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May 4th, 2011
12:01 PM ET

My Take: No apology for celebrating after bin Laden's death

Editor's Note: Lauren Kolodkin is an undergraduate student at Boston University; among her professors is CNN Belief Blog contributor Stephen Prothero, who wrote that the celebrations that followed bin Laden's death made him cringe.

By Lauren Kolodkin, Special to CNN

For the past 10 years, my generation has had it pretty bad.

Our youth was taken away by the attacks on 9/11 and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Our teen years were pockmarked by the Great Recession. Our college days are splattered with political unrest. And when we graduate from college, we will emerge overeducated and underprepared into an America with no jobs, no opportunities and no hope.

My generation has been told for years that our world is a place where there is little reason to celebrate anything.

But then, on Sunday night, President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden, leader of al Qaeda, mastermind of the attacks of September 11, 2001, was killed in Pakistan. The man who murdered thousands of Americans and instigated the war on terror is finally gone. And my generation celebrated.

Hundreds of college students across the city gathered in Boston Common and cheered together. I went from my dorm at BU. We cursed bin Laden and sang rousing renditions of “God Bless America.” We smiled and laughed and waved at cameras. A friend of mine turned to me and said, “Someday we’ll talk about this with our children. This is amazing.” For a night, at least, we forgot our troubles and reveled in the joy of our peers.

But what exactly were we celebrating that night? Someone’s death?

I know some students who shied away from the celebrations, in Boston and elsewhere, because they felt uncomfortable cheering someone else’s demise. We are taught by our parents, by God, by the world around us that life is sacred, and death is a time for reflection, not revelry. For some people, this death renews memories of a mother or father lost, a friend gone or a life ruined.

Closure is rarely delivered by vengeance, and this death surely isn’t the end of our sorrow. A bullet through the icon of terror does not bring your sister or brother back, it doesn’t rebuild the twin towers, and it doesn’t erase a decade of sadness and hardship.

I cannot imagine what it would have been like to lose someone on 9/11. I’m not from New York. I don’t know anyone who works at the Pentagon. No one I knew died on that day. But I remember watching my fourth grade teacher cry that morning and refusing to tell us why, because she’d been instructed to leave that grim task to our parents.

I remember getting off the bus to find my mother waiting to tell me what had happened. I remember seeing the smoke on the television screen, choking me from a distance, clips of disaster playing over and over again.

I remember seeing Osama bin Laden’s face for the first time. I was 9 years old.

My generation is cursed by those images of horror and destruction. We are cursed by that face. And since that day, we have been burdened with the consequences.

But on May 1, 2011, something changed. A man who hurt so many people will never hurt anyone again. I know that this is not the last of horrible men, but at least it is the last of this horrible man, this symbol of hatred and war and bloodshed.

That is why my generation celebrated on Sunday night and Monday morning. We did not celebrate his death; we celebrated the dawn of a new day without bin Laden. We celebrate because maybe the world isn’t as bad as they told us. We celebrate because we can.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Lauren Kolodkin

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 9/11 • Death • Osama bin Laden • Terrorism

soundoff (642 Responses)
  1. jason

    I'm a college student at a better university than this girl. I celebrated the death of Osama bin Laden and I did with absolutely no remorse.

    May 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Charles

      Do tell what being at a better university has to do with anything. Also, universities are better a certain things than others so I'd be hard pressed to believe your university, which you curiously left out, is completely better then her school.

      May 4, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • BobRoss

      jason – "I'm a college student at a better university than this girl."

      Please define "better" for us jason. Based on your comment I'm glad I don't go to your university.

      May 4, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    • jason

      cal tech: mechanical engineering class of 2013

      By better, I meant that our students were significantly more intelligent than the students at her school. I premise this argument based on college rankings, and a comparison of the GPA/SAT scores of the average admitted student at each university. I'm glad you don't go here either BobRoss, we have a reputation to uphold and I feel that your ignorance would tarnish it.

