02 May 2011

Death is not dead

My post about Easter seems a good starting point for a discussion of the death of Bin Laden. To put it simply: I don't think you can have it both ways. You can't celebrate the end of death one week and then the death of someone the next. Death is either dead, or it is not.

The celebrations, the chanting of 'USA!' is annerving. As a commenter on Ragamuffin Soul points out, it is reminiscent of the celebrations in the Middle East of US soldiers killed. You can't have it both ways. Our heroes are our enemies' enemies. Our enemies are our enemies' heroes.

I meant to post about the royal wedding over the weekend, but this Bin Laden thing gives it another dimension: half a million English on the street celebrating an ultimately inconsequential marriage vs Americans chanting 'USA, USA!' at the death of a single man, like we just won an ice hockey match. I'd much rather be in the first crowd, I think. Frivolous, yes. Celebration of dangerous nationalistic tendencies, yes. But at least they were cheering soldiers with guns not fixed and firing.

A friend of my brother's (and mine now too) Rev James says on Facebook, 'The only proper reaction to this should be one of lament, namely, lament that there is still evil in this world and that such a death was necessary in the first place. Instead, we celebrate ourselves and our power to kill. That, I'm sorry, is something I can't get over.'

I'm not happy the Bin Laden is dead. I'm less happy that people are celebrating it. The world is full of pain and suffering: let's celebrate the alleviation of it when we can, not the visiting of it on our enemies.