Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
binLaden's dead, ding dong the wicked terrorist is dead. (Sung to the tune of the Wizard of Oz song about the wicked witch.)
Ok, yes it feels good to get vengeance on the bastard responsible for the 9/11 attacks on the US. The blood lust is thick and heavy in the US with not just his death but the manner is which it was executed, shot in the head at close range. The left eye, to be exact. An eye for and eye and all that. We feel relief that he was murdered in cold, calculating foresight, which by the usual legal standard is 1st degree murder. Ah, but this is war, where all is fair, eh?
Now I'm not a bleeding heart liberal though I am most certainly a progressive. I get that war is sometimes necessary, and that part of war is killing. And I'm also in favor of the death penalty in certain criminal cases, so I'm not completely anti-killing. After all, "death to all fanatics,"* the famous slogan of Hassan i-Sabbah, the reputed leader of the Hashashin assassins** at one time, is one of my favorite catch-phrases. Still, I have pause to wonder about the animal fury that we've taken up as a people on the news of this execution.
Is it a legitimate moment of revenge? A necessary time-out to revel in justice done? And/or does it reduce us to the level of the savage murderer that perpetrated the crime against us? Does it incite further acts of terrorism when said terrorists see that we are just as blood-thirsty as they, in the name of our God? And where does religious forgiveness play into this? How do we meet pragmatic and insular political ends through the usual religious motives of compassion and love? Just wondering.
* Which slogan ironically includes those who utter it, since they too are fanatics and must kill themselves. It's a sort of Sufi koan to wake one up to their own contradictions.
** Double irony that our elite Seal force that executed bin Laden were modern day Hashashin assassins.
Update enclosed, I hope people aren't getting board with the discussion,
I got an interesting thought. Bin Laden had quite a few dead victories. In the spell he created the victor always won in death.
The Navy Seals also had a more than 99% change of dying after they were discovered due to a helicopter crash unless they bunkered down and call in the drones to take over. Obama probably wouldn't have said "No" don't stay, but rush down gasoline alley to almost certain death.
The difference was for the seals the small chance of life was success, and for the suicide bomber it was failure.
They broke the spell by doing almost what an al Qaeda member does.
When I think about it I actually have no idea what would happen to the spell if bin Laden didn't die in defeat similar to his followers dying in victory.
My guess is we would have a far better world. But the parameters of life spells and death spells ever since Jesus crawled out of the grave I admit I don't understand.