Bye Bye Bin Laden

I find it difficult to “celebrate” any death, but I have to admit to feeling a bit of satisfaction that a man who declared war on us finally got a small measure of payback. (“I’ve never wished a man dead, but I’ve read some obituaries with great pleasure.” —Mark Twain)

Bin Laden instigated the death of thousands of innocent people, essentially for nothing. Yet you can believe that there are just-as-radical folks on the other side who will continue the propaganda war, such as insisting that the only reason OBL was killed was to cover up …something.

We’ll figure out what later, eh? But surely it must be a conspiracy, eh? Of course, the quick burial at sea was to “hide evidence” rather than respect the religious decree that the body be buried quickly (etc. etc. etc. sigh) Break out your tinfoil hats.

Riding the News Cycle

I am, however, particularly happy that I don’t have to write an Honorary Unsubscribe for any of the Special Forces troops that got Bin Laden. The best part: it pushed the Royal Wedding off the air. On the other hand, it all made for a fairy tale weekend: the Common Girl married her Prince, and the Bad Guy was killed. May they live happily ever after.

New York Post's front page todayAnd hey, my question for Sammy: how’s that “72 virgins” thing working out for ya? Which, of course, reminds me of an old joke:

After getting nailed by a Special Forces commando, Osama Bin Laden makes his way to the pearly gates. There, he is greeted by George Washington. “How dare you attack the nation I helped conceive!” yells Washington, slapping Osama in the face. Patrick Henry comes up from behind: “You wanted to end the Americans’ liberty, so they gave you death!” Henry punches Osama on the nose. James Madison comes up next, and says, “This is why I allowed the Federal government to provide for the common defense!” He drops a large weight on Osama’s knee. Osama is subject to similar beatings from John Randolph of Roanoke, James Monroe, and 65 other 18th-century American revolutionaries. As he writhes on the ground, Thomas Jefferson picks him up to hurl him back toward the gate where he is to be judged. As Osama awaits his journey to his final very hot destination, he screams, “This is not what I was promised!” An angel replies: “I told you there would be 72 Virginians waiting for you. What did you think I said?”

Of course, Donald Trump is now demanding that President Obama release Bin Laden’s death certificate….

Is It OK to Laugh?

Yes, certainly it’s a good time to laugh. Few have cowered in fear, and besides, the whole thing is more than a touch absurd.

I mean really: on 1 May 2003 George W. Bush declared “Mission Accomplished!” And exactly eight years later, on 1 May 2011, it was. One mission, anyway.

That’s the problem with OBL’s jihad: some whackjob will continue it now that he’s dead. For the rest of us, life goes on. May we all live happily ever after.

Bin Laden's last Facebook update

Quotation Update

Several have asked me about the Twain quote, so I spent some time tracking it down. It’s not, alas, a Twain quote, even though a lot of people have attributed it to him. Here’s the actual definitive quote:

“I have never killed any one, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction.” —Clarence Darrow

Source: Darrow’s autobiography, The Story of My Life (1932, p86)

However, Twain apparently did say “I refused to attend his funeral. But I wrote a very nice letter explaining that I approved of it.”

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45 Comments on “Bye Bye Bin Laden

  1. In a way, I’ve found it sad that so many people are celebrating the death of another, no matter how evil. While not religious, I do find myself following many of the basic concepts of Christianity (do unto others, love thy neighbor, etc) including forgiveness. Yes, I believe he was an evil man, but to be killed outright and have that death celebrated just seems a bit wrong.

    I also wanted to point out that you might want to “fact-check” the Mark Twain quote. I’ve seen it attributed to him as well as to Clarence Darrow, albeit in a slightly different form. Unfortunately, a quick Google search of the quote itself shows everyone repeating the attribution to Mark Twain, but no indication of when or where anyone actually said it.

    He’s the one who declared war, so I have no sympathy for him. That said, I like the following quote. -rc

    “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

    (Which turns out to be adulterated too! See this fascinating analysis of how it was screwed up in the frenzy of posts after Bin Laden’s death. -rc)

  2. I sure hope nobody gave him a “Get Out Of Hell Free” card!

    If he had one, I can assure you it was “VOID”. -rc

  3. “Our mission continues…The War on Terror continues, yet it is not endless. We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide.” George W. Bush May 1, 2003.

