(Not) My Thoughts on Bin Laden’s Death

Like many in America today, I have been spending some time reflecting on the significance of Bin Laden’s death. I think the internal struggle that I’ve been having with it arises out of the sheer complexity of the military’s role in foreign policy.  We live in a crazy and confusing world, and I don’t think there are any simple answers or solutions on how to deal with terror, cruelty, and injustice in the world.

I see this play out in the area of knowledge with which I’m more familiar. In dealing with the Bible, well-intentioned people will oversimplify what is a highly complex collection of writings from various authors, centuries, locations, and cultures. It ain’t easy. I get it. How we deal with our would-be enemies (especially on the global stage) isn’t like 2nd grade arithmetic. So I’ll offer just a thought or two of my own, and then pass you off to people who have said things that resonate with me in some way or another.

Despite my strong left leanings, I do believe in the idea of a “just” war. I’m largely (though not completely) in agreement with the case the C. S. Lewis lays out in God in the Dock. I’m not as clear on what determines whether a war is “just” or not, but I recognize that there are people in the world that need to be restrained. Therefore, I’m grateful for the men and women who serve in the armed forces. I realize that the life I lead is in no small part made possible by their sacrifices. I know more than a few who serve in the military, and I have nothing but deep and sincere gratitude for our soldiers.

However, I don’t believe that the death of our enemies is something to celebrate. No matter how much pain or suffering they may have inflicted. Like I said, some wars may be necessary, but the thought of killing (even if necessary) should be cause for sorrow, not rejoicing.

All throughout the day, different bits of writing and perspectives passed before my eyes. I can’t say that I agree with every single thing said by each one, but each expresses my own thoughts and feelings in different ways.

Ryan Byrd // We live in the same city (almost) and we still haven’t met face-to-face!

Jeff MacGregor // Who knew I would have something in common with a sports-writer?

Michael Bird // Yes, I follow two Byrd/Birds. This one’s a bit thick, but it was written before news broke of Bin Laden’s death.

David Leong // Says all that I feel and more.

Doug Wilson // More great thoughts.

Read and pray and reflect.

Grace and peace.

2 Replies to “(Not) My Thoughts on Bin Laden’s Death”

  1. Thanks for sharing these links. I was particularly struck by the sports guys take on payback vs. justice

    1. imagine that 🙂 as you might guess, i’m not in the regular habit of reading sports journalists. the other sports devotee – the one with facial hair – emailed it to me early yesterday.

      Also, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that Bobby and I feel similarly about the appropriate way to respond to something like this… http://viachicago.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/three-things/ Bob, thanks for sending that article.

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