For Many, Celebrating Bin Laden’s Death A Moral Question

By Jay Gormley, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Carolyn Westerlage was sitting at the dinner table when her children asked, “why are we rejoicing over the death of a human being?”

“You start with collecting yourself by recognizing this is a teaching moment,” the mother of two said.

People dancing in the streets with American flags and chanting U-S-A was all part of the celebration following the death of Osama bin Laden. Westerlage seized the moment and explained it to her kids in simple terms.

“There are good people and then there are bad people,” she said. “The really good people in society are there to protect us from really bad people.”

But is it that simple? Many Americans believe in the Ten Commandments, which includes “thou shall not kill.” So how will Priests, Pastors and Rabbis explain any jubilance to their congregations?

Professor Reg Grant teaches at Dallas Theological Seminary and said it’s okay to celebrate, but warns against gloating.

“We as American people have a higher calling than that,” Grant said. “We do not lower ourselves to the same level as the people who are rejoicing at the destruction of another human being made in the image of God. Rejoice in justice, yes. But not in the loss of another human life.”

Charity Adams is a Dallas Therapist who said that celebrating is not a bad thing, as long as it’s celebrating the right thing.

“I don’t think it was glee that another human being was suffering. I think it’s because we finally got justice for the thousands of people that died because of his actions that brought us that happiness,” she said.

Jason Swaim said he has no qualms about wearing his emotions on his sleeve, or in this case, his chest. The Fort Worth businessman is already selling t-shirts of Bin Laden with the word “deceased” across the front.

“We’re not out there to play hop scotch with him. We’re out there to win a war and this guy is our enemy,” Swaim said.

Swaim says part of the proceeds from the sale of the shirts will benefit the Fisher House, which supports wounded warriors.


One Comment

  1. Jo531 says:

    If we how photos of a dead bin Laden and the Muslims riot, are we responsible for the violence created from this?

    Muslims seem to riot at will. I am against showing these photos. I think it is dangerous and irresponsible.

    Why are we exporting our oil from the Gulf?

  2. NoObamaIn2012 says:

    They should the dead, beheaded and burned Americans they hung on the bridge, they showed the dead Americas draged through the streets, they showed the beheading of Daniel Pearl, they have threatened all of us Americans with further attacks, and death just for being Americans. They want to destroy our Constitution and take over our country.

    Show the photo of him riddled with bullets, play the video of him becoming fish food…. let them fear us for a change.

    1. 2sister says:

      While I understand your anger and understand that it is hard not to be glad that he is dead, the minister is right. I’m not saying that I;m perfect in this myself. It’s hard not to be angry about the things you have mentioned. We should rejoice in the justice, but not in the fact that another person was killed. I’m glad he was caught and a can’t hurt anyone else.

  3. Rev. Tom Fenton says:

    I rejoice that bin Laden has been brought to justice, I cannot bring myself to rejoice that he is (most likely) in Hell. God distinguished between “Thou shalt not Kill” (Old Testament) and the New Testament version spoken by Jesus (“Thou shalt do no murder”) God endorsed bringing those who committed certain crimes to justice via the death penalty. But, that is the function of government, not individuals. Had I personally had the opportunity to pull the trigger on bin Laden, I would have in a heart-beat, but it would have been murder at my hands. The military was authorized by the government to punish him, and did so. But, again, I cannot bring myself to rejoice that he may be in Hell.

  4. Ms. M says:

    The killing of Bin Laden was/is not murder by the fact that he himself killed many innocents. I truly rejoice that this piece of trash is burning in hell as he justly deserves. An eye for an eye.

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