In a late Sunday night press conference, President Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of a Navy Seal strike team and noted, “Justice has been done.”
In a fallen world justice tends to be more closure than any real sense of setting things right. Snuffing out one well-protected life to somehow ‘pay’ for the 3,000 tragic unarmed deaths of September 11, 2001 is an irrational form of math. A terrorist’s life filled with hatred and anger cannot be fairly compared to that of a hard-working mom trying to make ends meet for her family. A terrorist takes life; a mom gives it.
Nor has justice been served economically. The American response to 911 has been exceedingly costly to the world economy. 911 became the impetus for two American wars costing over $1 trillion – little of which was paid for at the time; now that debt is being passed along to a new generation. And while ‘adjustments’ were coming to Medicare and Social Security anyway, the ‘debtors wars’ have aggravated the national economic picture significantly. I suspect seniors living on fixed incomes are unaware of how this brand of ‘justice’ is going to reduce their monthly checks and increase their out-of-pocket health care expenditures over the coming decades.
And yet, yesterday’s announcement does bring a sense of closure, if not justice. Personally, I think the notion those who ‘live by the sword will die by the sword’ is simply part of the fabric of human existence in a fallen world. While I feel a sense of sadness that another life has been lost, I am not very good at grieving for terrorists. Those who kill the innocent should reap what they have sown. In the case of bin Laden, I am glad for the closure. I am glad this will help the healing process for the families of 911 victims. I am glad those who ‘live by the sword’ are held accountable, even if it is a decade late.
I wish our world had more justice and less closure; but alas, it is a fallen world. In a fallen world closure is about the best we can hope for; Justice awaits the Eschaton.
Grace and Peace,