised by this man, if I were I suspect I would feel very differently. But nonetheless, I do find it hard to understand the tide of joy that is sweeping the planet over his death.  Is it really right to 'celebrate' a death in such a way?  Don't get ne wrong, I am incredibly glad that he is no longer able to carry out his operations and it is not his death that is concerning me, but in fact, the reaction to it.

In Barrack Obamas announcement, he said 'justice has been done' implying some kind of revenge, some kind of 'there, you got what you deserve'. Although officially the hunt was to find him to 'bring him to justice' and to stop him organising further attacks, there seems to be a huge element of revenge to the situation we now have, and a lot of 'isn't America wonderful'. I am not convinced that justice has been done actually - do we dole out justice or does God? Isn't that what judgement is all about? Is it right to praise people for celebratig this mans death?

I was interested in Mark Mardells blog at the BBC from this morning. (The link just takes you to the blog so you may need to scroll down). He also notes the level of celebrations, even being praised by President Obama.


Obama also said that the world is a safer and better place because of bin Ladens death. But is it actually? Safer? I understand the level of terror threat to this country is currently 'severe' and has been for over a year now, it has not increased in the wake of his death, but likewise has not gone down either. And I am sure there are others ready and waiting to take over from him...  And better? is the world actually a better place because of the death of one man? Does that not take away from Gods plan? Gods creation?

I don't know, am I getting my knickers in a twist over this? Should I be joining in the celebrations?

5 comments:

Perpetua said...

Red, I'm with you on this, questioning whether the world is in fact a safer place today than it was before his death. My fear is that this will prove to be an illusory achievement, replacing a fugitive leader whose influence may well have been waning, with a dead martyr whose blood, to some, will cry out to be avenged.

Red said...

Further to the above, there is a quote doing the blog/FB/twitter rounds assigned to Martin Luther King Jnr. It's a great quote but actually he didnt say it. What he did say is this:
"I’m concerned about a better world. I’m concerned about justice; I’m concerned about brotherhood; I’m concerned about truth. And when one is concerned about that, he can never advocate violence. For through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can’t murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can’t establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can’t murder hate through violence. Darkness cannot put out darkness; only light can do that.”

Suem said...

I agree with your response. I don't think there is much room for jumping up and down with joy in such a situation.

Nancy Wallace said...

A time to reflect and pray for peace I think.I can't see how it can ever be right to rejoice at someone's death by violence.

Red said...

Indeed.
someone else flagged this up:
Proverbs 24:17
Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth...