John Blake writes for CNN:
Festive crowds gathered to cheer his assassination.One newspaper headline eulogy read, “Rot in Hell.” Televised chants echoed: “U.S.A.! U.S.A!”
Americans spilled into the streets for spontaneous celebrations after news spread that Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda leader behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks, had been assassinated.
Yet another reaction took place in more sober moments as people of faith watched the giddy celebrations with a tangled mix of emotions.
Is it morally wrong to celebrate the assassination of bin Laden in such a festive, patriotic way?
That’s the question that troubled Danielle Tumminio, an Episcopal priest, who fought back tears as she digested the news that bin Laden had been killed.
Tumminio was in New York on September 11, 2001. Her Long Island neighborhood, filled with lawyers, stockbrokers and firefighters, lost scores of people in the attacks.
“I remember coming home and smelling the smoke, seeing the debris and going to the funerals,” Tumminio says. “I actually studied abroad because I wanted to get away from feeling unsafe.”
But when Tumminio saw images of Americans celebrating, she felt something else: moral ambivalence.
“My first reaction was, ‘I wish I was with them,’” Tumminio says. “My second reaction was, ‘This is disgusting. We shouldn’t be celebrating the death of anybody.’ It felt gross.”
Jubilance, exaltation, revulsion – all those emotions mingled as people of faith struggled to find an appropriate response to bin Laden’s death…
Read more here.