As crowds gather outside the White House to mark the stunning news announced tonight by President Barack Obama that the war criminal Osama bin Laden has been killed by U.S. forces there are fireworks going off in our NE Portland neighborhood. Let us pray together tonight - no matter our place in the world - for peace and reconciliation in the aftermath of years of terror and war.
Tonight the president rightly said that "the US is not – and never will be – at war with Islam…Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims."
That point, also made by President Bush in the days after 9/11, must never be forgotten.
Tonight my prayers are with the victims of that terrible September day and their families. So to I pray for the young men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. They have been at war for far too long and made great sacrifices. My prayers are also with President Obama and his staff. As I said last year on the ninth anniversary of 9/11, I still hope that ultimately good can come from that horrible act of war. As a follower of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, I also pray for my enemies tonight. Let those who embrace violence and terror set down their weapons and seek peace. There is nothing that justifies the acts of terror committed by Al Qaeda.
Let those of us who are people of faith - regardless of our religion - be the ones who lead the way by bringing healing to a hurting world. This is yet another moment where we have the opportunity to seize history and work in interfaith partnership toward that peace all humanity desires but that continues to elude us.