Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Some Brief Thoughts on Bin Laden's Assisted Assumption of Room Temperature

I was informed by my daughter Sunday night that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. I sat and watched the news with her. We watched President Obama's announcement. I saw the pictures of folks celebrating in front of the White House and in Times Square. After an hour or so, I went to bed.

It has now been a few days, and I have a few thoughts on the whole thing.
  1. I was honestly surprised to discover that Osama bin Laden was actually still alive. I have thought for years that we was killed in the fighting in Afghanistan years ago. I thought that the leaders of Al Qaeda were working to keep the myth alive.

  2. Osama bin Laden was a very evil man who was responsible for the deaths of thousands worldwide. He was a coward who hid in the shadows and conned others into doing his fighting for him. He deserved to die. (Genesis 9:5-6)

  3. Osama bin Laden was not a criminal to be arrested and tried. He was an avowed enemy of the United States responsible for the deaths of American citizens. As such, he deserved to be hunted down and killed. He got what he had coming to him.

  4. I feel a grim satisfaction that Osama bin Laden was taken down by members of the American military. Yeah, it's payback. Huah!

  5. There are a lot of conflicting stories about how bin Laden died. Was he armed? Was he unarmed? Did he resist? None of it matters. Even if he surrendered, was captured alive, made to kneel down in the driveway, and executed with a shot to the back of the head, justice was done. As I have already said, he wasn't a criminal to be arrested and tried, he was an vicious animal to be put down.

  6. While I have real satisfaction that an enemy of my nation has been killed, I do not celebrate his death. The dancing in the streets that I saw on the news is unseemly. Death, even when so undeniable deserved, is never to be celebrated.

  7. I do not believe that we owed Osama bin Laden a burial in accordance with his religious beliefs. I think his body should have been chopped up, mixed with pork, and fed to dogs, and his head should have been spiked above the White House gate as a warning to others who might desire to take up where Osama bin Laden left off. I have no problems sending strong messages.

  8. It stands to reason that, if I have no problem with the public display of his severed head, I have no problem with the release of photographs of his corpse. People have been taking photos of dead people for as long as there has been photography. The FBI used to routinely release photos of dead gangsters, such as "Baby Face" Nelson & "Pretty Boy" Floyd, in the 1930's. I don't think it's any big deal, really.

  9. In his remarks Sunday night, President Obama, echoing the words of President Bush before him, said, "... our war is not against Islam." I think this just shows that we still do not understand who our enemy is, and what motivates him. I have no doubts that Islam is evil in and of itself.

These are just some of the things I've been thinking about in the wake of Sunday's news. For much more intelligent thoughts on the matter, I would direct you to Al Mohler's article from Monday.

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12 comments:

Sir Brass said...

I'll disagree without about the display of the body. Showing it now would be tacitly seen (and rightly so, seeing the attitude of many people demanding to see the pictures) as showing off a trophy. That's morally indefensible. There's a reason we don't publicly display the death photos of executed criminals who have done just as much evil (even if on a smaller quantitative scale than OBL) as Osama. It's called, "His body isn't a trophy to be shown around. He's dead. Justice has been done."

I don't think he should have been shown proper burial either, but getting rid of it quickly WAS indeed the wise thing to do. It keeps the terrorists from exhuming his body to give him a proper burial or whatnot, or even pulling a "Weekend at Bernies" and making it appear like he's still alive using still pictures. And it keeps disease from spreading ;). After all, he doth not merely stinketh, he reeketh ;).

I would've just had him wrapped in a sheet, weighted down with lead, and dumped overboard the USS Vincent.

Desecrating the body is beneath us and more in line with how the Jihadi's act when they saw off the head of a Christian martyr. Doing the same to Osama is just simply vile.

I think we sent a strong message in and of itself in that we sent in the team quickly and they went in hard and violent. Now he's dead. Surgical, methodical, deadly. We have no need to go publicly desecrating the corpse or satiating people's sinful bloodlust by publicly showing the photos as some sort of trophy.

I find the reasons the WH gave for not releasing the photos to be cowardly and dhimmi, but they were still the right ones. Right decision, wrong reasons.

~Sir Brass

The Squirrel said...

SB,

I'm not espousing any sort of triumphalism. But I've got no problem with a little bit of street level "anybody else want some?" attitude. Letting our enemies know that we'll do all we can (and we can do a whole lot more than just about anybody else!) to hunt them down and take them out IS a deterrent. I have no doubt.

