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Bin Laden's death - Worldwide celebration?
02-05-2011, 09:11 PM,
Bin Laden's death - Worldwide celebration?
Hi everyone

I have a problem today.

I woke up to the news of Bin Laden's death (as everyone did) and turned on the news to see pictures of Christians in the USA shouting "god bless america, Bin Laden is dead!" and having street parties outside the white house.

Am I the only person who, as a Christian, finds this disgraceful? It genuinely disgusted me to see this on TV, and from a nation that calls itself Christian!

I am extremely anti-extremist (I know....ironic!) whether it be Muslim, protestant, Nationalism, the IRA, any group that forces anything through violence I find disgraceful. But is the death of a human being something to be celebrated?

Just seen an article by an American Basketball player that shares this view, and seems to have been stigmatised for it:
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Aren't we supposed to pray for those who hate us? And not run around shouting "Our enemy is dead, praise be to god for it!" like those extremists we criticise on the TV so often?

What is the "correct Christian response" to an event like this?
"The true Christian is a warrior making his way through the regiments of the invisible enemy to his heavenly homeland." - St Herman of Alaska.
03-05-2011, 05:50 AM,
its a toughy, Personally I'm an Army Brat and I wanted to join the military, God had different plans I guess... And i am glad that such a skilled mastermind as he is out of the picture, I also know someone else will fill his place and unfortunately he didn't get a deserved trial. On the other hand he has killed hundreds and would gladly kill more, His value of the human life was literally nothing. In this regard i do not have pity on him, However my self and many Christian radio hosts here have found the behavior of these street parties disgusting. I don't honestly know how to respond in the "Proper Christian" way other say say the classic "Lord have your will be done"
04-05-2011, 05:08 AM,
Daniel’s comments on the death of Osama Bin Laden are particularly appropriate and draw attention to a very important question for Christians.

Should we ever rejoice in the violent death of a human being?

I think the answer is simple: No!

We are given the strongest warnings by the Lord about presuming to pass judgment and deliver condemnation on others. This is a hard teaching in the case of those we know (or claim to know) have committed or inspired unspeakable evils. But the Lord did not command us not to judge others unless......

People like Bin Laden have rejoiced in the violent deaths of those they declared to be their enemies. If we rejoice in the violent deaths of those we declare to be our enemies, are we all that different to those we condemn? Many will say: “Yes, but our enemies are unspeakably evil people who deserve to die.” We have therefore claimed the right – even the obligation - to take up stones to cast against them. But the commandment of the Lord is......?

Insofar as, in the fallen world, there is violence, and violence may sometimes be required to protect against violence, we should respond with penitence and sorrow, not with triumphalism and rejoicing.

Fr Gregory
04-05-2011, 01:37 PM,
It is all to easy to seek revenge as a response to such appalling events. But we have no right to judge others no matter what they may have done. Furthermore we can be sure that God will deal with the matter in His own good time.

I agree completely with Father Gregory, and feel he is absolutely correct in noting that we should respond with penitence and sorrow. I have to suggest that when we come across such events as the Egyptian persecutions of recent months, rather than calling down fire and brimstone we should reflect on St Paul who was converted from persecutor to champion of the Church. What better example could we have of how God works in such matters. I pray that God will show these people the error of their ways, and draw them to the infinite love of Jesus and His Church.
With love and prayers,
04-05-2011, 07:09 PM,
Interestingly it seems that the Russian Orthodox Church were the first to make an official statement. Here it is:

The elimination of the ‘number one terrorist’ does not solve the terror problem, said Archpriest Georgy Roschin, deputy head of the Russian Orthodox Church Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations.

“The Russian Orthodox Church will not welcome the jubilation that we have seen in some countries. Whoever is caught by death, be they the greatest evil or terrorist, they will be judged by God only,” Father Georgy told Interfax-Religion.

Instead, he urged believers “to continue to improve themselves so as to make a phenomenon such as terrorism, linked to the name of Osama bin Laden, disappear from our life.”

“I think the death of one terrorist, even if he is the number one terrorist, will not solve the entire problem. The problem remains, and the main thing here is to make the right decisions and to celebrate the achievements that will be aimed at solving the problem in general and not at the elimination of one member of a terrorist group,”
Father Georgy said.

Other responses from faith groups

For his part, Supreme Mufti from the Central Spiritual Authority of Russia’s Muslims, Talgat Tujuddin, welcomed the killing of bin Laden.

“This is the only way to deal with international terrorism,” he told Interfax-Religion, adding that he hoped that international cooperation in fighting terrorism will continue.

He also emphasized the importance of tackling the causes of terrorism, adding that “this is not just about personalities.”

“Probably, bin Laden was not the only one to heat up extremist sentiments among Wahabis. Like many other terrorists who are still alive, he was an echo of the earlier standoff between the Soviet Union and the West, and these echoes are still being heard, so we should think of how to exterminate the very roots of international terrorism,” Tajuddin said.

Asked whether there are many followers of bin Laden’s ideas in Russia, the mufti said: “Absolutely not.” The overwhelming majority of Russian Muslims do not accept extremism, he said.

“Our country is demonstrating to others a good example of how Christians and Muslims can live together, with such an example being shown primarily by the Russian Orthodox Church. The followers of Islam and Christianity have long found the golden middle in Russia, which allows us to remain brothers, regardless of any challenges,” the supreme mufti said.

Russia’s chief rabbi, Berel Lazar, has called the killing of bin Laden the ‘triumph of justice.’

“Today’s news about the killing of the man who had become a symbol of international terrorism of our time proves once again that success is possible in the irreconcilable fight between good and evil, as long as it is consistent and does not retreat from the set goal,” he told Interfax-Religion.

“For terrorists, there are no borders, no laws, whether divine or human,” he said. This is why the civilized world must respond to their “heinous crimes likewise, without limits,” he said.

“Carrying out such a strike against terror will no doubt allow its abettors the world over to fully realize that the monstrous crimes committed by Osama bin Laden did not remain unpunished,” Lazar said.

“This act of vengeance can definitely be called a triumph of justice,” he said. “We fully support the idea that people who do not value and take other people’s lives must be destroyed,”
the rabbi said.
"The true Christian is a warrior making his way through the regiments of the invisible enemy to his heavenly homeland." - St Herman of Alaska.
05-05-2011, 05:26 AM,
The Vatican also made a dignified response:

“Faced with the death of a man, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibility of each and every one of us before God and before man, and hopes and commits himself so that no event be an opportunity for further growth of hatred, but for peace,’’ said the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman.

I think some of the extravagant rejoicing in America has something to say about the nature of Protestant fundamentalism. Daniel is absolutely right in rejecting fundamentalism in any form. It is certainly not compatible with Christianity and as Orthodox Christians we should be especially vigilant about so-called Orthodox fundamentalists.
13-05-2011, 11:16 AM,
bin laden's death
Quite simply, our Lord and God Jesus Christ told us to answer evil not with evil, but with good.

Kirk Yacoub

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