    “The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda. Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us.” Barack Obama May 1, 2011

  4. In Texas, we have a saying: You should not speak about the dead unless it’s good.

    “Osama is dead.”
    “Good!”

    Sorry about that, but around these parts, he needed killin’.

  5. “Of course, Donald Trump is now demanding that President Obama release Bin Laden’s death certificate….”

    Make sure it’s the long form.

  6. I have never in my life enjoyed hearing of the death of someone. Even when Saddam Hussein was hanged, I thought that he should have at least been in prison, but then again, I did not shed any tears. Osama Bin Laden is a different matter. He declared war on us and attacked us several times. He killed innocent people around the world with disregard to who he killed. He killed people of any faith including his own. No, that person deserves no sympathy of any sort. I would have liked to see him stand trial and be punished by a court of law, but overall, killing him was better. His death saved a lot of time and money of a trial.

  7. Of course the burial at sea is obviously a conspiracy, involving the President, the CIA, the Pope and Oprah!

    (P.S. This is a joke.)

    Yeah, but you know plenty of obliviots will believe it. -rc

  8. As a Christian, I believe that Osama, having died without Christ, has ended up in the lake of fire. His torment will be eternal. And for that I mourn. I mourn any human that dies without Christ.

    Having said that, some deaths are justified, even demanded in order for justice to be fulfilled, and in that I feel that Osama did get his due.

    Justified that what happened was proper, saddened that yet another died without salvation.

  9. @David in Oregon: I thought I was a Christian, but if that requires believing in a lake of fire for all eternity, then it presupposes a vengeful, vindictive, spiteful, hateful God that continues to torment his creations long after the sin has been committed. Apparently, then, I’m not a Christian, thank God!

  10. I thought it was exceptional considerate and respectful to observe the burial at sea instead of the other options that some people want.

    I wouldn’t describe my feelings as happy — more relieved. HOWEVER, that Pakistan, in particular Islamabad was obviously complicit in hiding him — they need to be “bombed back to the Stone Age”. Give them 2 hour warning for women and children to leave. That is retribution of the sort they understand.

    The president of Pakistan defends himself here — in particular noting Bin Laden killed his wife. -rc

  11. Osama will now find that Davey Jones has no virgins waiting for him. Only hagfish and other scavengers.

  12. It wasn’t the Navy Seals that killed him. Tony Soprano put out a hit on Osama. He was killed by a professional assassin because the final report said he took a bullet in the head and his chest. Plus, Osama’s now sleeping with the fishes!

  13. Although there seems to be mounting evidence that he had been receiving assistance from within Pakistan, and likely that some individuals within the government and/or military were involved, I think “bombed back to the stone age” might be a tad excessive.

    Punishing 1,200,000 people in Islamabad for the actions of a few cannot be justified by any sane or rational individual.

  14. Regarding Osama, I think this is one time justice was done by a summary death. It’s rare, but in this instance a day in court would have proved nothing to anyone. That said, I think it’s appropriate to regret the necessity. Revenge is gleeful, justice is sober.

    Regarding Pakistan, “bombing them back to the Stone Age” is what Osama wanted to do to the US. I do not think we should follow his example.

    Regarding your quotes, I really appreciated you taking the time to track them down and correct them. Today in the Writing for Engineers class I teach, we used your Twitter posts about the Martin Luther King, Jr. quote to discuss appropriate use of sources and appropriate corrections when necessary.

    As usual, thanks for all you do. Your thoughtful commentary is appreciated!

  15. Donald Trump isn’t alone in demanding proof that bin Ladin is dead. My father also wants some kind of proof beyond Obama’s say-so, and I’d be lying if I said part of me doesn’t want that as well. That’s not to say I don’t believe bin Ladin is dead. I do. It’s just that after eight years of being regularly lied to and deceived by Bush and Cheney in regards to the War on Terror and the situation in the Middle East, I have a hard time believing anything that comes from the White House unless there’s something solid to back it up.

    It should not have taken this long for bin Ladin to be eliminated. If George W. Bush hadn’t decided that his yen for playing Cowboys and Indians in Iraq was more important than the security and safety of our nation (and the world), this would have happened sooner. The U.S’s lack of commitment in troops and supplies to Afghanistan cost us and our allies precious years and lives.

    I don’t celebrate that a man was killed. I do celebrate that a blow was struck to terrorist forces and there is some justice for those who died on 9/11. I wish there was a non-lethal way the threat he posed could have been contained and eliminated, but it was a ‘kill or be killed’ situation. If he wasn’t killed by us or one of our allies, then he would have eventually masterminded more attacks on other countries. There are few people deserving of death as a penalty for their crimes, but bin Ladin was one of them. So was Saddam Hussein.

    The Trump line was a joke. But I agree that we must evaluate all information from politicians with a skeptical eye. I highly doubt any president could get away with faking such a high-profile death, yet “Is this plausible?” is a smart mindset to apply to most of what comes out of Washington! -rc

  16. Legally: bin Ladn declared war on the United States in a declaration that predated 9/11. While our USA would be within our rights to ignore that declaration and treat him as a common criminal, his declaration and actions consistent with it gives us the legal option of treating him as a soldier in a hostile army and therefore of shooting him on sight.

    Morally: I respect the completely pacifist position and am inherently suspicious of utilitarianism, but surely this is an extreme case of someone who was going to kill again through his proxies if given the chance.

    Strategically: bin Ladn’s strategy is all about frightening America into ruining ourselves, so it’s really up to us to decide whether we’re going to let him win.

  17. Much has been made of OBL’s death, and lots of cheering, yelling, and other arrogant posturing. Your post is the most tasteful of any I have read. Keep up the good work.

  18. Come on people, what is all this hand wringing goodness. ObL was a sorry, worthless, evil excuse for a human and deserved to die as miserable a death as any that he meted out to the thousands that died at his hand. As far as I am concerned, if he could have been taken alive he should have been taken to the tallest building that could be found, given a ham hat, set on fire and then thrown to his death on a pile of dead pigs…anything to assure him that there would be no virgins where he was headed. Since he was killed, I would have made a very public display of sealing his body in a barrel of pig entrails and then sinking it in the ocean.

  19. Cheryl; If he is not dead, let him pop onto his website soon in a video with tomorrow’s newspaper.

    Al Qaeda has announced that he is dead.

    And better dead than in jail – lawyers completely run out of pockets to stuff with money. Trial would cost many mill, & would make the US further target for terrorism.

  20. Very well written, Randy.

    Although not a “birther”, I have to admit that I (and many of my countrymen), would much like to see some of this evidence that “the man who changed the rest of our lives” is gone. Think of everything that is different and harder now that OBL had his little fun on 9/11. Like Twain, and Darrow, I would have liked to send a nice letter about the funeral, indicating my approval. And I would have wanted someone I trust to attend, and say “We sent him off!” — Where, I dunno, and don’t much care.

    It is not a lack of respect for President Obama. (What if “they” fooled him?) It is merely, as you have noted, that much of what comes out of Washington (or Ottawa, or London, or…) now-a-days is badly put together, and in many cases most in-accurate.

    Why… I know this dude who puts out an email newsletter, and his newsletter is more accurate and professional than much of the stuff our governments put out. How some ex-NASA guy with no resources can put out a better free product than many professional magazines, is beyond me. (Maybe his wife is a genius who keeps him on track.) Maybe he is a genius.

    Take care, Randy. Keep away from Terrorists, angry Seals, mad dogs, and nostrum peddlers — unless they are merely dealers in Kevas and Trillium. (That remark should keep you busy doing a little R&D!)

  21. Some righteous kill. Guantanamo Bay truly does seem like a utopian paddock now. OBL got the “most enlightened nation on earth” to revenge-kill him without even attempting to capture first, and in a blaze of glory (be honest, that’s how it is). Which is to say, the high-and-mighty US of A stooped down to his brutal level and then gave him a death that’s unwarranted at best and hounourable at worst: the White House is itself admitting that one single not-so-fine fellow shot at their precious troops, and not for too long either. Either he was killed fighting (martyr) or was killed while unarmed just because some navy seal didn’t want to risk chipping his fingernails (unlawfully killed + martyr).

