04 May 2011

Justice and bin Laden

In Becket, the monk who serves as the archbishop's aide and servant explains justice to him. He explains that he sees himself as a grain of sand that will join many others in eventually stopping the unjust Norman machine grinding them all to dust. Then the Saxons and good folk will build a new machine and put Normans into it. He asks the Archbishop, "That is what justice means, isn't it?" Becket smiles but does not answer. Anouilh leaves the answer to the play goer.

Is it? Is that justice? I submit not.

Here is the prayer for our enemies in the Book of Common Prayer. It is worthy of considerable thought this week.
O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

From my space, some lessons to consider:
  1. The triumphalism is not a good idea. It is morally corrosive. Celebrating the death of anyone is morally corrosive. That is what supporters of the death penalty miss. We never should hate anyone that much.
  2. Bin Laden was unique. To will he - nil he undertake attacks against others would be a serious mistake.
  3. Christians are called to wage reconciliation and redeem the earth. I am not going to second guess the president. His duty is to protect and defend. The question is what we do as Christians to bring reconciliation?
  4. The swift, patriotic and appropriate response to these events from various Islamic organizations should but probably won't bring forward the simple fact that Islam is not the enemy.
  5. It should finally be clear that the government of Pakistan is anti-American. Perhaps they can join GafCon or endorse the "Anglican Covenant?"
In American domestic politics, can we all say, "racism" now? The reaction of Fox News commentators among others that obviously we have to give credit to someone other than the guy who made the call is transparent. The recent explosion of the "birther" viewpoint and the amazing attack on Mr. Obama's academic background by the odious Donald Trump, leave little to obscure the inability to consider the simple idea that a black guy can run, win and serve.

I find it difficult to spend time reading or listening to these goofs. I think about 3 minutes listening to Donald Trump probably causes brain damage, the toxicity maximum for Terry Jones or Fred Phelps may be lower. But I am waiting for some dope to claim the fact that bin Laden received a Muslim burial at sea "proves" Mr. Obama is not a real Christian. Mark your calendars folks, I predicted that stupidity first here.


Christal said...

I do not think it is justice for Osama Bin Laden to die, as much as I think it was a relief to know he has been stopped. Others may say he was killed in the name of justice. I say, I'm glad he is not around to hurt people, any more than he already has. Our Anglican book of Common Prayer has, I think, the appropriate response to death in this context.

What does anyone else think?

Leonard said...

I´m still fully aware of the pain to a loved one after the murder of a beloved family member mate -- Just as it was/is impossible for me to understand the murder of innocents, it´s impossible for determine what form of justice ought come to the vile abusers of fellow human beings... in the end, I´m way over my head when attempting to discern right from wrong punishment but if I were in a confined environment with such a despicable criminal I´d do everything I could to debilitate them (forever) and I´d probably show little mercy, but who knows, I might be more generous of spirit than I think I am -- I am content to see nature take it´s course when stopping a madperson in his/her tracks and preventing her/him/them from righteously violating others in the most unthinkable and butchering way(s)...I feel no sadness for the loss of Osama Bin Laden and as stated above, I am glad he has been silenced and stopped from harming others forever. Call me jaded? I think emotionally mature is what I am.

JimB said...

I am less concerned with justice than I am with the president's obligation to preserve, protect and defend. Clearly the man was a threat and now he is not. That is enough I think.


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