Reaction: Bin Laden

It’s been a few months since I’ve written, and I’ve been storing up many wonderful things to share at some less busy time. Now is not that less busy time, unfortunately; it’s thesis week and I’ve pulled too many almost-all-nighters recently to spend time composing blogs.

However, I just saw something that I have to denounce. I don’t like denouncing in general, but some things need it:

If I have the facts right, this is a video of Americans celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden. He was, for all I could tell, an evil person, misguided and ruled by violence. I can’t even say that the world was not right to hunt down and destroy him, if the motivations were those of grim necessity. But to see such unbridled joy in vengeance, such narrow-minded nationalism that equates the death of our enemies with the furthering of our own greatness, such confusion about justice… It gives me a feeling of nausea.

I am an American. I grew up there, and my wife and I will be moving back there in a few short months, and what I have seen of my fellow citizens has deeply shamed me. “God bless America” on the lips of those drunk with revenge is the worst kind of blasphemy, and the most pitiable kind of foolishness (for which civilization has God favored so much that it wasn’t eventually razed to the ground?). It is obvious these people don’t understand what they sing, because “God blessing America” doesn’t have anything to do with the death of America’s enemies (however much they deserve death), but rather the painful widening of the apparently tiny hearts and minds of America’s own citizens.

God bless America, indeed.