    So International Law and the Geneva Convention are fine so long as it’s convenient, right? Or perhaps only when it concerns fellow “Democracies” and “Partners”? Neither of which helped Pakistan’s sovereignty much, not that they deserved it. Would it now be okay to nuke the atoms out of Pyongyang since they actually have nukes of their own (unlike Iraq), or perhaps send in Predators to assassinate the Castros, and crackdown-happy Chinese politicians? Let’s not even count the millions of noncombatants slaughtered in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq for no good reason whatsoever. Is the USA going to render the Soviets guilty of only failing to give lip service?

    Are we really to believe that the Star-Wars-capable Pentagon couldn’t have issued nerve gas canisters and tranquilizer guns, given that Bin Laden could have, and actually has, achieved victory even in death? Just watch, Kurt Cobain will be rolling in his grave with envy soon enough.

    His ‘burial’ at sea (not consistent with Islamic Law, btw) has already got entire masses of people either concluding that he wasn’t killed, or had already died of disease years ago. They were worried about shrines? No matter; many Bangladeshis on the street have already declared him a de facto saint who can never die and all that jazz, like King Arthur or Frederick Barbarossa. The photos need to be released NOW, because the alternative’s not too good either.

    As a muslim, I’m particularly bitter that the muscle-headed USA has gone and made a victim-martyr of an at-best misguided loon who wasn’t above ‘forgetting’ those parts of the Qur’an and Islamic Law inconvenient to his propagandist nonsense {“And do not kill yourselves. Surely, God is Most Merciful to you” 4:29. http://muttaqun.com/suicide.html }.

    Why couldn’t they have captured him even half-dead, passed him under the proverbial yoke and shamed, and then thrown him into solitary confinement for the rest of his worthless life? The crackpot Saddam got victim sympathy first and ultimately a decent death (martyrdom) in which he died with his head held high, and now an even-bigger figurehead has been spawned for more hordes of chaos to rally around. Yeah, thanks Obama. Really.

  22. @Mike in Dallas: In the Christian otherworld, there is a Satan who wants us all in there, thankfully God can pull some of us out there.

    If we celebrate a death, then the terrorists have won.

    But, true, it IS good to be rid of a monster like him. Although, having said that, the timing (with the election) is suspicious. Especially since killing Osama is likely to have nil effect on the operation of Al-Queda, except for them to want revenge, and a morale boost for the allies.

    Doesn’t worry me either way, but I could believe it if they could have done it for ages, but only did it now for effect. Possibly it is even not him they shot, but it wouldn’t matter either way anyway.

    What election? There is not a presidential election in the U.S. until November of 2012. -rc

  23. Just for the record, Bush never actually said ‘job done’. Please check your facts.

    Nowhere on this page did I say that Bush said “job done”. Please check your facts and complaint.

    If there is any doubt what Bush meant with the “Mission Accomplished” banner that the White House made for the carrier, let’s go to the man: “America sent you on a mission to remove a grave threat and to liberate an oppressed people, and that mission has been accomplished.” Bush said this shortly after the carrier speech, to troops in Afghanistan at Camp As Sayliyah, on June 5, 2003. -rc

  24. Since they fed him to the fish, then maybe he needs 72 Sturgeons, not 72 virgins. Oh, wait! Sturgeons are egg layers. I wonder how that’s going to work for him.

  25. Robert in Lubbock, I like your style. False restraint is just pandering to political correctness. Like the NFL idiocy that you couldn’t spike the ball after a touchdown, because it might make the other side angry. (Shades of Marvin the Martian.)

    For all those so worried about Christian forgiveness of a man who repeatedly released videos calling for the mass murders of innocent civilians, I’ll paraphrase an old joke: “Forgiveness is the province of the Almighty. The job of Seal Team Six was just to arrange the meeting.” (Mission accomplished.)

  26. How anyone can feel satisfaction for the murder of an unarmed human being is beyond words. There is no evidence linking Osama with the planned demolition of the three WTC buildings on 911. Though admittedly, it is a good diversion to make up a fictitious story for people to direct their hatred towards, as opposed to discovering who really made a fortune off the event (the insider trading, the doubling of the insurance, the quote from Larry Silverstein, “There was already so much damage, we decided to pull the building (refering to WTC 7), and so on).

