Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: Eye for an Eye

The headline read "Rot in Hell". It was certainly written with an intention of malice and shock. It worked.

Very late the night before I sat in my hotel bed and watched the President of the United States confirm that Osama Bin Laden had been shot and killed in Pakistan. There was footage of people at Ground Zero cheering and crying and waving American flags. More footage of crowds outside the White House chanting "USA. USA". The television news was touting it as a triumphant and historical day in US history. All of it just made me sad.

My husband and I are pouring our own hearts into raising children who will be good human beings as adults. We are telling them constantly about tolerance and God's unconditional love and forgiveness of everyone.

I was watching what seemed like an entire nation cheer and high five ands declare their success after knowing that troops had murdered someone. It did not make me jubilant.

No one in my family was killed on 9-11. I was pregnant with The Athlete and sitting on an ottoman in front of the television in our family room watching smoke pour from the building and I cried and cried. The tragedy struck me to the core. I read every article, watched every show and prayed a lot for the victims and their families. I will NEVER forget that morning. But I also know that my life wasn't physically changed. And maybe if it was I would feel differently. I do not want to minimize anyone's loss or their need for justice.

But the bottom line is that I don't see how any of those children's parents will ever come back just because this man is dead. My ambivalence embarrasses me. I feel like I am betraying a million people by not celebrating the murder of another human being.

I cannot tell my children that America did the right thing.

I am pouring my heart out when I tell you that I don't think God believes in an eye for an eye. The hurt won't go away because he is gone. Even if Bin Laden does rot in hell.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Beth Zimmerman said...

I pretty much agree with you! I was sad too. Sad that a human lost his life. Sad that a soul went into eternity without Jesus. Sad that we live in a society with so little respect for life. And sad that people don't seem to realize that killing this one man didn't stop the evil ... in fact it may have kicked it up a notch!

Tracy Taylor said...

Kim - could it be the celebration that saddened you? I remember watching the celebrations in the Middle East when the towers went down, thinking "how could they be happy about this?" Those are my thoughts here. Although I do feel this man was of nothing good, what bothered me most was watching Americans celebrate in the way we, as Americans, said was inappropriate and horrid at the time. My personal view on his death is my own, but I must say, I'm disappointed in how Americans acted after being so disgusted by how others acted the same way they did almost 10 years ago.

Shell said...

I thought the reactions to the news were really extreme.

That day, almost 10 years ago, never should have happened. It was a tragedy.

I did feel some pride in America when the news was announced.

But, couldn't take all the ugliness. Or the political debates that happened right after.

Kim said...

I'm so happy I read this. The last few days has quieted me because like you, I didn't lose anyone during that horrible time. But I've questioned this kind of celebration. What are we teaching our children?? Be vengeful. An eye for an eye. It's okay to kill if a man deserves it. All these messages are not okay with me. Brave writing, my friend.

Emmy said...

Yes it really is an odd situation as yes it is good that justice has been served. But yes some of the celebrations seem a bit extreme. It really is a bit of a roller coaster.

Annie said...

I commend you for your honesty! This could not have been an easy thing to write.

I believe that God is a just God. He gives everyone chances, but he also believes in punishment for wrongdoing. But what punishment did Bin Laden deserve? That is the real debate.

I want to also say glad I am that your kids have such loving, sympathetic parents that are raising loving, caring kids. We need more parents like you in the world, and I say this with 100% honesty.

And since it won't let me type my URL in the comments below, I am from (it isn't in my blogger profile)

MommaK said...

I wrote a very similiar post a couple of days ago myself..

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

I was very very conflicted about the celebratory tone of some of our citizens. While I understand their jubilation, I just can't join's not over by any means and to think that there won't be ramifications is ridiculous. It was very weird for me to watch.

MiMi said...

It was so weird to see Americans dancing and cheering for his death. On one hand, I'm glad he's gone.
On the other? It's all just so pointless.


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