In the wake of the news of Osama Bin Laden’s murder and those murders of Gaddafi’s 3 grandchildren (2 x 2 year olds and a 5 month old by the way) I have felt disturbed that the concept that killing another person, regardless of his/her crimes, is seen as justice. I have been reminded of this quote by several kind people that completely sums up my feeling’s on this:
“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that”
Martin Luther King, Jr
There is no doubt that Osama Bin Laden and his followers have caused much pain and anguish and I am truly sorry for that. But the conundrum is complex. There’s the “eye for an eye” theory – which by definition seems to create an infinite spiral of death, hatred and revenge in the name of ‘justice’ if people live by these principles. Then there’s the whole US saves the day concept which doesn’t sit well with me either, particularly as the American and other governments have themselves caused wide-spread death of innocent people on many occasions, so depending on whose perspective you come from, they too could be perceived as inflicting terror. Then there’s the whole hypocrisy of it all in terms of both why is one death bad, but another good and also killing in the name of God and religion – surely any chosen God would not advocate for such cruelty.
No matter what the situation is, at this moment, my thoughts are with those who have lost family and loved ones from acts of hatred and revenge, not just in the USA, but everywhere in the world. May you find peace.