I'm not exactly sure how I feel about it yet--it's a real mix of feelings, that's for sure--but I sure know I don't like being told how I ought to feel.
I have to admit, it got all up in my grill that one of the first reactions on one of the Episcopal blogs I follow was to be asked "How Christians should react." What does "should" have to do with anything? People are going to have a wide variety of reactions because, you know, they're people.
It finally occurred to me this morning that how I think Christians should react is to say "This is how I feel about it. How do you feel about it?" and listen. Of course, ironically, this is to tell other people how they ought to react. So I'm in a bit of a bind, here. Lizz Winstead said it better on Twitter: "Hey everyone. Feel how you feel today and express that in the way you see fit but don't tell ME how to react. Carry on."
I think I'm reacting more strongly to the "should" than to the actual event because I fear it keeps us from expressing and exploring our feelings--and thus prevents us from talking to anyone who we disagree with or opening ourselves up to the possibility of a larger perspective. Lots of people I've seen have mentioned the proverb "Do not rejoice when your enemies fall, and do not let your heart be glad when they stumble." I haven't seen anyone mention Purim. And I'm also reminded that when soldiers asked Jesus what they should do, he didn't say, "Stop being a soldier."
I just think there's lots of room in religious experience for a variety of reactions. I hope there is room for mine.
One thing I do know is that I am very glad not to be president, or in the military, or in intelligence. I feel I have been spared many a moral quandary. It's so much easier to be ethical when I'm not faced with any high level ethical decisions.
So...how DO you feel about the death of Osama bin Laden?