Let’s assume that Jesus never said, “love your enemies,” or “do good to those who persecute you.” Let’s forget that Jesus told Peter to put the sword away, (if you can’t use the sword to defend the life of Jesus, then whom can you defend by killing?!), let’s forget all of that. Let’s forget Jesus ever existed.
Tonight, a day after he oversaw the murder of Qaddafi’s son and three of his grandchildren, President Obama announced that the United States had killed Osama bin laden, for the same reason it has fought the war on terror–to bring justice to those killed on 9/11 and to protect any other innocent person from being killed.
Although we don’t know for sure how many Afghan, Pakistani, and Iraqi civilians have been killed in the fighting of these wars–their lives simply aren’t considered important enough to count–we do have rough estimates of how many people have died, estimates that are surely too low rather than too high.
According to some estimates, as of August 2010, at least 919, 967 people have been killed in the war on terrorism. To put this number in context, this is “about 303 times as many people have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq than in the ghastly attacks of September 11, 2001,” and it is “more than 130 times as many people…[killed] than in all terrorist attacks in the world from 1993-2004, according to data compiled by the US State Department.”
Do we really think that the life of ONE person who lives in the United States is really THREE HUNDRED AND THREE times more valuable than the life of a person in Afghanistan or Iraq? Do we really think God considers people in Afghanistan to be worth one-three hundredth of an American?
President Obama spoke movingly tonight of the memory of those killed on 9/11–how their absence is still felt by their families and loved ones even ten years later, how they are still grieved and mourned and missed deeply. But are there not now, because of things the United States has done, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan families feeling the same pain, experiencing the same grief, similarly mourning the absence of equally irreplaceable people?
It is surely insane to protect the innocent by killing them, isn’t it? And it certainly isn’t “justice.”