Now before anyone gets angry, let me explain. I do not suggest that the man should not have been executed. That's really beyond my scope of expertise, considering I don't have the facts about what attempts were made to capture him alive, etc. He certainly has done grave evil in his life. We are probably safer with him gone. I am not suggesting that he shouldn't have been executed. Our faith does allow for capital punishment when necessary to protect the society.
Rather, I firmly believe we should not REJOICE at a man's death. A man created in the image of God. If it was necessary to execute him, so be it, its done. We shouldn't rejoice at taking such a grave, even if necessary, step. My sentiments are somewhat expressed in the news release from the Vatican today:
"Osama Bin Laden, as is known, claimed responsibility for grave acts that spread division and hate among the peoples, manipulating religion to that end. A Christian never takes pleasure from the fact of a man's death, but sees as an opportunity to reflect on each person's responsibility, before God and humanity, and to hope and commit oneself to seeing that no event become another occasion to disseminate hate but rather to foster peace." -Father Lombardi, SJ Holy See Press DirectorI'd like to unpack this a little. Last night I was disgusted and troubled. I watched as the crowd cheered at this execution and thought about news clips in other countries where this is common after they kill Americans. We have to be better than this. We do what we have to do to defend ourselves, but we shouldn't be cheerful or brag about killing someone. In my opinion, that type of behavior is, to borrow Father Lombardi's words, disseminating hate. What a strong Catholic witness to say, we deeply regret that such steps were necessary and pray for God's mercy on Osama Bin Laden. That's right, I said pray for God's mercy on Bin Laden. Isn't that what John Paul did to the man who tried to kill him? Isn't that what Jesus Christ did for the most henious criminals of all time? We best follow suit. We must.