Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I'm not a real political man but...

I'm just a singer of simple songs

I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell 
you the difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love - Alan Jackson, Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning"
Yeah, I think that this song sums up a lot.

In case you missed it, last Sunday night President Obama announced the death of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan.

Like so many others, I remember where I was on 9/11/01.  I remember the Pepsi delivery guy telling me that a plane just hit the twin towers.  I remember a few moments later as my English class was interrupted by another teacher telling us to turn on the TV.  I remember the next period sitting in American Government class as the 2nd tower collapsed.  I remember being glued to the TV most of that day for as much news as was available.  I also remember the talk about the possibility of the draft going into effect.  I remember as two of my best friends, Jim and Chris, made a pact that if one of us was drafted the other two would join the military as well.

So on Sunday night when I saw the news that armed forces had, after nearly 10 years, located, assaulted and killed Bin Laden, I was proud.  But let me explain.

In the days that followed I was so interested by comments on the news and on Facebook.  I actually head one person on the news say that "we should have captured him alive and drug him through the streets of NY so people could kick him and spit on him".  Wow.  Really?  I understand that there is a deep wound that was left that September day.  But I like to think that we are better than that.  I was actually very proud of the USA for burying Bin Laden at sea in accordance with Muslim tradition.  The other night on 60 minutes President Obama made a good point that I agree with 100%. He said that though Bin Laden had no regard for the thousands of American lives and bodies that he desecrated, we were going to stand tall and honor this man's body.  I think that this sends a powerful statement to the rest of the world that we are not going to sink to the level of the terrorists.  We are going to be "the better man".

Now, I said that I was proud when I heard the news.  And I was.  I was also happy.  And here is where the debate begins I think.  I was happy because justice was served.  I was happy because a chapter on this book came to an end.  I was happy because I can only begin to imagine the closure that the thousands of mourning Americans were finally receiving.  I was not happy about death.  As a Christian, I do not think that we should take pleasure in death.  But we are to take pleasure when justice is served.  After all, we serve a JUST GOD.

Some would argue here that justice is to be left to God and not taken into our own hands when it comes to killing another.  However, I think of King David.  David was a warrior, and a pretty dang good one!  David slew the giant Goliath; he did not wait for God to strike him down with a bolt of lightning.  He picked up a weapon, went out to the battlefield and planted a stone between this guy's eyes.  After which, he took Goliath's sword out and beheaded him!  So, yeah, David was a warrior.

So, I do believe that justice was served when Seal team 6 breached the compound and shot Bin Laden.  The simple fact is that this man declared war on on when he planned the events of 9/11.  he has had 10 years to come forward and turn himself in to authorities.  Instead, he went into hiding.  None of us know exactly what happened during this mission, but based on the events after, I have faith in our armed forces that had Bin Laden surrendered they would have arrested him.  Instead, reports indicate that he fought back.

I understand that some view this as a bad move because al-Qaeda members are likely to retaliate.  Yes.  That is a very legitimate concern.  I was watching the movie The Kingdom recently.  In it the director of the FBI makes a powerful statement.  Basically, there is a bomb that goes off on an Americanized compound in Saudi Arabia and the US Attorney General tells the FBI that they no American teams will be permitted to investigate because of danger to Americans that this could cause.  The director fires back "Not to go after criminals because they might to harm you is really not a policy of the FBI".  And I think that the same is true in real life here.  Yes, there may be threats now.  But does that mean that we should have let Bin Laden go unpunished?  That, to me, would be letting him win.  I say this as a man that will be doing some international travel in the next few months.  As a man who has friends in other parts of the world.  Yes, there is reason to be vigilant.  It is simply the world in which we live.  There are dangers.  September 11th has shown us that we are not immune to these dangers.  But that doesn't meant that we let a mass murder off the hook!

So, these are a few of my thoughts.  You are welcome to agree or disagree.  In the end, I hope that we can stand a little taller and united as the USA right now.  I hope that we can take dance with joy over the justice.  I hope that we can have hearts of gratitude for those that spent months planning this operation and for those that risked their lives to complete it.

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