      May 4, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • Katie

      Jason, if you base intelligence upon standardized test scores and college rankings compiled by a variety of different criteria that never seem to match up, then I feel as sorry for you for your misperception of the world as I do Lauren. Your two schools are completely different, possibly close to polar opposites. And I fail to see how your attendance at a "better school" is supposed to support Lauren's point...

      May 5, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • W247

      Jason –

      Well... a little more arrogance please! I don't think you quite had enough in your statement there..

      May 5, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • CC

      Also, the fact that you see standardized tests as a basis for intelligence shows that you aren't quite as intelligent as you assume. You have good test taking skills and you're a hard worker. Good for you, those are both vital for success, but it does not suggest that you have superior intelligence.

      May 6, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • Alex Oliveira

      Well considering this girl is not a university your university cannot be better than her.

      And since you seem incapable of not embarrassing yourself in one sentence I might take exception as to the quality of the university you attend.

      May 18, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Alex Oliveira

      and you really didn't have to tell us you were an undergrad...it was pretty obvious.

      May 18, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Sly

      I'm a graduate of better university than this guy. I did not celebrated the death of Osama bin Laden and when I watched others doing so it gave me a sense of worry with absolutely no remorse.

      Also, despite my "superior" education, I have no idea how my first sentence relates to my second.

      May 19, 2011 at 8:16 am |
    • Displacedmic

      Dear Jason – I went to Stanford and I think you're an idiot.

      May 19, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
    • MasterKat

      The assumption here being that 'I went to a better school, therefore I am smarter, and THEREFORE my opinion carries more weight than hers." Not everyone at your school will feel the same way you do about celebrating in the streets. In that case, do you base who's right by ranking GPA or just by majority opinion?

      I graduated from a tier 1 university (and I was admitted as an out of state student, which in this case means my test scores and grades had to be top 1% in the nation) and I also think you're an idiot.

      June 26, 2011 at 4:58 am |
  2. Brett

    I think it's time to acknowledge that our country lacks free housing for poor people, including people just starting out on an adult life.
    ...........................................................................
    With free housing, a minimum wage can become more of a living wage instead of the mockery doled out by the rich as is often the case throughout history.

    May 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • BG

      Free housing? Sounds like 'projects' could be popping up all over the country.. oh, wait.

      May 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Rogue

      @Brett – What sort of free housing are we talking about here? Tent cities? Monolithic buildings? Houses, RVs, little igloos? What?

      May 4, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
  3. Peter F

    My Take: Lauren, what you said about "celebrating a new day" is all fine and good but you said yourself that people were cursing bin Laden. Whether or not you choose to see it, the end of this man's life was what people were taking joy in. I'm not asking for apologies, I'm asking that you come to grips with reality...

    May 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  4. Reality

    Lauren made at least one mistake. She took a worthless course on religion. She could have saved her parents some money by simply reading the following:

    1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment.

    2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.
    earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

    For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

    Current RCC problems:

    Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

    3. Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

    Current problems:

    Adulterous preachers, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

    4. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

    This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

    And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

    Current crises:

    The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

    5. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

    The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

    Current problems:

    The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

    6. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

    "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

    Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

    Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

    May 4, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • mike

      the reality is that if anything on your website was worth anything, you would've written a book and a publishing company would've put it out on store shelves

      May 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  5. Old Soldier

    Well said, Lauren. Well said. I think you captured it. We're not celebrating a death so much as we are a new dawn... and we're celebrating because we can.

    May 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  6. Bucky Ball

    My Whining Meter just went off the far end, and broke !
    This article is breathtakingly embarr-a-sing, for my young generation. This self absorbed, ent-i-tled female, who has probably never done anything for her country except to collect student loans, should go sign up fior some sort of service, and go do something for someone else, other than feel sorry for herself. OMG ! I hate to break it to you sweetie, but your generation is not the first one to face hardship, if that's what you call going to college in Boston, USA. The giddy demonstrations of American students only served to point out to the world, that even though they say they respect life, they really don't when the chips are down. Instead of "posturing" yourself as a victim and leaving it to others to tell you that "the world is as bad as they told us", how about going out and finding out what the world is really like for yourself. There are some brave people out there who are actually DOING something about making it better, even for full-time victims, such as yourself.

