When we see people in the Middle East rejoicing in the streets over the death of Westerners in a terrorist attack, we feel outraged. We struggle to understand the world view that would cause one person to celebrate the needless death of another.
And while it may be a poor comparison, seeing Americans cheering in the streets over the death of Osama bin Laden doesn’t sit well with me either. While it could be argued that his demise is a justified casuality of war or a just result for a terrorist, surely it is still an overwhelmingly sad moment.
Sad that it continually comes to this in human history – someone must die for others to feel safer, freer, stronger.
I don’t judge those that are cheering – so many were touched by the 9/11 attacks and many other tragic killings around the world, it is understandable that there would be a sense of relief and victory and yes, even celebration.
But in the cold light of day, people will soon realise that the world’s problems, America’s problems, have not gone away and the struggle that has gripped humanity since Cain and Abel goes on unabated.
President Obama said that people who love peace and human dignity would welcome bin Laden’s death. Maybe so.
But only One Man’s death has ever truly provided for peace and human dignity in a profound, eternal and ultimate way. And his undeserved death was for thieves, murderers and, yes, scandalously, even terrorists.
See how some of America’s Christians are responding: