I was drifting off to sleep when the movie ‘Working Girl’ came on the television.  It features a young woman who makes good in the high-powered world of Wall Street.  The movie opens on the Manhattan skyline.  ‘Let the River Run,’  by Carly Simon, is playing in the background.  The imagery and lyrics, indeed the script, suggest that New York is meant to represent a kind of New Jerusalem of opportunity and hope; at least, that’s how this impressionable Southerner interpreted it.
The problem is, the camera panned past the Twin Towers.  The movie was released in 1988, and the Twin Towers were in the fullness of their steel and concrete lives, architectural creatures that stood watch over the millions who rushed forward every day beneath them.  Today, of course, they are absent.  They burned, fell and were fused with the incinerated remains of those who worked within them, and we strangely mourn not only the humans, but the structures.
Our pain was deeper, more seering because they fell, flesh and structure as one, according to the wicked actions of human beings.  Shortly after the event and recovery we learned that they fell because of the direction, in particular, of one man, Usama Bin Laden; a radical Islamic composer and conductor of earth shattering cruelty. The man recently killed by US Navy SEALs, but described by some as passionate, soft-spoken…even pathetic.  He has received a kind of apologetic, left-handed eulogy.   Poor, tragic, rich, misunderstood Saudi.
Please understand that I was not waving ‘Bin Laden is dead’ banners when he was killed.  I was not with other Southerners shooting our various firearms into the air in celebration.  (We don’t waste ammunition that way.)  Most Southern Baptists (like myself) probably said what we always say, between work, church and child-rearing activities: ‘well, good; bless his heart.’  We don’t want to cause anyone suffering, but this one caused so much human misery we had to think that maybe, as we say here, ‘he had it coming.’
However, many in the US and even more in Europe positively rubbed their hands bloody with anxiety.  Some Germans, in particular, seemed over-wrought over the whole affair.  Chancellor Angela Merkel was publicly criticized for expression pleasure at the news of Bin Laden’s death.  Her remarks, in minimally Christian Europe, were apparently too un-Christian.
It certainly seems that we are in a peculiar place in Western civilization.  Most of Europe, and much of the American left, has rejected the idea that there is absolute truth.  As part and parcel of that decision, they have also rejected any concept of God.  In so doing, they unwittingly deny themselves any hope of justice, for if there is no God worthy of judging, and if no human has any right to judge, then judgment and justice are lost concepts.
Therefore, were Bin Laden’s actions in orchestrating 9-11 evil?  Is there evil?  Who are we to judge who is evil?  (Other than those who commit crimes against the earth, of course, or against fairness and tolerance.) It’s all quite dizzying to a non-intellectual rural hick like myself.
And if he is ever so slightly evil, how is justice to occur?  After all, every really bright person knows that since there’s no God,  and there’s no life after death, if you ‘get away with it’ in this life, you just get away with it.
How fortunate that there are still a few in the West who are willing to take a bold leap across our great gulf of moral abdication.  Those who believe in some concept of right and wrong, some concept of truth and falsehood.  There are still a few willing to make the hard decisions because they believe in right and wrong, and there are still some willing to do the dirty work of carrying out some kind of justice; to take the risks and pull the triggers to enact it.
And despite the crocodile tears of revisionists and post-moderns, there are still those who think the New Jerusalem is worth defending; and worth avenging.
Some of us in the American South are considered too simple, superstitious or inbred to grasp the enormous subtleties and nuances of the late operation in Pakistan as it is mulled by the brilliant,  tortured minds of the world.  But we can say this: ‘God love you, and bless your hearts, you beautiful, blood-thirsty politicians and special operators.’  Justice, it appears, has been done.  And if all goes as I suspect, it will continue for eternity.

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