Cognitive Dissonance

2 05 2011

This recent ruckus surrounding Osama bin Laden’s death has thrown me into quite the emotional turmoil. I’m trying to occupy two different camps at the same moment and it’s wearing me thin.

I cannot rejoice in the death of a man: like it or not, he was a child of God just like you and me | Mankind. Always looking for victory where there is none. Nobody will win this war. Osama was just another man. Just another casualty | And Osama Bin Laden didn’t leave a predecessor to take his place? Come on people… let’s be realistic about this “war on terror”; it’ll be never ending | Not sure how I feel about people celebrating Osama bin Laden’s death. Or anyone’s death | When people who are truly evil die the best that can happen is that those whose lives were affected can find peace. | Let’s think more about love and revelation rather than retribution for 9-11. Wouldn’t God want us to love those people rather than condemn them? | Do we really think that the life of ONE person who lives in the United States is really THREE HUNDRED AND THREE times more valuable than the life of a person in Afghanistan or Iraq?

I don’t believe in retributive justice. I don’t buy into the myth of “closure” as an excuse to stoke the fires of vengeance. I find the American culture’s sense of entitlement and elitism disgusting. I see the American church’s nationalistic “claim” on the blessings of God as one of the darkest perversions of the Gospel in human history.

I believe it’s good to rejoice over the death of a truly evil human being (whose continued life each day puts innocent lives in danger), especially when the death occurred in a just manner. It is justice fulfilled, which is worth rejoicing over | Bin Laden dead.. A day to remember and that will be in history books of the future. Good job US Military! | It’s a great day for America. It will bring closure to a lot of people. | Woo Hoo!! I am greatful they killed that bastard before he died peacefully of old age! I hope it was a slow and painfull death. I hope he screamed and cried out loud. Now you’re burning in the depths of hell you ugly skinny dirty beeyatch | Up yours bin laden! I hope you burn in hell without 72 virgins.

I intend to dedicate a significant portion of my life to counseling those serving in the US military. I expect to be sent overseas into the midst of whatever war America finds itself wrapped up in fifteen years down the road. I will bare my soul to men and women who are daily engaged in missions of violence I deem evil. I will take on their wounds as my own. I will weep in the Valley of the Shadow of Death.

I hope he gets what he deserves by God, and yet, to see the way people react towards him without mercy or grace, which Jesus would have given him, in my opinion, is regrettable. | Though I am glad that justice has been done, it is still sad that the world continues to work in a way that celebrates the death of people or persons. | Violence begets violence, but love begets love. | I was called un-American because I refuse to celebrate a death, even of someone as hated as Osama Bin Laden. | The celebrations in the streets on 5/01 are the same as the celebrations in the streets on 9/11.

I was reading through my facebook feed last night (presented here in italics), congratulating myself on being surrounded primarily by friends at least as torn on this subject as I am. Friends who have experienced enough redemption in their own lives to hope for the same in the lives of even the most violent, hateful men. Friends who are not afraid to grieve. Friends whose lives have been as insulated and sheltered from the realities of life in Afghanistan and Iraq as mine.

I was stopped cold by a simple benediction from a man who has come face to face with the worst that world has to offer, returned home with a whole host of scars, and volunteered to reenter the desert for the sake of his brothers in arms.

Joshua Lucero, Cesar Machado, Joseph Bovia, and all our other brothers and sisters who worked so hard for this day but can’t celebrate with us… Mission accomplished. Rest in peace.

This dream will demand every last drop of my blood, and more.




2 responses

3 05 2011

I feel with you.

That’s all I’ve got for now.

3 05 2011

yeah tom. love what you are doing, who you are.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: