Friday, May 06, 2011

For Christians, the only acceptable reaction to Osama Bin Laden's death is, "Lord have mercy"

Mike Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister and possible Republican candidate for President, recently made a statement about Osama Bin Laden's death by saying, "Welcome to hell, Bin Laden."

I do not presume to speak for God. However, based on my reading of the Gospels and my understanding of God, I would instead argue that the only acceptable response for Christians is, "Lord have mercy."

Yes, may God have mercy on Osama Bin Laden. He went astray of God's will. He went against the teachings of his religion. He could have turned. He could have repudiated violence. He could have worked for peace, not for war.

And God have mercy on us! We are so quick to war, so quick to celebrate death. I think God must be happy that al-Queda has sustained a severe blow, and we have every right to be happy about that as well. But God loves all of His children, including Osama bin Laden.

Meanwhile, there is much work to be done. Al Queda must be destroyed. But Robert Pape and Jenna Jordan argue that we might want to withdraw most of our military forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, while using intelligence and small scale covert operations against al Queda - because our military presence helps fuel support for al Queda. In addition, we must continue to make fundamental changes in our foreign policy towards countries that are predominantly Muslim. We must support the Arab Spring - a repudiation, by the way, of al Queda's theology of armed insurrection.

And, as an aside, the guy who got Abu Musab Al Zarqawi without torture says that contrary to the apologists, torture most likely impeded bin Laden's capture.

As Martin Luther King said, you cannot kill hate. War can, if used correctly, contain hate. But ultimately, peace is what kills hate, and we must work doubly hard to win the peace.

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