Monday, May 2, 2011

Religious Right Reactions to Osama bin Laden's Death

Last evening, the world learned that Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader who claimed responsibility for the September 11th attacks, had been killed in a raid in Pakistan by U.S. special forces. After DNA tests confirmed that the man shot was indeed bin Laden, he was buried at sea after an Islamic funeral on board an aircraft carrier, according to media reports.

This is a momentous moment for the U.S., and commentators from across the political spectrum have been weighing in. Since this blog focuses on the Religious Right, I wanted to share what several Religious Right figures have said about bin Laden's demise. Some voices commended the military personnel who carried out the operation, others were passionate and jubilant, while others still wove political commentary into bin Laden's death.

- At its Washington Update blog, the Family Research Council praised U.S. military personnel for laying their lives on the line during the operation that killed bin Laden. FRC reminded readers that terrorist networks still pose a threat, as a new chapter in the war on terror awaits.

(See www[dot]frc[dot]org/get.cfm?i=WU11E01&f=PG07J01)

- At the Heritage Foundation's Foundry blog, Heritage Foundation president Edwin J. Feulner warned President Obama and Congress not to use bin Laden's death as an "excuse" to repeal "counterterrorism tools" such as the USA PATRIOT Act.

(See blog[dot]heritage[dot]org/2011/05/02/morning-bell-bin-laden-dead/)

- Also at the Foundry, Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow Cully Stimpson insisted that "strategic interrogations" of detainees at Guantanamo Bay provided vital information leading to the location of Osama bin Laden. I'm curious as to how Stimpson feels about allegations of detainee mistreatment at Guantanamo.

(See blog[dot]heritage[dot]org/2011/05/02/detainee-interrogations-key-to-killing-osama-bin-laden/#more-58444)

- Former governor Mike Huckabee was jubilant about bin Laden's death in a statement at the Huck PAC website. Condemning bin Laden as a "madman, murderer and terrorist", Huckabee hoped that bin Laden's death would serve as a message to Islamic extremists that the U.S. will tenaciously pursue those who terrorize its people.

(Hat tip to Right Wing Watch. See www[dot]huckpac[dot]com/?Fuseaction=Blogs.View&Blog_id=3457)

- At the CBN Brody File blog, CBN chief political correspondent David Brody admonished President Obama for showing insufficient joy after bin Laden's death, calling him "Mr. Non-Emotion." Brody speculated that the president was using a measured tone to avoid inflaming the Arab world. Later, however, Brody apologized, noting that President Obama lived by the principle of Proverbs 24:17 ("Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice.") whereas he did not.

(Hat tip to Right Wing Watch. See blogs[dot]cbn[dot]com/thebrodyfile/archive/2011/05/02/obamas-bin-laden-speech-misses-mark.aspx)


  1. Good to know that 1. The Heritage Foundation supports the Patriot Actcident. 2. That fundies are still showing their true colors... i.e. ignoring scripture unless it cramps their style of passing judgment on others.

  2. Christine -- Their support for the USA PATRIOT Act unnerved me too.

  3. Personally, I like Brody's observation. I suppose he thinks that in order to look presidential, Obama should have high-fived reporters, then done a little touchdown dance around his podium at his press conference.

  4. Donna Banta -- But we all know that if the president had shown jubilation, the right would be condemning him for being overemotional and vengeful. No matter what he does, the right will find something to pick at.

  5. Of course any society that paid attention to what the asinine Gospels actually say, and "turned the other cheek" to bin Laden or "loved" him as our enemy, would be committing national suicide. So the fundies will shy away from quoting the supposedly-inerrant Bible in a case like this.

    If they were honest, though, they'd recognize bin Laden as a kindred spirit. He certainly hated secularism, gays, abortion, women's rights, etc., just as much as they do.

  6. Don't you love the disingenuous euphemisms like Patriot Act and "strategic interrogations"? If the Religious Right warmongers would only say what they really mean it might change the debate. But honesty wouldn't help their cause and, of course, they know that.

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  8. Just shows how you can take any event and twist it to serve your cause. I heard about it Sunday night, and the only thought that I can really summon about it is, "So what? What does this accomplish? Does this validate all the lives lost in the years since 9/11?" I don't think so. It's just one guy. There are a lot of people who feel and think and want to do the same as him. And now people are dancing int he streets - way to show the Arab world that they have no reason to hate us people. This revelry at the death of a human being is exactly why perfect strangers who live across the globe from each other hate each other.

  9. Infidel753 -- Cherry-picking from the Bible has always annoyed me. And I do find the similarities between Christian fundamentalist and Islamic fundamentalism (disdain for women, LGBT people, secularism, etc.) very revealing.

    Cognitive Dissenter -- The Religious Right uses euphemisms all the time, and I too would prefer if they'd use starker language for their ideas.

    Tristan -- Thanks for the heads-up!

    Macha -- Aye. I don't think many people realize that bin Laden's death doesn't spell the death of al-Qaida. There are still huge extremist networks that span the globe, and no shortage of people willing to die for their poisonous cause.


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