    Where was the trial? What were the charges? The murderers should be brought to justice, not rewarded for their crimes.

    The organization Bin Laden founded declared war on the U.S. (among others) and then proceeded to kill thousands of civilians of multiple nationalities and faiths (including his own). When one is killed in war that one declared and fought in, it is not “murder” — by any rational definition. -rc

  27. It is a pity al Qaeda is not an organisation in the traditional sense; if it was, Bin Laden’s death would harm it. Since it is more of a philosophy, most of its “members” will only be affected symbolically, emotionally.

    Still totally worth it.

  28. First may I congratulate you on a well worded post on this event.

    For me, unlike those comments of my fellow Aussies, well done USA. There is much discussion now about it being an assassination team and that he was never going to be brought out alive. Whoever made that decision, well done.

    justice has been served and I’m prepared to stand in front of whatever supreme there may be and justify my opinion.

  29. If photos of the dead OBL are too gruesome to display, then how about some stills from the cameras that all of our guys were wearing. Since they were momentarily face-to-face with him in his bedroom (next to a wife) before being shot, then this seems like a great image to show. The other few images that have been shown seem very clear and detailed enough so why not offer this?

    An excellent suggestion. -rc

  30. ObL could never have been brought to trial in the United States, either in a civilian or military court. In a civilian court a “jury of one’s peers” is a requirement. Any peer of bin Lauden’s is either dead (Hitler, SS commandants, etc) or still out there trying to kill as many people as possible — preferably innocent ones.

    If ObL did not plan and enable the attacks on 9/11, then he was even sicker and more warped … because who would want to claim responsibility for the death of thousands of innocent non-combatants, if s/he were not insane? And he did do everything he could to “grab the glory” of killing off infidels (to hell with mentioning how many Islamics were also killed)!

    Since he was either guilty or obviously insane, any defense lawyer would have to try for an “insanity plea” … which, if it worked, would have meant building a maximum security mental healthcare facility strictly for ObL, and thus leaving a “martyred while still alive” rallying point to be used by others insane enough to urge random murder and mayhem. Any staff and guards at such a facility would need to be of the “no next of kin” sort, since they would have to live on-site as opposed to taking a bunch of innocent people with them once they were identified on the outside and set up as the center of a mass murder.

    Whether you believe in Yaweh, God, Allah, or just plain Fate … you should know deep within yourself that the “higher power” will make the ultimate judgment call and dole out the ultimate reward/punishment.

    Do I like killing, or even the concept of killing another human being, for whatever reason? No! But when I was in the military I made certain I knew how to use my weapons, even though my primary job was as a Field Medic. (Do you have any idea how many female nurses were killed in Vietnam because hospitals were prime targets and females — officers or enlisted — weren’t trained on how to use the weapons that were often right at the foot of a soldier’s bed?) Would I kill to protect my children? Yes! Would I use everything in my power — including killing — to keep someone from badly injuring or killing me? Yes! Does that make me a murderer? You decide.

    To any sane person, who has even a minuscule concept of the real world, it should be clear that sometimes the death of another is not only necessary but right.

    By the way, if you do a bit of research back for 10-15 years you’ll find that ObL actually killed, or caused to be killed, more Muslims than Americans (or any other infidels).

  31. I have one thing in common with Eddy, Australia – his post left me indeed “beyond words”. I hardly know where to start. I wonder if the videos of Palestinians dancing in the streets after 9/11 also left you “beyond words”.

    “There is no evidence linking Osama with the planned demolition of the three WTC buildings on 911”
    Apart from a number of videotaped confessions where he brags about it. Might I ask what your evidence is for the shady corporate interests behind the “planned demolition” of WTC?

    I was working across the street from the WTC on Sept 11. If you had seen the horrific devastation, seen people jumping from 50-story windows to avoid the more painful death of being burned alive, and felt the ground rumble as thousands of innocent human beings were crushed under the rubble, you might be a tad less concerned about Bin Laden’s right to a fair trial. “International law” does not and should not apply to someone who has less regard for the Geneva Convention than the Nazis did.

