The Wasatch Behind: To hell with Bin Laden
A recent poll shows that 65 percent of all Americans believe Osama Bin Laden went to hell after receiving a well deserved, double-tap headshot from the Navy Seals. Two-thirds of Catholics and Orthodox Christians believe it, and among evangelical Christians, the number climbs to 80 percent. After seeing on TV where he's been living for the past six years, some of us think he's been living in hell for a long time, but that's another story.
An outfit called the Public Religion Research Institute, in partnership with the equally obscure, Religion News Service, conducted the poll. The data was presented and interpreted by a couple of professors of religion, one from Boston University and one from Cornell University. Both professors are critical of the American view of the world's terrorist-in-chief and his whereabouts after being killed. They argue that we are not good Christians, suggesting that real Christians would be more tolerant and non-judgmental toward mass murderers.
"There is this sense that America is supposed to be a Christian nation, but that tends to be more of a slogan than a reality," one of the professors said. He then noted that half of the people polled are willing to disregard Christianity's most commonly expressed teaching - do unto others - when it comes to war.
He then puts on his holier-than-thou mantle of tenured academic omnipotence and waxes philosophical.
"Are you willing to think about the Bible when it comes to torture and terrorism and Bin Laden, or are you just throwing biblical principles out the window and going with your gut and your anger and your revenge?" he asks.
It seems the professors are upset that most of us are happy to think of Bin Laden as stranded on an island in a lake of fire, and they didn't like Americans celebrating in the streets when word first arrived of Bin Laden's death. The Bible message, "Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth," Proverbs 24:17, would have been a better Christian response, the professors argue.
Evidently they haven't read Psalms 58:10, "The righteous shall rejoice when they see vengeance (over the wicked)," or 1 Samuel 18:6 that speaks of the women of Israel dancing in the streets to welcome David after he slew the Philistine terrorist, Goliath.
After reading the news story, Uncle Spud had a few comments, of course. First, he said: "I can't think of anyone less qualified to make moral judgments than a liberal college professor, at least the ones I have known."
Second point: Why should anyone be offended that Christians think Bin Laden is rotting in hell? The professor's liberal, non-Christian agenda is evident here. The logic is if there is a hell, there is a heaven. If there is a heaven and a hell, there is an eternal judgment. If there is an eternal judgment, God lives. We can't have that and still promote abortion, promiscuity and drug use. So there can't be a hell. Christians are being intolerant and hateful when they insist there is one.
In the world or moral relativism, everyone wins. The professors would be happier to think Osama did get his 72 virgins and a well-watered oasis somewhere in the desert sands of terrorist heaven. Some of them hope for a similar outcome.
What about a Christian willingness to go to war? Jesus was not always a pacifist. He braided a whip and chased the moneychangers out of the temple. Sometimes it's okay to fight. We have an obligation to protect the weak and helpless among us, and defend our lives, property and civil order. Bid Laden and his friends attacked us. Turning the other cheek doesn't mean we are obligated to suffer another 9-11, or give a second daughter to the rapist. The Bible tells of many righteous wars.
Do unto others? Our nation has been the most benevolent victor in the history of human conflict. We rebuild the nations we conquer; never subjugate them. Then too, pouring water in some bad guy's nose to make him talk is hardly the kind of torture and terror the innocent people in the world trade towers faced. Use a garden hose if it will save one American life. We owe it to the children.
I think Osama is living in hell. But he did get a good Muslim burial, after all. If we were not good Christians, the Navy Seals would have shot him off the catapult of the aircraft carrier chained to a box of Spam.