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Are We Really Celebrating Someone’s Death?

Updated on April 10, 2013

Osama Bin Laden Dead

Edit: Added a summary. Added a little bit to some sections below to better clarify my thoughts on this situation. While this was two years ago, I still find this quandary an important one. Why celebrate someone's death? As I've outlined below, I see many reasons to be glad about the end of someone's reign of terror. I also still see the idea of people celebrating the death of someone, anyone, to be disturbing.

As you are probably aware, on May 1, 2011, the US officially declared Osama Bin Laden dead. Bin Laden has been named by the US government as the primary instigator of many terrorist activities; including the attack on the world trade center in New York City on September 11, 2001. This death comes after ten years of searching the middle east for him.

Americans Are Celebrating

In many places around the country people see Bin Laden's death as reason to celebrate. This is of course because he is seen as a symbol for the destruction that caused the death of thousands of others. The responsibility of killing innocent civilians when the twin towers were destroyed is places squarely on him.

Weeks later, I wish to explore the moral dilemma over the celebration of death and perhaps share some perspective.

Muslims Celebrating 9/11

Many Muslims celebrated the events of September 11, 2001. For the Muslims celebrating it, it represented a great victory over the United States. For the United States, it was adding insult to injury.

Families cried in outrage and the American people gathered behind then President George Bush to go to war.

Is this not the same thing? Are we not being just as callous and ugly about human life by celebrating the death of a man?

Westboro Attacked While Picketting

Funeral Pickets

You probably know "America's Most Hated Family." The Westboro Baptist Church has made it a point to picket funerals. Funerals seem to be their favorite place to preach their message of "God's hate."

They picket funerals of dead soldiers and homosexual people hold signs like: "God Hates Fags," and "Thank God For Dead Soldiers." They also take patriotic and religious songs and rewrite the lyrics to help push this message of hate.

People are so disgusted by them, they can no longer picket a funeral without expecting others to stop them, or even risking their own safety. Other groups known as hate groups, like the KKK are even so upset with these practices, they've stepped up and held Wesboro pickets back from funerals. This is largely because Wesboro Baptist Church pickets those who are clearly innocent, but also because of the lack of compassion for someone who died.

Lets Review

So here we have one group celebrating the death of innocent US Citizens. We have another group celebrating the death of the honorable defenders of our country as well as innocent people for being "sinful".

In each case the US people are outraged at the audacity and the disrespect to not only the people who have died but the people whom they've left behind. The clear disregard for human life is plain and ugly. It's easy to see how this is wrong, and shocking that they do not also see it.

Is it Ever Right to Celebrate Death?

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My Question

My Question is this:

Is it ever right to celebrate someones death?

A Hypothetical Question

Now, I want this to be clear. In this article, I am not questioning whether or not Osama Bin Laden was a bad guy. I am not questioning whether he needed to die. Let us assume that he was rotten to the core. Let us assume he was as close as we get to evil. Lets say it was necessary beyond a shadow of a doubt that he needed to die and there was no other way.

Let's set Osama aside a moment.

Imagine someone you love has a gun to their head. Imagine you find yourself in the right position to shoot the person holding that gun. Your loved one's assailant falls down dead.

Being glad they will hurt no one else is great. There is no question in my mind that we should be glad for that. But celebrating the passing of a person seems to be both hypocritical and immoral to me.

As alway's I love to hear feedback. What do you think?


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    • Stump Parrish profile image

      Stump Parrish 6 years ago from Don't have a clue, I'm lost.

      It's sad how easily Americans ignore the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraquis who have died at the hands of America. Bush sr. destroyed the water purifcation plants and then banned the importation of chemical that would have provided safe drinking water for the country. They raised holy hell about the victims of 9/11 and have no understanding of the hatred that is felt about this country around the world. Why is it that Americans feel it's just fine for us to kill millions of people for profit and yet feel anger when it happens here? I'll tell you why, the majority of christians in this country actually believe that those of the Muslim faith and other faiths around the world are less than human. The world is supposed to fall over and die if our country wants their natural resourses and they can't believe anyone could disagree with this mindset. I am not justifying the 9/11 attack, I am asking why so many Americans refuse to admit that it was nothing more than retaliation for the crimes against humanity that they feel is their god give right to heap upon the world.