    In addition to the human toll, the attacks left the city’s economy in shambles. In case you think I am wasting my sympathy on Wall St. moguls, I am referring to many thousands of plain working stiffs like me who lost their jobs. While the government agonized for years over the plans for a replacement building, Silverstein (who lost his shirt in the attack) rebuilt WTC 7, where I currently work. The building was built from the ground up incorporating the lessons learned from 9/11. It is probably the safest building in New York, with double-width, triply concrete-reinforced stairwells.

    I realize that nothing I (or any other posters) say will make any impression on the conspiracy theorists. I once listened to one of them bringing a proof from the “fact” that a $20 bill can be folded to look like two burning towers. (Well, smoking a joint first doesn’t hurt.) When someone pointed out that the $20 bill was designed in 1928, it didn’t faze him in the least.

    The underlying assumption behind those theories is that the USA is a rapacious, bloodthirsty country, and that any imaginable evil scenario, no matter how far-fetched, must be true. The fact is that America is one of the most warm-hearted and compassionate nations in the world. There is a church (St. Paul) across from the WTC. For a year after the attacks, they received cards and letters from children and adults all over the country. They posted them on the gate surrounding the church grounds. I would walk by every day and read them. “G-d bless our brave police and firemen” “G-d bless America” “Pray for world peace”….

    I invite you to consider the reverse scenario. A group of Christian fundamentalists destroy a building in Riyadh, killing thousands of civilians. A nearby mosque posts comments solicited from the populace. What do you think the tenor of those messages would be. “Pray for world peace”? I don’t think so.

  32. My husband and I were watching as CNN anounced the death of Osama Bin Ladin. Suddenly we noticed the ticker at the bottom of the screen said, “Obama has been killed”. It was only up for a short time but I was wondering if anyone else noticed this mistake. LOL

  33. Why G-d bless instead of God bless?

    Many religions have prohibitions against the image of God, up to and including His name. Hence, “G-d” gets the point across, without breaking that tradition. It is typical of orthodox Jews, among others. -rc

  34. The explanation I use for writing “G-d”: There’s a Commandment whose most familiar wording is “Thou Shalt Not Take The LORD’s Name In Vain.” You can protect yourself from accidentally breaking this rule by never actually using the name at all (outside of praying and teaching); over the years this prohibition has been extended (in the fences-around-fences approach that characterizes traditional Jewish law) to G-d’s common names as well as The One True Name that it originally applied to. In Hebrew this is often done by changing an “H” to a “K” (two very similar-looking letters); the change is carried through to pronunciation when you are using religious writings without invoking the deity (for example when a Bible verse is turned into a song).

    (Randy’s explanation certainly may also be correct, though it is new to me. There’s more than one right road.)

  35. Just a couple of pieces of good, fatherly advice that I feel are applicable to many of the sentiments being expressed about this event.

    1. Love thine enemy as thy neighbor, and thy neighbor as thyself.
    2. Try not to do anything stupid (like declare war on the USA).

    If OBL had lived by these, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. If a lot of other people would, the world would be a much better place.

  36. For those who would declare on America, a few are megalomaniacs who believe they can take on not only America but the entire world, and even the known Universe for that matter. But most of their followers have no comprehension of the sheer size or power of the U.S. They get their news filtered, which usually consists of our failures (small) but not our successes (large).

    Even Europeans are often stunned when arriving in the U.S. Where a half day’s drive, or less, in their own country can put them in an entirely different nation, the same drive in the U.S. may not even get them out of one state, let alone out of the entire country.

    Those small men who dare to make war against the U.S. do so from deception and lack of information. They believe themselves to be invincible due to the magnanimity of the U.S. in attempting to wage “nice” wars. Yes, America can afford to be nice to its enemies. Expensive, but still affordable. Unfortunately, that’s what bogs us down on too many fronts.

    Interestingly, Robert E. Lee stated in 1862 (Battle at Fredericksburg), “It is well that war is so terrible — otherwise we would grow too fond of it.” Apparently America is fond of war, since it’s not made it terrible enough. Make war swiftly, decisively, and total in its destruction and, therefore, sparingly as it will seldom be necessary.

