Is it wrong to rejoice?

Unless you have been sleeping under a rock for the past week, you have probably heard that after almost 10 years of searching, U.S. Navy SEALs located Osama bin Laden hiding inside Pakistan, and killed him dead. When news of this event broke, there were spontaneous gatherings of Americans all over this country, with cheering and singing, and a general atmosphere of jubilation. Yes, that’s right – jubilation. I was right there with them (in spirit at least). I was so happy that this monster – this embodiment of pure evil – had finally been removed as a threat to this nation that I love. That he would never again be able to plot the deaths of any of my fellow Americans. This was a good thing.

And so I was right there at the front of the virtual pack, cheering as loudly as anyone that it was finally over. The Monster was finally slain, and I was fine with that.

Then I began to be made aware (mostly through Face Book) that  many of my friends did not feel the same way I did. In fact many of my friends were saddened and disgusted by the celebratory atmosphere in this country over the killing of bin Laden. This led me to do a bit of soul searching. Second-guessing even. Am I some sort of insensitive monster? Is it wrong that I think it is a good thing that evil, evil man is dead?

I like to think of myself as a fairly enlightened human being. A real “sensitive 90’s man” as it were. I am very in touch with my spiritual self, and generally consider myself a peaceful, non-violent person. So why don’t I see thing that way? Maybe I am more of a pragmatist. Or maybe I am just realistic about the nature of the world.

It’s all well-and-good to say that we should love one another — regardless. That there is nothing that could justify rejoicing in another human beings demise, but to me that is just unrealistic. The fact is there is true Evil (with a capital “E”) in this world. Osama bin Laden is the best example in recent years of this fact, but not the only examply by far. Like that old high-school philosophy question: “if you could go back in time and murder Adolf Hitler before his rise to power, would you?” In fact I would put that same question to my fuzzy-wuzzy friends – “If you could go back to 1999 and kill Osama bin Laden before he even planned the 9/11 attack, would you? I am not sure what they would say, but I know what I would say to that.

I would kill him without hesitation. If that means I am not as enlightened as I like to think I am, then so be it.  I would still pull the trigger,  and then I would sleep like a baby…

One thought on “Is it wrong to rejoice?

  1. as one of your fuzzy wuzzy friends :o) I can state without question that if I could go back – I’d not kill him – lock him up and throw away the key? yes but personally kill him? no

    but then I didn’t lose someone as a result of his actions – nor was it my country that he attacked…as an outsider looking in I was appalled at the celebrations in his country when they reigned terror and massive death on yours…and that’s the origin of my discomfort over the celebrations when we heard the news that he was finally dead.

    however, quite irrationally I find that should a member of my loved one’s have been involved in this horror I too would pull the trigger….without hesitation.

    I guess that’s just the dichotomy of being me?


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