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06/05/2011

Christians on the Bin Laden killing

“I think the killing of an unarmed man is always going to leave a very uncomfortable feeling, because it doesn’t look as if justice is seen to be done. In those circumstances, I think it’s also true that the different versions of events that have emerged in recent days have not done a great deal to help.

“I don’t know the full details any more than anyone else; but I do believe that, in such circumstances, when we are faced with someone who was manifestly a war criminal in terms of the atrocities inflicted, it is important that justice is seen to be served.”

-- Rowan Williams, Church of England

“The best response doesn’t come from the likes of me, they come from poets, because they have a way of saying things more deeply.

John Donne said ‘No man is an island entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main… Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.

Osama Bin Laden was a symbol of hatred against the West and of brainwashing people for evil purposes, and his death in many ways is an end to that. But just remember he is a symbol of it.

People in the USA are feeling ‘at long last this evil man has gone’, but he has been inspiring people to do such terrible deeds.

The trouble is he has been inspiring other people to do such terrible, wicked deeds, and what do they do when the symbol is gone? Does that mean the end of all the suicide bombings? I’m not so sure, myself.

He committed some terrible, terrible acts and persuaded people to blow themselves up and I think anyone who brainwashes anybody to such a level is evil, but just remember that Osama Bin Laden is not Satan.”

-- John Sentamu, Church of England

"First of all, I recall this verse from Ezekiel 33: “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked,” says the Lord.

Second, I’m remembering the victims and families of 9-11: I hope this helps them find closure.

I’m also mindful that in the long search for OBL, US attacks have killed thousands of innocent civilians in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Their names are not in the media today, but they should be.

Third, in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was executed, that didn't end bloodshed there. I doubt that Osama Bin Laden’s death will end violence in Pakistan or Afghanistan.

Finally, now that our government has achieved this goal, I urge our leaders to bring our troops home from that region. Let’s focus on ways to interact peacefully with the battered peoples of that war-torn part of the world.

That, and not more war or torture, will make the U.S. and the world safer from what this man represented."

-- Chuck Fager, American Quaker

"The recent announcement of the assassination of Osama Bin Laden causes me to reflect on one of Jesus’ more uncomfortable teachings: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Sit with this and say it again: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Bin Laden’s death carries with it a variety of emotions; it is rare that we have such a visceral reaction to one of our “enemies.” Because of this, it is important to sit with that feeling and to allow God’s love, peace, mercy and presence to dwell within us. Faith is not something added on to our lives for convenience but should be our source, especially in times of great emotion both in joy and in sorrow. I rejoice that Bin Laden will no longer be able to inflict evil and pain on this world, but I am also saddened that his heart was so hardened and I pray for his soul and for those of his followers.

My response is that I may “be the change [I] want to see in the world” (Ghandi) and that I may allow peace to begin with me. We are called to transform the world and we are offered an amazing moment to transform the world today. This is not easy but this is the radical love that we are called to, which counteracts the evils of terrorism and violence. May we emulate the heart of God our Father to hold both justice and mercy in our hearts." (source)

--Jonathan Lewis, Roman Catholic Church

There is also an excellent dialogue between a Christian, Jewish and Muslim leader on the killing of Bin Laden to be found HERE.

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