    May 4, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Casey

      Excellent. Going out and seeing some of the world, experiencing how others truly suffer for lack of food, hygiene, a secure place to sleep would help those with Lauren's worldview immensely.

      May 11, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  7. BG

    Dear Lauren –

    Good that you celebrated. I did too. I consider OBL an enemy as are those like him. When an enemy is vanquished, it's cause for celebration, but don't lose sight of the larger picture...

    You wrote:

    "Our youth was taken away by the attacks on 9/11 and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Our teen years were pockmarked by the Great Recession. Our college days are splattered with political unrest."

    Your observations, although made specifically for -your- generation, can just as easily be applied to just about any preceding generation. "Our youth was taken away... the subsequent wars in .... our teen years pockmarked... our college days splattered with ...." The events of -any- generation can be substi-tuted for contemporary events; what you're describing is consistent with what your ancestors had to contend with. The Great Depression, World Wars, both hot and cold, the misery of the Korean War, the political unrest of Viet Nam, and multiple terrorist bombings that occurred long before 9/11

    Each generation experiences their own unique crises. Each generation takes a deep breath, bucks-up, and decides how to move forward. Now it's your generation's turn. What are you going to do to make the world you live in better?

    May 4, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  8. appalled in ky

    It is hard for me to believe that any person who watched the coverage of that horrible day to say that we or anyone is wrong for being grateful for the death of one of the world's largest murderers, the difference in us and them is that we took the life of the person responsible for the murder of so many innocent lives for no reason other than hatred, we did not kill anyone who was not involved in such a horrific action, nor did we do so in hatred. I am glad that he does not exist in this world any longer, I am also glad that the people directly involved with loss that day has gotten some justice, this in no-way brings them back or makes their deaths anymore justicfied, I still feel sorrow for the people who lost so much that day. I was estatic watching the tv Sunday evening, and seeing the people on the streets of Washington, and at ground zero, celebrating in the way they were, waving flags, singing the National Anthem and in general being happy, and I agree with one of the previous posters, that we were not celebrating by shooting guns, or burning flags, unlike they have done in the past, this is not to say that every muslim in the world does those things, what we are celebrating is the hopeful end of a reign of terror, and nothing else. I also believe that they should allow the pictures of his death to be published, just like they published the deaths of so many on 9/11, as we watched the events unfold that day, we seen so many take their lives by jumping out of 100+ stories with the thought that was the only way to survive, we don't care to show those images on tv, without the thought of the people who lost mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, on that day, or the compassion of them having to watch it over and over again, but we care about what a group of murders will think, doesn't make much sense to me. And I would like to end by saying thank you to many men and women of our armed forces for a job well done, and hope they get to come home to their families waiting so patiently.

    May 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  9. David

    I respectfully disagree with you.

    http://sightlikeaconstructionworker.blogspot.com/2011/05/wheres-patriotism-in.html

    May 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  10. OldMan

    Overeducated? How does one become over educated. Sounds like you never heard "learn something new everyday"

    May 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  11. DryGulch

    To compare the two situations and consider them the same is ridiculous. As remarked by Jared Cohen several years ago on the Colbert Report and in a recent article in Westport magazine, "Oftentimes when you hear people shouting ‘Death to America’ in the Middle East, they were paid fifty dollars a day to do it, because most of the chanters were young, jobless, and frustrated, and fifty dollars was good money indeed. In truth, Cohen said, Middle Eastern youth generally consider “Death to America” to be an empty slogan and America itself to be a source of endless fascination." Spoken by a man who has witnessed this first hand. As this young lady expresses very well, ours is not a celebration of the death of a monster but a celebration of a renewed sense of freedom. While public celebration is not for everyone, the ability to do so without judgement is also part of our freedom. I personally chose not to celebrate outwardly, however, I do feel that today is a better day than yesterday, and I am not ashamed to admit it.

