Were you for killing Bin Laden?

I was sharing a video with a friend, in which Ross Douthat schools Bill Maher on religion, and by the end of the video, Bill Maher raised a very legitimate question about how Christians should stand on the death of Bin Laden, quoting Jesus’ sermon on the mount in which he proclaims ‘Do not repay evil with evil and turn the other cheek.’

How do we as Christians work our way around this issue? My friend suggested that perhaps Christians don’t really wanna follow what Jesus proclaimed, and I think he may be right.

How do Christians stand on the death of bin laden?

I was against it. The way it was done was a disgrace. I think that if he had been captured he should have undergone a proper trial by an international court.

Personally, I am not sure about the appropriateness of this post and poll. First of all, morality is not established by referenda—especially not for Christians. I am sure this is not the intent here, but there is also the second, perhaps more important, consideration, of giving scandal. There are many people on these forums who are catechumens, or people seeking to understand Christianity for the first time and to understand in particular the teachings, culture and world-view of Roman Catholicism.
My understanding of CAF is that it is for the edifaction of the faith, for explaining and defending doctrine, for understanding the love and concrete reality of Jesus Christ among us. I just can’t see how this poll contributes to any of those objectives.

What message does this poll send? It seems to trivialise a horrific act of barbarism. Christianity is not a religion of violence, and—as both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict have repeatedly stated—Christian Catholics in particular must defend the dignity of life in all circumstances and in every stage of life.

I don’t think the teaching about turning the other cheek applies to the legal process in a just society. Or everyone in prison should be freed immediately, I don’t find what Jesus said as a problem at all when it comes to punishing criminals and terrorists.
For myself, I don’t have any problem with Bin Laden being killed. However, I don’t see the justification of killing him on sight, unarmed. I never heard a reason at all for this in fact.

Its seems to me the American legal system concerning these matters is fueled by the eye for an eye ideal. Legally sanctioned revenge. America does have the death penalty after all.

While I don’t trust Bill Maher’s motives in raising this question and applying it solely to Christians, I can honestly answer that I did not hope for Bin Laden’s death. I hoped that he would be brought to justice. I am saddened by Bin Laden’s violent death and wish that history had been different.

Why is there a distrust of Bill Maher’s motives?

In the first flurry of reporting, someone had voiced a similar question (when I was watching some of the first news reports on CNN), and a Pentagon representative said that, in the setting and given bin Laden’s actions at that moment, the soldiers involved had every reason to believe that he might have been reaching to grab a firearm or push the button on an explosive device. In a tense, dangerous situation like that, with judgments having to be made in split-second fashion, who can blame them? Who wants to be the cause of a whole roomful of your fellow unit members ending up so much meat and blood splattered on the walls?

I personally think that, just as the Holy See recognized (say, about the sixteenth century) that firearms were replacing longbows and crossbows as implements of war–or at least made no explicit protest against it–in the same way, they probably recognize the definition and scope of warfare has expanded. Guerrilla war and covert operations are part of modern warfare, unfortunately.

he is a very militant atheist

and tends to be rather anti-Catholic / Christian

just watch his “mockumentary” Religulous (from the director of “Borat”)

if you are a good Catholic, I’m sure you’ll find it troubling, at best, in many spots

Kinda sounds nice, but I don’t see many people act according to this. Were I to strike some one in their cheek I would expect the person to possibly strike back or file an assault complaint which would likely result in arrest, conviction, and have other cascading consequences including but not limited to loss of employment. That’s something I see quoted more often than I see it followed.

I was against it. The way it was done was a disgrace. I think that if he had been captured he should have undergone a proper trial by an international court. :bigyikes::bigyikes::bigyikes:

You CANNOT be serious! :pshaw:

Imagine millions of Moslems demonstrating in the streets all over the Middle East demanding his release, hundreds of terrorists bombings protesting his arrest, thousands of people killed.
And his trial still wouldn’t have begun by today! :banghead:

The fiend was still communicating with his terrorists, still planning attacks on Americans.
We have a right to defend ourselves.

I wasn’t there, so I don’t know how it all went down. I do know that he needed to be stopped and that we had every reason to believe that he would be the cause of even more deaths. What I found disturbing about the whole thing were the reactions of people cheering and saying things like “Burn in Hell Bin Laden”. I tried to keep in mind that God loves Bin Laden just as much as he loves me, who He loved enough to sacrifice His Son on my behalf. So if Bin Laden died unreconciled to God, it must have been very sad for Him to have lost a precious soul. Any vengeful thoughts I had about Bin Laden were tempered by this.
I said a prayer for him.

The Catechism states,

2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.

So, really, one could use this paragraph and suggest that killing bin Laden would be the only course of action. However, several different US officials have said that Operation Neptune Spear was a kill mission and not a capture mission, which, to me, changes ones ability to “approve” of his death. Had bin Laden been armed and firing at the SEALs, I would not be against his death; but most reports have said he was unarmed.

CAF exists for all of those reasons but it is also a place to have discussions about real-world topics from a Catholic worldview. This is very important when it comes to topics such as morality and the application of social justice teaching. Each subforum has specific guidelines. If you feel that a thread or a post is failing in that regard, you can alert a moderator and let him/her make the call to intervene or not.

Assuming for argument sake that everything really happened as the government has claimed it did, I have to ask, how would we as Americans feel if Pakistani special forces entered the United States and killed someone they considered a dangerous terrorist in the exact same manner ?

However, several different US officials have said that Operation Neptune Spear was a kill mission and not a capture mission, which, to me, changes ones ability to “approve” of his death. Had bin Laden been armed and firing at the SEALs, I would not be against his death; but most reports have said he was unarmed.

If bin Ladin had been found sitting quietly in the corner of a room, the Seals would have been morally obliged to take him captive,
but he appeared standing up at the top of the staircase, and the Seals shot him as they should have because his position suggested he was booby trapped. ( Police are trained to shoot immediately if they suspect somebody is holding a gun at them. There’s no other way for police to stay alive. )

Bin Ladin had been hiding out there for years and certainly had plenty of time to consider what he should be doing when the “enemy” showed up. He chose to go out as a “martyr” instead of being arrested and put on trial. Glad to oblige, Osama! :smiley:

Assuming for argument sake that everything really happened as the government has claimed it did, I have to ask, how would we as Americans feel if Pakistani special forces entered the United States and killed someone they considered a dangerous terrorist in the exact same manner ?

Ridiculous question! :mad:

The world’s tallest building is in Dubai.
If some American group crashed a plane into it and brought it down killing thousands of people,
the United States government would do all it could to bring them to justice.

We are different from them. We’re better! :smiley:

I think you need to read a few articles about it before spitting out whatever comes to your mind first. Our government told the SEALs to kill him, and not to capture him. The news reports say bin Laden was actually sleeping at the start of the raid (obviously waking only to have a bullet go through his head seconds later).

Before you starting blabbing away, you should read some articles about it:
politico.com/news/stories/0511/54151.html

Officials described the reaction of the special operators when they were told a number of weeks ago that they had been chosen to train for the mission.

“They were told, ‘We think we found Osama bin Laden, and your job is to kill him,’” an official recalled.

The SEALs started to cheer.

reuters.com/article/2011/05/02/us-binladen-kill-idUSTRE74151S20110502

U.S. special forces set out to kill Osama bin Laden and dump his body in the sea to make it harder for the al Qaeda founder to become a martyr, U.S. national security officials told Reuters on Monday.

“This was a kill operation,” one of the officials said.

"If he had waved a white flag of surrender, he would have been taken alive

Last I checked, the Church still does not support murder, which is exactly what this was.

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