Yes, more self righteous, preachy lyrics from my favorite band. Sunday night, as I watched the television coverage of people dancing and jumping about, celebrating the news that Bin – Laden was dead, those words kept running through my head.
I found the supposedly heartfelt renditions of “God Bless America,” followed by chants of “USA USA USA,” disturbing. The over-coverage of those hypocritical celebrants mugging for the cameras, in front of the White House and at sporting events, was nauseating.
How angry do we get, as Americans (and rightfully so), when one of “our” soldiers is killed. And our enemies take to the streets in celebration; dancing for the TV cameras, singing about their country and chanting “Allāhu Akbar.” (A common Arabic expression meaning “God is great.”) All the while knowing these images will be broadcast back to our angry and hurting country.
It’s kind of the ultimate way to “rub our noses in it.”
Many of us feel these demonstrations are the ultimate act of disrespect and paint the participants in an inhumane, almost monstrous light. I admit that’s how I feel.
If I were a gambling person, I’d bet that every well intentioned American, involved in celebratory acts last Sunday, is also sickened when deaths of our service men are turned into a street party.
Yet, we as Americans, have no trouble justifying our actions; even when they mimic the most despised behavior of our enemies. We chant the name of our country. We rush to be seen and noticed on camera. We are loud and obnoxious. And most importantly, we invoke the blessing of “our” God on “our” country.
The behavioral similarities are frightening. As is the willingness to lower ourselves to such base actions, in the name of God, country or any other cause.
“Can’t escape from the common rule, If you hate something, don’t you do it too.”
Please don’t interpret this as an essay suggesting that Bin – Laden was a good guy. Or, that removing him from even a symbolic position of power, was a bad thing. Or that I have anything but the ultimate respect for the sacrifices made by the men,women and families; who put themselves in harms way; assuring that I have the freedom to post and prattle on without fear of arrest, torture or even death.
To them: I offer my heartfelt gratitude.
To the rest of us: I humbly ask that we think before we act.