    May 4, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  12. Wayne317

    I heard the only reason Ms. Bin laden cried is because he didn't leave any life insurance.

    May 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  13. john

    You have "had it bad", what a laugh! What have you done to contribute, to help? What have you done that sit behind a computer lamenting your "lost youth"? Grow up honey! Life is hard, for all of us.

    May 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  14. Batesian_Mimic

    "They celebrated an opportunity for death, me celebrated the opportuity for less death." They already had the impression that we were tyrants and the cause for much death and sorrow, have you ever thought that maybe they were under the impression that they had taught us a lesson? A lesson that would result is less interference in their affairs, and ultimately less sorrow and death? I'm not saying that their impression of us is correct, but it was, and still is, their perception of us.
    Also, do you actually believe that this will result in less death? It was one man. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the death of OBL is not going to end terrorism, and it may not have any effect on it at all. I share some of your optimism that the death of OBL, and the showcase of our resolve and ability, will have a positive effect on terrorist ambitions......but the realist in me, sees this as more of a moral victory for us than a defeat for 'them'.

    May 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  15. Nonimus

    @Lauren,
    I appreciate your perspective and viewing it more as a celebration of new possibilities makes some sense. I also had not fully considered that this one person had such an impact on the people who were children at the time.
    However, painting such a bleak picture of your childhood seems a bit much. "Our youth was taken away... Our teen years were pockmarked... Our college days... etc."
    I'm not sure the children of the Great Depression, WWII, Civil Rights era, or Viet Nam era would agree with your view on how bad your childhood was.
    "... an America with no jobs, no opportunities and no hope."
    I don't want to be overly critical, but this is hyperbole.

    Although, I disagree with some points, I also won't be so quick to condemn the celebrants either.

    May 4, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  16. Greg

    I don't know how old you are but from this post I'd say we're about the same age. Please don't throw around "my generation" as if we all agree with your view. I'm glad Bin Laden is dead but I'm not throwing a party, no do I have such a self absorbed thought as "For the past 10 years, my generation has had it pretty bad" and now it’s all over. No, people who lost loved ones on 9/11 have had it pretty bad. People who lost loved ones in the wars that followed 9/11 have had it pretty bad. But for someone whose only connection to 9/11 is being an American and watching the towers fall on live tv to say how bad they've had it for the last decade is just absurd. Yes, that was a horrible day; I was still in high school and we watched in silence that morning. But 9/11 didn't take my youth or directly cause my life to be incredibly difficult for the next decade. It's cliché, but if just witnessing the towers fall "took away your youth" then you let the terrorists win.

    Some people who were actually hurt by 9/11 find celebrating bin Laden's death to be in poor taste, or a painful reminder than nothing, including vengeance, can give them back what they lost. And if my celebrations offended any one of them, you bet your ass I'd apologize.

    May 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Charles

      What does being at a better university have to do with anything? Also, universities are better a certain things than others so I'd be hard pressed to believe your university, which you curiously left out, is completely better then her school.

      May 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Anonymous

      Did you read Miss Kolodkin's article? If you were in high school then you are definitely not in her generation. Two different worlds, and this is her view. You, someone about a decade older, may have perceived the attacks much differently. You might want to go back and read it before attacking her.

      May 4, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Charles

      Ignore the comment above. That was meant for the first poster below. Idk why it posted under this one.

      May 4, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • Greg

      She was 9 when it happened, I was 14, not exactly a generational gap, Mr. Anonymous.

      May 4, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • Andrea

      Thank you for this response Greg. I was quite dismayed by Lauren's "me, me, poor me" approach when being so far removed from the actual event and aftermath. You've restored my faith in your generation. I find this quite laughable – "My generation is cursed by those images of horror and destruction. We are cursed by that face. And since that day, we have been burdened with the consequences." – that Lauren think her generation is the only generation burdened with these consequences. Lauren, Honey. Get out and experience the world a bit.

