A Christian Never Rejoices in the Killing of a Man

03.05.2011

NBin Laden is dead. Reports keep emerging that show American Christians (and American Muslims) celebrating his death with great joy. This is a cruel response that reduces another human being to nothing but a target of hate. As the Jesuit Federico Lombardi says here, “Osama bin Laden — as we all know — was gravely responsible for promoting division and hatred between peoples, causing the end of countless innocent lives, and of exploiting religions to this end.” Yet when “[f]aced with the death of a man, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibility of each and every one of us before God and before man, and hopes and commits himself so that no event be an opportunity for further growth of hatred, but for peace.”

Have we forgotten how Jesus taught the centrality of the commandment of love when he replied to a scribe about which is the first of all the commandments?:

“This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one, only Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mk 12:29-31)