kcdad (kcdad) wrote,

No one should rejoice at the death or defeat of a human being.

Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, & let not your heart be glad when he stumbles (Proverbs 24:17)

In Martin Luther King Jr.'s book, Strength to Love, he recorded some of his sermons given at his baptist Church. This quote "No one should rejoice at he death or defeat of a human being" comes from Chapter 5, Loving Your Enemies, based upon Matthew 5:43-45

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

This sentiment was reworded and published on the internet as a direct quote :"I Mourn The Loss Of Thousands Of Precious Lives, But I Will Not Rejoice In The Death Of One, Not Even An Enemy."
in reference to the reported death of Osama Bin Laden. Much was made of this quote and it went "viral" with people supporting and attacking it.... arguing over the source of it, and not its meaning.

The statement purported to be from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. can not be verified as to have come from him, but the similarity int he sentiment is obvious. The "TRUTH" of the statement is obvious.
"No one should rejoice at he death or defeat of a human being." (page 79, Strength of Love)

Perhaps it is naive, and Pollyanna-ish, but the death or defeat of an enemy ends the possibility of that enemy ever becoming a friend or ally. It is, at the foundation of it's truth the problem with much of human interaction, from arguments to discussions of religion and politics to organized sports. We want to DESTROY our enemies, not win them over. We want to annihilate our enemies, not come to some understanding or middle ground where we can coexist.

By destroying our enemies, by eliminating them, we are the only ones left standing and by default it makes us RIGHT. That is our desire... not to discover truth or justice, but to be right.

Love your enemies. Listen to them. Understand them. Walk a mile in their shoes. Love them enough, and you will no longer have any enemies.

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