Where were you when you heard? What were you doing?I was cable surfing looking for something of interest to watch when channel after channel began reporting that Osama bin Laden and been found and killed. After listening to several stations, we settled in on one, and patiently waited for the President to make a promised statement. Ironically enough, I believe the news of of bin Laden's death will be remembered much the same way as the 9/11 attacks, most of us will remember where we were and what we were doing when we got the news.
Like the vast majority of Americans, I'm thankful that after learning of his whereabouts, President Obama made the corageous call to take bin Laden out at gunpoint rather than misslepoint, and I'm proud of the way our elite SEAL Team 6 made sure the world would never again be subjected to the deranged and murderous desires of this particular terrorist. The debate rages on over the subsequent handling of his remains and the national conversation will be preoccupied for the forseeable future concerning whether or not to release the photographs.
What I find interesting is all the discussion over what the "appropriate" response of the American people should have been after hearing the news. There were those that took exception to New Yorkers in Times Square cheering and celebrating, as well as those outside the White House chanting: "USA, USA!" To me, expecting people to have any kind of uniform or "appropriate" emotional response to what was obviously a great relief to some, and disturbing news to others is pretty naive. It's a subjective response...get over it.
For me, the theological debate as to whether he should have even been killed in the first place, and what our response to the news afterward from a Christian perspective should have been is the most interesting. Since this is an opinion article, here's mine. As a nation, we were well within our rights to hunt this man down, and stop him from planning and executing any more attacks against innocent men, women, and children. Whether we captured him or killed him was completely at our discretion. He was a confirmed terrorist wanted, dead or alive, and I'm personally glad it was the former. Just my opinion.
From a Biblical perspective, it says in Isaiah 1:17: "Learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow." We have this responsibility both as individuals, and as a nation. To ignore this is at best unwise, and at worse, a denial of our Judeo-Christian heritage. We read in the New Testament concerning civil authority: "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil." This is the Word of God...not a man's opinion, therefore we have every right to have confidence in it, and at the same time, gain valuable perspective into how God Himself views this.
Our conscience has been given to us by God, and it's His Word that illuminates our path in a dark world. We do have the ability to say: "This is good" or "That is evil." We not only have the ability, we have the responsibility. The children whose mother's and father's never returned home from work on September 11th would not hesitate to tell you that what was done to them was wrong. Yes, forgiveness must follow transgression perpetrated against you, but justice from and through those who are given the authority to execute it typically follows as well. Osama Bin Laden was administered rebuke and justice for crimes against the people of our nation, and on this side of eternity, he has paid for it with his life.