Monday, May 2, 2011

Only Love Can Drive Out Hate

Osama bin Laden has been killed by the collaborative work of the US military, intelligence community, and President Barack Obama. While I celebrate the end of bin Laden's career of terror, I cannot celebrate his death. I cannot celebrate because I am worried about a few things. I fear his death will make him a martyr. I fear his death will inspire retaliation. I fear his death put the military and government officials who are abroad at greater risk. I fear his death will add to the cycle of violence in the world. And, in the end, I fear that Martin Luther King Jr. is right:
"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."


  1. You are not alone in feeling unease at this news. It goes against much more than it is for anything at all.

  2. When I glanced at your pictures I cringed for a moment making an assumption that being white Americans your comments would reflect the terror of seeing all of my white relatives rejoicing over Osama bin Laden. I was instantly embarrassed, and I apologize. I have read your writings in the past.

    But your words moved me deeply, almost eliciting tears...