Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bring out the Lollipops

Funny how I get my news these days.  I was skydiving all day Saturday and Sunday (eleven jumps, all with people new to the sport), so my first inkling of the biggest news of the last few days came in the form of a text from one of my daughters: "Good morning! Happy bin Laden is dead day! Every patriotic Toby Keith song has played on my radio."  And that was how I got the news.

Later in the day, my own spouse made it clear that she thinks any rejoicing in OBL's demise is misguided.  And I've heard the same from others.  Many on Facebook have now begun posting the words of MLK: "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."

While I appreciate the sentiment, I believe the mistake these people make is conflating rejoicing with hatred.  While that may have been the case on the bridge in Fallujah--and for some it may be the case here--it doesn't have to be.  The argument can be made that the Munchkins, as a species, are incapable of hatred; yet they rejoice when nothing of their nemesis but the ruby slippers is left unflattened by Dorothy's house.

I grieve at the death of one innocent.  Even more so when that death is the result of intent.  But I believe I could put a bullet between the eyes of any of OBL's ilk in perfect cold calm, without the need of hatred to drive me or to spare me regret later.  I don't pray to be released from that capability; rather, I thank God for it, and that it exists in others who protect us.

Evil exists.  To rejoice in the death of innocents is its own form of evil.  To rejoice in the death of such a one as OBL is to be rightly thankful for deliverance from a threat, a cloud, a menace, a catalyst to other dark and darker souls.

So ding dong, I say, without apology.  At least one wicked witch is dead.  Bring out the lollipops.