As I woke up this morning I was greeted with the news that Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces in Pakistan. I watched the news as I was getting ready for work and listened to the radio on my drive to the office. I was struck by a couple things.
I must admit that I felt relief that bin Laden was dead. While I recognize that terrorism will continue after his death; I appreciated the sense of justice and closure brought by this news.
I was disheartened by the reactions I witnessed in the news reports. People were gathering and chanting 'U-S-A! U-S-A!" and singing "God Bless America" in the streets. While I can understand their sense of relief and even victory, something in me just didn't sit right with the idea of celebrating the death of another person, even if that person was bin Laden. There was just something in me that immediately recognized that this was not a "Christian" response to this news.
Then I read this quote from Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ:
I was just thinking about 9-11 and its lasting impact on our country earlier yesterday afternoon before this news broke. I was thinking about how our country reacted to the deaths of nearly 3,000 people that day. We started two wars, incurred trillions of dollars of debt, created new levels of government, and surrendered personal freedoms all because of the events of that horrible day.
I was reflecting on these things in light of the feast of Divine Mercy and the beatification of John Paul II who preached the Gospel of Life throughout his pontificate. I was reflecting on how we as a nation reacted to 2,977 people being murdered by terrorists and how little we care for the approximately 3,700 babies aborted EVERY DAY in America alone (over 120k worldwide everyday-see the counter on my sidebar). That means that since 9/11/01 about 13-million Americans have been legally murdered.
Osama bin Laden kills 3,000 people and he becomes enemy #1, relentlessly hunted down for nearly a decade and killed. People reacted by singing God Bless America.
Barack Obama runs on a radical pro-abortion platform. As a state senator in IL he was against banning partial birth abortions and against a bill that required medical care for aborted babies that were born alive. People reacted by making him president.
John Paul II tirelessly preached the Gospel of Life, but more than that he lived it. He met with and forgave the man that tried to assassinate him. He endured a progressive, debilitating disease with dignity and purpose while demonstrating how we can unite our sufferings with Christ's. He lived a life dedicated to loving God and relying on His mercy. People reacted by packing the streets of Rome for his beatification.