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Iona College President Discusses Morality Of Celebrating The Death Of Osama Bin Laden

NEW ROCHELLE, NY (WCBS 880) - Since Osama Bin Laden's death, many have resorted to celebration - even dancing in the streets and chanting "U.S.A. U.S.A."

But celebrating a death goes against many religious beliefs.

WCBS 880's Catherine Cioffi On The Tough Topic


Iona College president Brother James Liguori says celebration in this case, though, is almost understandable.

"This has been pent up energy, sadness, anger, frustration for almost ten years," he tells WCBS 880 reporter Catherine Cioffi.

But he does say that it conflicts with morality, though, "On the moral side, I don't know necessarily whether we should be jumping for joy. On the side of justice, that is certainly talked about in the scriptures constantly, I would suspect a little exuberance is understandable at this time," he says.

"I don't fault them in the sense that we've had no good news on this subject for almost ten years and we finally got what people perceived to be good news," he also says. "People were responding the way people respond always when they receive what they perceive to be good news that someone who did them in has been brought to justice."

But he would rather have people focus on the positive in this country.

"This should be a moment of gratitude and patriotism, not in any triumphalistic way, but simply a way of saying that we are a people who believe in freedom," he says. "I think we should be focusing on our gratitude as a nation for our perseverance."

He adds that we should also focus on being grateful for our troops.

This debate has been raging on Facebook, where a quote, alleging to be from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been making the rounds. It turns out that only part of the quote came from King, but The Atlantic reported that it appeared that there was no malice involved in the compilation of the quote.

Do you think it is right to celebrate the death of a human being, even Osama Bin Laden? Share your comments below.


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