Squirrel

Dakota said...

I must say I agree with Sir Brass in regard to public desecration of Bin Laden’s corpse. How can we say it’s wrong to dance in the streets, and yet perfectly acceptable to put his decapitated head above our nation’s Capitol? As ambassadors of Christ (2 Cor. 5:20) the only message we would be sending to the world is one of vengeance and hatred, while provoking even more violence against fellow Christians in the eastern world. As evil as he was, he was not an animal; he was created in the image of God Himself (Gen. 1:27).

Also, I think we should be very careful not to allow our hearts to be filled with desire for revenge or “payback.” (Proverbs 24:29) God instituted government at least in part to be an instrument of His justice (Romans 13:4), and not a misrepresentation of His desire for all to be saved (II Peter 3:9). As God said in Ezekiel 33:11, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live.” Though I have no problem with what has transpired over the past few days, I have to echo the words of Sir Brass above: Osama's body isn't a trophy to be shown around. He's dead. Justice has been done.


In Christ,
Dakota

The Squirrel said...

As a pastor, I have different responsibilities than I would as a political leader or as a member of the armed forces tasked with defending the nation. The church is tasked with evangelism, not the government. Paul says that the government is tasked with dispensing God's wrath on wrongdoers. I have no issue with the government and the military doing things designed solely to strike fear in our nation's enemies.

When Paul penned the Epistle to the Romans, the government which he referenced in Romans 13:1-7 was a government that routinely publicly executed criminals in the brutal display known as crucifixion. The purpose of this very public and very gruesome form of execution was to make criminals think long and hard before doing anything which would incur such a penalty. Scripture does not condemn Rome for this.

Instead, Paul says, "For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer."

Proverbs 11:10b - ... when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness.

Sadly, I think we've gotten soft. Our enemies have not. This may not end well if we do not recover our hardness. (& yes, I see America's decline - morally, spiritually, financially, militarily - as God's judgement. That's a different discussion for a different day.)

Regarding evangelism, admittedly, I did not pray often for Osama Bin Laden's redemption, but I did pray for him. If God, in His grace, brought Bin Laden to faith at some point before his death, I will rejoice to see him in heaven. But, without evidence of such a conversion, I believe Bin Laden to be consigned to torment in Hades awaiting the Great White Throne judgment of Revelation 20:11-15.

Squirrel

Fred Butler said...

Curious of your thoughts:
When David brought the head of Goliath back to Jerusalem, 1 Sam. 17:54, would you say he was showing off a trophy?

The Squirrel said...

Fred,

I think that was exactly what he was doing. The head may have just been proof of death, but, since Saul's armor was too big for David, you know Goliath's armor wasn't going to fit him, either...

But I bet is sure looked good over the fireplace...

Squirrel

markshriv said...

Why would you instruct people to read from Al Mohler, a man who not only signed the Manhattan Decl., but a man who leads two orgs dedicated to the UN anti-christ agenda?

The Squirrel said...

"Why would you instruct people to read from Al Mohler..."

Mark,

I like Al Mohler. I think he has been blessed with a brilliant intellect. I read his blog regularly, used to listen to his radio program when it was on, and now listen daily to his The Briefing podcast.

I don't agree with Dr. Mohler on everything. For instance, he is Covenantal, while I am Dispensational. Also, I did not sign the Manhattan Declaration. I read Dr. Mohler's reasoning for doing so. I think he had good reasons for doing so - I just disagree. But, agree or not, reading or listening to his thoughts always forces me to think deeper about whatever subject is being discussed.

In regards to this specific article on the death of Osama bin Laden, I linked to it because it is excellent.

You are, of course, free to disagree with me all you would like. I will not allow this comment thread to be turned into a debate on Dr. Mohler. Feel free to write whatever you want against Dr. Mohler, just do so on your own blog.

Thank you,

Squirrel

markshriv said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Squirrel said...

markshriv,

I told you, not on my blog.

Squirrel

markshriv said...

God forbid some real truth should enter your blogsite. Please forgive me.

The Squirrel said...

markshriv,

Don't forget to change the tin-foil on your hat at least three times per week. It gets saturated otherwise, and becomes less effective.

Everybody else,

This is long-discredited conspiracy-theory nonsense. Let me direct you to Fred Butler's remarks on this subject from way way back in 2006. I also highly recommend Fred's excellent Tin-Foil Hat Theology series.

Squirrel