USA! USA!

Is that what I’m supposed to be chanting right now?  Should I be waving my flag and shaking my fist.  Should I pop some champaign, honk my car horn and shoot off some fireworks?  I just heard (on ESPN of all places) that Osama Bin Laden is dead.  I’m not sure how I’m supposed to react.

Should I be excited?  Should I be proud?  Should I feel safer? Should I feel sorrow?

At this point, I’m not really sure what I feel.  I still remember the numbing sadness of September 11.  I remember running out of tears on that horrible morning as I was glued to the television for hours on end.  I remember the anger, the sadness and the confusion.

Now that Bin Laden is dead, should I be happy?  Does the death of this sick and twisted man take away any of that pain?

I’m thinking of the last ten years as the United States has responded to that awful day with two wars, trillions spent, an economy in shambles, and thousands dead.  Will the death of Bin Laden bring our troops home?  Will it make any of them safer tonight as they sleep on foreign soil?

The President is about to speak.  Should I feel proud that I voted for him?  Should I think more of his presidency?  I’m not sure how much he had to do with this.  I am sure in the next few days Republicans and Democrats will tell me about how I should feel about this night.  And I have a feeling that they will tell me very different things.

On September 12, 2001 I bought an US flag and hung it outside my balcony window.  I called a Muslim friend of mine, hoping that he was safe, afraid that he might face violence because of the church at which he chose to worship.  Will he face violence again tonight?

All I can know for sure tonight is that I am thankful for the American soldiers that have dedicated their lives to my protection.  I am thankful that someone else was able to do the work that I could not imagine doing.  I pray for our American soldiers everywhere as they continue their efforts to protect us.  I pray for those that are now in increased danger because of bin Laden’s death.

Above all I pray for peace.  Osama bin Laden died tonight.  It’s not often that I feel that the cause of peace can be advanced with weapons of war, but surely that has happened tonight.  Surely we have taken a step toward peace, right?  It is difficult to know how big of a step.  A man who dedicated his life to evil – to killing innocents and framing it as the will of God – is dead.

I pray that no one else has to die in order to defend liberty.

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8 Comments

Filed under Politics

8 responses to “USA! USA!

  1. meg

    I’m glad I’m not the only feeling very confused by this news. Thank you for articulating it so well.

  2. Cara

    Well said! “Above all I pray for peace.. It’s not often that I feel that the cause of peace can be advanced with weapons of war but surely that has happened tonight.” Sadly, I can’t help but think that terror will not stop because one man is dead. All those who hate so completely are capable of such violence, and if someone who exists who hates in this way, acts of hate and crimes against humanity will continue. But as there is such hate in the world, there is an equal amount of love!

  3. Mark

    Thank you for saying what I have been feeling since I saw the president speak. I have been reading posts on Facebook from my friends that have been troubling me. I have been listening to John Lennon’s “Give Peace A Chance.” I wonder what he would have to say about tonight and our country’s reaction.

  4. vendlerius

    You should rejoice that in the case of Osama bin Laden, the United States “does not bear the sword in vain” (Romans 13:4) This does not sanction everything that our government does by any means, but in this case a man who boasted of committing numerous acts of premeditated murder against our people has not been permitted to go to the grave in peace. This is indeed an example of common grace- that God has instituted government to restrain and punish the evil of men.

  5. Hello Robb McCoy:
    Thank you very much for this blogpost. I translated it into German and we published it here: http://www.evangelisch.de/themen/religion/us-pastor-widerspruechliche-gefuehle-nach-osamas-tod40037

    I hope you don’t mind. (Otherwise we will immediately delete it from evangelisch.de – a website of the Evangelical Church in Germany which is in communion with the ELCA and UCC.)

    Ralpe (Ralf Peter Reimann)

  6. Klaus Straka

    Dear Robb Mc Coy,
    you have find very good words for the dead from Osama bin Laden. My feeling for that is a deep sadness and I must pray Got help us in the future of our world and life.
    Klaus (Pastor the UMC in Germany)

  7. Pingback: Kleine Blogschau « Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott

  8. John

    Very well written. It’s amazing how my emotions are so different from what I thought they would be. Maybe it’s because it has been so long and the entire geo-political field has changed so much, as far as the war on terror goes. Anyway, I enjoyed reading it.

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