Faith Organizations Say Pacifism Was Not An Option For Osama Bin Laden

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    Today The Institute On Religion and Democracy which consists of members from all religious institutions have issued the followings statement  that Osama Bin Laden’s death was warranted and that, “Hopefully there will be greater appreciation for the Church’s historic stance that God ordained the state to punish evildoers who attack the innocent.”

    Osama bin Laden’s killing by U.S. Special Forces recalls that absolutist pacifism’s influence within left-leaning U.S. religious circles has been growing, even since 9-11. Had U.S. policymakers heeded their counsel, Bin Laden’s career of murder and terror would still continue. U.S. intelligence also would not have received tips reportedly leading to bin Laden.  The following statement was released from the Interfaith Board of Directors:

    Sadly, since 9-11, many church voices have insisted that Christianity mandates pacifism. Hopefully there will now be greater appreciation for the Church’s historic stance that God ordained the state to punish evildoers who attack the innocent.   “The Church does not rejoice to see anyone perish. It always seeks repentance and offers God’s grace, even while recognizing the state’s duty to punish. As Christians we would have preferred to see bin Laden renounce terror. But he died, as he lived, by the sword. The Church has always understood that government has a distinct responsibility to execute justice, sometimes employing lethal force.   “American Christians must challenge pacifist church elites so out of touch with nearly universal Christian teaching and out of touch with the hard realities of evil and justice in a fallen world.”

    The reaction across the board has been acceptance and  relief. Below leaders of various religions have release statements

    The Catholic Reacti0n: -The Vatican stopped short of giving thanks for his death:

    “A Christian … sees it as an opportunity to reflect on each person’s responsibility, before God and humanity, and to hope and commit oneself to seeing that no event becomes another occasion to disseminate hate but rather to foster peace,” said the notice from the Vatican press office.

    The American Muslim Reaction:

    Imam Atef Mahgoub, of the Oakland-based Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, said members began calling him Sunday night. None were upset. “Some of them were excited and said that now justice has been implemented on the earth by the elimination of the leader of al-Qaida,’ ” he said. But the Imam also wished that bin Laden had been put on trial to show “that he’s a psycho.”

    The Methodist Reaction:

    The Rev. J. Philip Wogaman is a retired ethics professor and was senior pastor of Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington when Bill and Hillary Clinton attended. He gave counsel about military ethics. He said he would be disturbed at Bin Laden’s death if it turned out he could have been taken alive. But if killing him was the only way to stop him, “then this is very welcome news,” he said.

    The Evangelical Response

    This action is legitimately viewed as an expression of self defense. But as Christians, we believe that there can be no celebrating, no dancing in the streets, no joy, in relation to the death of Osama bin Laden. In obedience to Scripture, there can be no rejoicing when our enemies fall,” said David Gushee, an ethicist known for his opposition to torture, on behalf of the New Evangelical Partnership.

    The Jewish Reaction

    “For me it’s not about vengeance in any way, shape or form,” said Rabbi James Gibson of Temple Sinai, a Reform congregation in Squirrel Hill. Rabbinic tradition holds that if someone is “pursuing to kill” then it is acceptable to kill him to prevent the death of an innocent party, he said.

    The Protestant Reaction

    Some conservative Protestants had only straightforward praise for bin Laden’s death. “All persons of good will can rejoice that the U.S. military has successfully ended Osama bin Laden’s career of terror,” said Mark Tooley of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “Hopefully there will be greater appreciation for the Church’s historic stance that God ordained the state to punish the wicked.”

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