Some clergy have come out to publicly condemn our “celebration” of Osama bin Laden’s death.
Father Edward Beck, a Catholic priest in New York City, has stated, “I am uncomfortable with the killing of Osama bin Laden being celebrated like a Superbowl win.” Last night, he went on The O’Reilly Factor to discuss his views. When O’Reilly asked him how the response to the death of bin Laden was any different than the response to the end of WWII on VE Day or VJ Day, Beck replied, “But when you watch these people celebrating how does it make us any better than those in the Mideast who celebrate when America falls?”
Beck’s views of moral equivalence are echoed by George Pitcher, an Anglican priest in London. Writing in The Telegraph, Pitcher argues:
We have to be very careful about our response to the killing of Osama bin Laden. The West was appalled and deeply offended by the street celebrations in Tehran and elsewhere after 9/11, but how do rednecks in Washington DC chanting “USA! USA!” after the shooting of Osama and other members of his household compare with that?
Osama bin Laden declared war on the United States by telling Muslims it was their solemn duty to kill Americans be the military or civilian. Members of bin Laden’s organization carried out his fatwa on September 11, 2001. The response to the death of bin Laden was in part to praise the bravery of our soldiers and in part to remind evildoers that they reap what they sow. Those in the Middle East who danced in the streets following the attacks of September 11, 2001 chanting “Death to America!”did so out of hatred of people they deemed to be infidels. They delighted in the deaths of men, women and children.
I cannot help but think of the celebrations which broke out in the streets of Rafah following the murder of the Fogel family in the West Bank settlement of Itamar back in March. If neither Beck nor Pitcher can discern between the death of Osama bin Laden and the death of a three month old baby who had her throat slit and was decapitated because she was Jewish then I am left with no choice but to declare that both men are unworthy of the cloth.