      May 5, 2011 at 9:32 am |
  17. Muneef

    What do others say;

    A controversial take on Osama bin Laden's death.
    From Gonzalo Lira:
    http://gonzalolira.blogspot.com/2011/05/sorry-but-i-dont-believe-this.html

    May 4, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  18. Osama bin Laden

    Hello my friends ..... I will not rot in hell .... I am alive and well ... I now have a job in USA at 7Eleven.

    May 4, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Sonya

      Hi Osama!

      May 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • VNC

      I've been thinking all this time you were hiding out at Bush's ranch in Crawford, TX!

      May 4, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
  19. Batesian_Mimic

    Thank you for the explanation. Unfortunately it raises more questions than answers. If it is 'ok' for the young in America to celebrate a victory against the boogeyman that has shaped your youth, what justifies us in condemning the radical Muslims who have celebrated for the same reason in the past? If asked, and able, to articulate, the throngs of cheering radical Muslims after 9/11 would probably have described similar conditions that shaped their upbringing.....except in reverse. They are taught that America (or Israel, or *fill in the blank*) is the cause for much of the sorrow in their life and for many of the shocking things that they have had to deal with during their formative years. The fact is, we can either condemn the celebration of both, or neither.......I'm starting to lean towards neither. I just hope that this experience also helps others be a little more aware of our shared humanity.

    May 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Ryan in Michigan

      What you're missing is the fact that our celebrations are very different from theirs. We celebrate by singing our national anthem, waving American flags, crying from relief and hugging our loved ones, knowing that we're safe for awhile and that many lives have been spared. Overseas, after 9/11, they celebrated by chanting "Death to America, Death to Israel", burning flags and people, murdering nuns, firing automatic rifles, and basic all-around violence. Their celebrations revolve around more and more death, while ours are focused on the lives we saved. They're quite opposite, really.

      May 4, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Batesian_Mimic

      I may be mistaken, but your examples are so varied that I do not believe all of them are coming from specifically the jubilant response to 9/11. The things that you list have all, at one time, been done by radical Muslims, but they have occured at different times and in different situations. The response to 9/11 by radical Muslims was euphoric, while the abuses that you cite happened at other times. As for the actual comparison between the crowds post 9/11 and the crowds on sundy.......the slogans or form may be slightly different, but I see no difference in the reason. It all boils down to celebrating the victory over a percieved evil. The form, in my opinion, is due to cultural differences. Their response is, of course, going to be different than ours. When was the last time you felt insulted because someone showed you the bottom of their shoes or stepped on your picture? For the most part, their crowds were upbeat, cheering, and chanting......just like ours. Also just like ours, there were some less than respectful responses as well (I was watching some live shots on Sunday, and I remember hearing a 'F- Osama' chant, among others). Again, I'm not saying that either response was right or wrong, but just that this recent experience has somewhat changed my view of those previous celebrations that we were so disgusted by.

      May 4, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Brandon

      They celebrated an opportunity for death, me celebrated the opportuity for less death.

      May 4, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Batesian_Mimic

      Also......we have laws against firing guns in cities, so the lack of that happening at the celebrations is not surprising. And judging by the responses that I have seen posted to other articles and on facebook......If Osama's body had been available, you can bet your a** it would have been both burned and dragged through the streets.

      May 4, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Mark C

      Utterly brainless response. Good god, you need help. They were celebrating the murder of thousands of innocent civilians. We were celebrating the killing of a murderer of thousands of innocent civilians.

      May 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Ichiro Fukosama

      What is this? People are saying my family name all over America? How am I supposed to live with this new development? My God, what do I do now?????

