Thursday, May 5, 2011

2011.05.05 Another "Happy" Ending?

Today is el Cinco de May, May 5th, when in 1862 Mexicans in the Battle of Puebla defended themselves and defeated mighty French forces. A David and Goliath story. A day to commemorate unexpected reversals.

That is hardly the case in the Bin Laden death. I make no defense of terrorists or their tactics which seem to me to be insanely desperate, but ................ we are Goliath, for gods sake, not David!

I was disturbed to see front page photos of Americans waving flags and cheering about the death of Osama bin Laden, terrorism master mind.

The President spoke of justice. I understand the idea but for me it makes no sense in the face of so much tragedy.

People imagine this a happy ending?

I am a Christian;I do not cheer for anyone’s death. The Old Testament prophet Ezekiel tells us that God “desires the death of no one.”

As a Christian too I know that death is an opening to new life.

Osama has been a source of great fear in this country post- 9/11 but I feel cautious about too much hoopla of joy or relief. The apparent victory could encourage more resolve in terrorists, inflame their religious culture that honors martyrdom. The passion to serve God by being a martyr is not an impossible outcome of too much cheering too soon. Hardly a “happy ending.”

A Muslim woman, originally from Pakistan, Naila Baloch, spoke wisdom at our recent clergy conference. Naila is one of a group of Muslims who pray their Friday noonday prayers at the Episcopal cathedral in Boston.

She said, “Osama is more a symbol than a person. We have lived in collective fear for a long time. I hope we can start to feel safe again, that this death will be the symbolic death of our fear.”

I pray and hope so.

May we refrain from a lot of ill-timed celebration. Instead let’s breathe fresh spring air and befriend our Muslim neighbors.

Let’s talk, get to know and understand each other, pray together.

It’s all the same to Godde and Allah.