Friday, May 6, 2011

Taking Revenge....

As we all know, recently Osama Bin Laden was finally found and captured. For many Americans, this has been a source of jubilation as we have now captured the man "responsible" for the deaths of thousands during 9/11. However, Dr. Gerloff in her article, The Psychology of Revenge: Why we Should Stop Celebrating Osama Bin Laden's Death, argues that this jubilation of death should be stopped.
For many Americans, this has been a touchy subject, particularly those that have been directly effected by the actions of Osama Bin Laden. Gerloff argues that celebrating the death of an individual, no matter who the individual is, is a violation of the sanctity of life. She argues that by celebrating Osama Bin Laden's death we are becomng a nation that honors death, instead of life. And in doing so, we continue a back and forth revenge cycle of killing between America and terroist.
Overall, I do think that she brings up a good point in regards to analyzing all of the celebration occuring because of Osama Bin Laden's death. Sometimes I question whether it is a bit too much (i.e. chanting in front of the White House). However, I think her view is a bit naive of the true nature and threat of Radical Islam. She assumes that by changing the nature of how Americans act we can end the cycle of terroism. But this does not take into account the strong ideology that has formed those beliefs.

1 comment:

  1. This issue is obviously something that is very prevelent in our country at this time. I agree with her to the extent that the extremism of Americans who are celebrating Osama Bin Laden's death by "chanting in front of the White House", is not a good response to the death of another indivdiual, even if they were someone who brought a lot of death and destruction to the world. One thing I think the author misses the mark on is that realistically, any individual who's loved one's were killed in the terrorist attacks of 911, will most likely feel some sense of justice or relief or even celebration that the man responsible for their family member's deaths is also dead and no longer a threat to the world. Although it may not be good to celebrate Osama Bin Laden's death to an extreme where it is damaging to self or others, these feelings are normal to an extent and it is unrealistic to expect those who were so greatly affected by the death and destruction of their loved ones by Bin Laden to not feel somewhat celebratory over the sense of justice and relief they feel from the death of a man who's created so much death and destruction in the world. Scriptures do call us to love and forgive our enemies, but just because an enemy is forgiven by those he harmed, does not mean he will escape or be relieved of the earthly consequences of his actions. The key is not to celebrate the death of Osama Bin Laden, but for those he harmed to forgive him so that they do not live in a prison of bitterness and hatred for the rest of their lives.


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