    For what it’s worth, William Tecumseh Sherman did not make his statement, “War is hell,” until 1879 in his address to the graduating class of the Michigan Military Academy.

    Nor did he say it so succinctly as most remember. The actual quote: “There is manya boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell.” -rc

  37. Aliza, I understand the history of G-d, but I find it foolish. It isn’t just the name of God that you mustn’t use in vain, all blasphemous intent or attempts to curse another in the name of the most high violates this commandment. It matters not if I call him “the Big Boss”, “Jeshua Ben David”, or “I Am”. If I refer to him with disrespect, then it is a violation of the 2nd commandment.

    This is no different than straining gnats out of water. Impressive attempt, but misapplying the meaning.

  38. Killing Osama on site was about the most stupid, ignorant thing the USA could have done. Now he is a martyr, inspiring more terrorism and “forcing” the world to become more surveilled and non-democratic.

    I haven’t seen any such effects — at least, not yet (it is early). -rc

  39. The bible is explicitely precise about commanding humans NOT to kill one another. What part about this does a so-called Christian nation not understand?

    “The bible is explicitely precise about commanding humans NOT to kill one another,” you say? Well, let’s see now. “Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death.” (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT) “A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death.” (Leviticus 20:27 NAB) “Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death.” (Exodus 21:15 NAB) “All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense.” (Leviticus 20:9 NLT) “If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death.” (Leviticus 20:10 NLT) And let’s make sins multi-generational: “Make ready to slaughter his sons for the guilt of their fathers.” (Isaiah 14:21 NAB) Don’t want to kill? Well, then: “Cursed be he who does the Lords work remissly, cursed he who holds back his sword from blood.” (Jeremiah 48:10 NAB) How about mass murder? “Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the city from every side and captured it. They completely destroyed everything in it — men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep, donkeys — everything.” (Joshua 6:20-21 NLT) I could go on — and on and on. -rc

  40. Eddy in Australia;

    Properly translated (not interpreted), the Bible tells us to not MURDER, which is immensely and importantly different than ‘kill.’

  41. Okay, so I’m not bible fanatic, but I am quite certain, despite political nuances in interpretation of similes, that it says without question, Let not mankind destroy that which God has created.

    There is ample evidence to suggest that the closer to God one becomes, the less laws become necessary, hence why Jesus taught the golden rule, Love one another as I have loved you, Do unto others as you would have done to yourself.

    What is the difference between murder and kill if the result is the same? You may scream self-defense all you will, yet consider the mighty final lesson of the Christ who willingly allowed his torture and excruciating death, while only offering unconditional love in response. Either you are serving the angels of life, or you are servant of the angel of death. Your choice.

    Your introduction and conclusion seem to be in opposition. -rc

  42. Eddy in Australia;

    You’ve made really good points in your first and second paragraphs, particularly. The first can’t be taken too literally, as this would preclude eating even grains. I think God means larger things, such as spirituality, the Temple of God, and the Earth (as in stewardship). The second paragraph is very astute. Realistically, though, humans as a race are as yet nowhere near so perfect as to be able to shed the law books. Too bad.

    Your third paragraph… Jesus’ purpose on earth was to be sacrificed, to experience the pain of punishment for human sin; he was de facto obliged to allow himself to be killed, and to not defend himself.

  43. Wesley, how does this preclude even eating grains, when we are also instructed that the Earth has been filled with all kinds of green-leafed vegetation and seed-bearing fruits, which are to be our meat (me-eat)? Nothing is destroyed as the mother-plant doesn’t need to be killed, and we assimilate the sunshine which the plants have absorbed and turned into physical matter to nourish our bodies.

    Randy seems to think that my premise and conclusion are in opposition… how so? The whole purpose of our gift of life is to have the freedom to choose for ourselves, which master we will serve, and which reward we will receive. If we DO deliberately destroy that which God has created, when we are offered the choice of forgiveness and healing, we are not moving forwards spiritually and so we imprison ourselves with our rules and regulations and self-inflicted punishments, hence the term, ‘the fires of remorse.’

    Seriously, “I’m not bible fanatic” but the only possible choice in life is “Either you are serving the angels of life, or you are servant of the angel of death.”? Sounds pretty fanatical to me. -rc

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