      May 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Batesian_Mimic

      RE Mark C: Thank you for your respectful and thoughtful response......../Sarcasm off. Do you not understand that they viewed him as a hero, and his actions as both heroic and justified? If they were celebrating the death of thousands, we were celebrating the death of one. Excuse me if this is another 'brainless' comment, but what difference does it make? We, in your opinion, are both celebrating death. I disagree with the vatican on many things, but apparently this is not one of them http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2011/05/02/christians-should-not-rejoice-at-death-of-osama-bin-laden-says-vatican-spokesman/ . The same sentiment is found in the writings and sayings of many a great man. I would no more join the celebration for the death of a mass murderer, than I would for a single murderer.
      But, I'm not here to pass judgement on those that celebrated. Their motivations are too many and too complex for this type of discussion. However, I have to question whether you actually read the original post by Ms. Kolodken.......because neither she or I used 'celebrating death' as the explanation for what happened on Sunday night.

      May 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • markci

      Do you not understand that they viewed him as a hero, and his actions as both heroic and justified?"

      I understand and do not care. In fact, THAT IS PRECISELY THE ISSUE: anyone who thinks that murdering 3000 innocent civilians is heroic is morally grotesque.

      "If they were celebrating the death of thousands, we were celebrating the death of one. Excuse me if this is another 'brainless' comment, but what difference does it make?"

      If you think 3000 innocents are the same as one mass murderer, then "brainless" doesn't even BEGIN to cover it.

      May 4, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • Batesian_Mimic

      RE Markci: I appreciate the respect that you are showing for your fellow posters by refraining from personal attacks.......Whoops, sorry, left my sarcasm key on again. /Sarcasm off. All better.

      Once again, I must remind you that I have not attributed the crowds after 9/11 or the ones on Sunday to being about 'celebrating death', but I will continue to participate in this thought experiment. I, of course, realize that killing thousands is 'worse' than killing one. You still haven't explained why it matters in the context of celebrating death. I claim that celebrating the death of either is wrong (and I have the opinions of the vatican, MLK, ghandi on my side). I'm not trying to debate which is worse to celebrate.....they are both wrong. It doesn't matter to what degree. It doesn't matter if he deserved it. It......just.....doesn't....matter.....

      May 4, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • Nick

      Your "thought experiment" is flawed. To properly compare apples to apples, American students would have to spontaneously gather to celebrate an attack targeted at 3,000 civilians. The loss of innocent life in Iraq and Afghanistan is no joy, but a constant reminder that we now question the ideals of post WWII America and its belief in using its might to expand liberty. If the US had dropped a bomb on the city of Abbottabad, killing numerous civilians but missing any military combatants, I doubt you would have seen the same reaction. Furthermore, you justify the demonstrations that celebrated 9/11 by comparing them to the DC demonstrations. They did not celebrate the sinking of a battleship or the assassination of a general or president. The two are clearly not the same, and there is a lot to be learned in their differences. One could argue that the demonstrations in DC were classless, but that is a very different message than the ones sent by celebrating the criminal mass murder of civilians.

      May 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  20. HeavenSent

    Thank God for our men and women in the military that give their all for our freedom. Thank you for ridding the world of that monster bin Laden.

    If anyone believes bin Laden a man. Think again. Search the net for the word psychopath and you will finally find out what our military rid the world for your freedom.

    Amen.

    May 4, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Madtown

      What do we get when we search the net for what you are?

      May 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • God

      Just as I made you, I made Osama bin Laden. I made Mohandas Gandhi and I made Joseph Stalin. If you think the Devil did it, who do you think made the Devil and gave him his powers, knowing full well that I would know what would come of it – I am omniscient, you know.

      Yes, evil is a problem: it's existence makes no sense according to any religion, so either I am totally different than any religion has guessed, or I don't exist.

      May 4, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • Rogue

      @God – It's both at once. You don't exist and this is what no religion has guessed about you. Thanks for the troll.

      May 4, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • nima singh

      CNN provides really great information but for full details including the unreleased photo, i saw it at http://www.osamadiedmayfirst.com

      im pretty sure though, the government will shut it down soon but it was gnarly leaked picture!

      May 5, 2011 at 4:45 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.