“Hark!”, the herald broadcaster sings. “bin Laden is dead in Pakistan!” On May 2nd, 2011, the US government announced that Osama bin Laden was killed in a raid at his “hidden” compound in Pakistan. News anchor reaction to the event ran the gamut from solemn to giddy. I even saw broadcasters exchanging high-fives on air. If you tuned in at the wrong time you’d have thought the Canucks finally won a Stanley Cup.
Instead of it being an event that would bring closure for families who lost someone during the September 11th, 2001 attacks on our country, it has become something of a freak-show for all the loons with the ability to speak or type. To make matters worse, the President is still trying to get the public version of the Navy Seal’s exploits correct. Both sides of the political aisle are jumping on that too. Leave it alone already!
I’m reminded of John Lennon’s song, “Give Peace A Chance” and it starts to ring true for me. As a Christian I want other countries to believe as I do, sadly, our example to them as a Christian nation seems to mock that our Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
Shouldn’t we be willing, especially at the death of Osama bin Laden, to lay down our weapons of warfare and call it even now?
It shouldn’t be such a big risk to finally give this whole peace thing a chance. We can find a place for everyone on this issue I think. It goes something like this…
- if the warriors will lay down their weapons then…
- we agree to let them keep the weapons in arms reach
- peace gets an uneasy chance to succeed
John Lennon’s “Give Peace A Chance” was originally released in 1969 as the first single he ever did apart from the Beatles. (I’ll bet many of you didn’t know that, I didn’t until I started to research this post.) It was, and for the most part still is, the anthem for anti-war protests in Western Culture. Over 40 years later the song still makes a point, doesn’t it?
The lyrics aren’t deep, I know, I’ve reviewed them; the point of the entire song is this… “Ok, so you don’t really understand us, we get that. All we want is to give it a try, give peace a chance!”
What would the Prince of Peace do?
I am a Christian, please appreciate I offer these observations with some disappointment. I find it more than a bit odd that ‘western’ Christians are so easily won over to taking up arms against their neighbors. (Actually, not really ‘neighbors’, but countries very far away. It’s less messy over here that way.)
The only New Testament references to being ‘good soldiers of Jesus Christ’ or ‘…soldiers of the Cross’ are limited and only framed as spiritual warfare metaphors. In point of fact, when a Roman soldier was grabbing Jesus in the Garden on his final night, Peter cut the man’s ear off; Jesus response was to heal him. Hardly a call to arms.
The westernized form of Christianity is quick to jump between Testaments in order to justify any position that suits their whim. I can see this in calls for “an eye for an eye”. If this were truly the case then we’d have stopped with the dispatchment of some 3000 ‘bad guys’ and called it even.
I witnessed a flurry of Facebook blasts that were equally diverse in tone to that of the live media response, proving once again that we are truly a melting pot of ideas and ideals! Additionally, conservative talk show hosts and Presidential hopefuls want to see bin Laden’s death photos released, they suppose it will put bad guys on notice of their sure fate. One Liberal talk show host is asking when the Navy Seals will drop in on President Bush and kill him! I couldn’t make this stuff up, it’s out there.
I’m not afraid of see gruesome photos of events like this. We have public photos of Kennedy, Tupac, Sadam and others readily available, so it’s not unheard of to acknowledge that releasing photos of a dead bin Laden are some how more uncivilized than we’ve ever been. All I will say is, this is one time that I believe releasing such things will be unwise at this time. The day will come when it won’t be a lightning rod.
Osama bin Laden was a man that deserved to be hunted down and eliminated. He and his followers crossed every line in their declared war on our country and our citizens. I want to be clear on this point. (He was even disowned by his own Royal Family in Saudi Arabia, and they are loath to ever do that to one of their own.) Forget September 11th, 2001 for a moment, bin Laden freely accepted responsibility for his acts of war long before the Twin Towers came down.
Further, the justification for their hatred toward the US was our presence on ‘Holy Ground’ in their home lands. Ultimately their anger should have been directed at the leaders of their own countries for allowing it, after all, it was always in their power to tell us to leave.
All that having been said, how should we expect the people of a country so far away to react (be it Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.) when we show up in the air space and on the ground with our invading armies? We hear how careful the military is to not kill the innocents, yet many more innocent lives have been lost than we suffered on September 11th, 2001.
We call it collateral damage, the innocent on the ground only know that loved ones and friends with no political or religious bone to pick with us are dead. Sounds like a familiar cry.
In closing I say, it’s time to give peace a chance. We should depart from their lands with an admonishment (yes, even an ‘old testament’ sounding one), enough is enough, if their countries continue to prosecute a war of terror on our country and our citizens then we will return and utterly destroy their means of warring against us and not return to rebuild it. Their oil fields will be made desolate.
I would prefer we try to “heal the ear”, as Christ did in his moment of testing.
Please leave a comment so we know what your focus is all about.
Thanks for reading this far.