Refuse to be Passive

Dealing with Bin Laden’s death

In Life in General on May 3, 2011 at 4:24 pm

The newspaper headline screamed, “Rot in Hell!” with a picture of Osama Bin Laden beside it. Almost ten years after the September 11 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York, the U.S. military has claimed the life of Osama Bin Laden. Am I sad that he’s gone? No. Am I going to yell, “Rot in Hell”? No. First of all, that seems calloused and uncouth. What editor approved a headline of “Rot in Hell”? Well the world may be better off without Bin Laden, al-Qaeda is still at large. By trumpeting “Rot in Hell” don’t you think we’re fueling a fire that’s already burning? To quote the song I Am by Hanson, “to fight fire with fire to live eye for eye, we’ll all wind up blind and burning.” Our response to the death of Bin Laden need not be mournful, but at the same time, we don’t need to use undue force or gratuitous slogans trumpeting his death. It’s unthoughtful phrases like this that will get the world into even more trouble than it’s already in. I hope that editor of that paper gets an ear full. While justice has to be done, much is said about a society in how it reacts to violence and death. Is this how we want to be known?

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