Wednesday, May 4, 2011

american exceptionalism

It's been two days now, and finally some of the fever pitch hoopla over Bin Laden’s demise has quieted a little. Of course, the media frenzy will continue for quite some time, but at least the shouting and dancing in the streets has stopped. I’m very glad that some closure has been brought to a very difficult chapter in our recent history. I'm proud of our President, our country’s intelligence agencies, and our brave servicemen and women who have struck a defining blow against terrorism. An undeniably evil man has been eliminated, and I guess that that’s as good as a rabid animal being put down. But the euphoric celebrations, and the righteous grandstanding have made me a little uneasy.

National pride, quiet contemplation, and prayer are not mutually exclusive. A sober and mindful reverence for all that has been lost might stand as a greater example of American exceptionalism than triumphant celebration.

So while I understand the knee jerk reaction of singing “ding dong the witch is dead,” I also know that hate begets hate, and rejoicing in the violent death of anyone, even an evil mastermind, might very well highlight the basest of human conditions among us.

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