Osama bin Laden is Dead

This post was published on Monday 2 May 2011.

I woke up this morning to the news that Osama bin Laden has been killed and buried at sea by American forces.  He was found in Pakistan, which is not a surprise, but near Islamabad rather than in a cave, which is a surprise.

He is personally responsible for leading terrorist attacks around the world, and deserved to be brought to justice.  Given al Qaeda’s tactics, it is probably better he was captured dead rather than alive, to stop reprisal kidnappings of innocent NGO workers.

However, I’m not comfortable with the scenes outside the White House.  I understand the depth of feeling - this man led one of the largest ever terrorist attacks, on American soil, killing over 3000 innocent civilians.  However, the dancing and cheering is no better than the dancing and cheering seen after 9/11.

Jesus told us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, but that doesn’t exclude seeking to bring people to justice, and even punishing them for their crimes.  We must protect the innocent, and we must seek justice, especially against those who kill indiscriminately, but we should never gloat over our enemies, and we should not celebrate the death of anyone, even Osama bin Laden.