"Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the LORD see it, and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him." -- Prov. 24:17-18
"Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign Lord. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live." -- Ezekiel 18:23
"For I take no delight in the death of anyone." -- Ezekiel 18:32
“Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.” -- Ezekiel 33:11
Now some reaction from those whose allegiance is to Christ rather than Caesar:
"That is the trouble with revenge, of course: it does not feel like a sin. It feels like justice. Many of us have become inured to the distinction because we have watched so many movies or read so many books in which revenge, especially revenge that is adamantly pursued when the proper authorities either cannot or will not pursue justice, is itself just. It matters little if the hero is Clint Eastwood in a spaghetti western or a Dirty Harry film, or Bruce Lee in a martial arts flick, or Rambo getting even in Vietnam. In every case, we enjoy a cathartic release because we are made to feel the violence is just and therefore that the revenge is justified. When the right is on your side, revenge, no matter how violent, is a pleasure. It is just‘." -- from Love in Hard Places, 2002
"The Church, of course, is the child of the narrative at the heart of which is reconciliation, a narrative which is ‘difficult’, to be sure, but whose Author makes it possible to ‘from now on … regard no one from a worldly point of view’ (2 Cor 5.16), to live hopefully by the word that ‘in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us’ (2 Cor 5.19), and to rejoice in the vocation of being ‘Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us’ (2 Cor 5.20). Such is a narrative is difficult to live by because, as Ignatieff notes, it exists in relentless competition with ‘the powerful alternative morality of violence’."
Fr. Federico Lombardi:
"Faced with the death of a man, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibility of everyone before God and man, and hopes and pledges that every event is not an opportunity for a further growth of hatred, but of peace."
"Why does the story of the terrorist-turned-apostle named Paul not give people pause in their lewd rejoicing?"
"The common theme in Congress, in the media, and on the streets seems to be that this event has pulled the diverse and factious body of people called Americans together like nothing else in a very long time. That should give everyone, Christian or not, at least a little ethical hiccup. How sad is it when the killing of a human being is the chief cause of human unity, even for a day or a week?
But wait–and here is the irony–for us who call ourselves Christians, the killing of a human being actually is the cause of our unity, only for us it is the being killed rather than the killing, the heroic role of victim not victor, that is the source of unity."
"Today is a day of perverse clarity: we can see, in the words and actions of the elect, that we are ruled by thugs and war lords, that Osama and Obama observe the same creed; that the theology of violence, ritualized in the practice of physical, mental, and spiritual war, is at the heart of their politics, regardless of their polemic affiliations. Make no mistake: Osama was a killer. The culture of Saudi Arabia from which he came (and both the secular and Islamic Middle East) is a culture of death, ruled by violent men. But make no mistake: Obama is a killer too. His liberal ways of killing are more subtle at times, but he is the commander in chief of the American military industrial complex; he presides over all US wars, those fought through martial forces and technologies and those waged through institutions that violently enslave the bodies, hearts, and minds of people at home and abroad. The culture of the United States of America is a culture of death ruled by killers... who are themselves dying..."
Michael Brendan Dougherty:
"What does a milestone mean on a road that is endless?"
"I am glad Osama bin Laden is dead. He was an evil man. And I think the surgical method used to kill him is commendable. The Bible, especially Judges, endorses assassinations: Kill the head, and the body becomes powerless . Wars slaughter thousands, or hundreds of thousands of relatively innocent young men, always on both sides. War is costly, especially in human terms. Better to destroy war-mongers who start wars. That said, my enthusiasm for this operation is tempered by the recollection that the US made Osama bin Laden... We supported bin Laden in his battle against the Soviets, as we also supported Saddam Hussein so long as he was fighting Iran. We had a hand (how direct is a matter of dispute) in creating bin Laden, creating the Taliban, creating al-Qaeda. Americans have a right to breathe a sigh of relief. Yet the lesson is not, as President Obama, Charles Krauthammer, and others have suggested, that 'we do big.' The lesson is that we’re pretty good at creating messes, and that we’re occasionally good at the mopping-up process. When the euphoria is over, will we take the opportunity to reflect seriously on our record of cultivating the serpents we later kill?"
"Romans 13, in context, appears to teach that the civil authority, outside of Christ, functions as an indirect instrument which God uses to exercise retribution, but which he does not command to do so (e.g., note how Assyria is used as such a tool, but then actually punished for it), and which, when in the hands of Christians, he does not want to do so."
"I want to state emphatically I am NOT saying that we shouldn’t have killed bin Laden. But the paroxysms of celebration, the orgiastic bloodlust ought to give pause to decent people. Violence, after all, and we have this on good authority, begets violence. To treat this incident as if one just won the national championship in basketball is to set aside and not advance the fundamental tenet of liberal democracy, of America at its very best: the inherent dignity of every person... Whatever else is the case, for a nation to find itself in a position where it commits tremendous financial and personal resources, and puts at risk the lives of its service men and women, not to mention its citizens, in the effort to hunt and kill one man, ought to cause for serious reflection and not drunken revelry... Girard’s positing of the connection between violence and the sacred pertains in this case to the tenets of American civil religion. Indeed, Osama’s death, like so many others in the wars before him, serves to deepen the religion of America, whose object is America. Osama is killed, and Americans take to the street chanting 'USA' and singing the national anthem. People start talking about recovering the unity we had after 9/11, never once asking why this is a desirable thing, or what ends it will serve other than to make America 'great,' and insure, as the President said, that 'America can do whatever we set our mind to'... How false and shallow must be the unity that emerges from a violent killing that takes place half a world away. How empty the lives of those who see in violence a release from the otherwise humdrum monotony of their existence. How simpleminded a country that seems incapable of taking moments such as this as opportunities to ask hard questions of itself, of its heritage, of its ideas – questions it won’t ask because it fears the answers. How precarious the security of a people who insist on purchasing it always and only with blood."
Besides my list above, here are more reactions from followers of Christ.