Amongst the more thoughtful people, this quotation "went viral" -
"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that" - Martin Luther KingInterestingly, whilst the second half - from "Returning hate for hate..." - is a quotation from MLK - possibly one he used on several occasions (I found it on the internet in a sermon from 1957, and a speech in 1963) - the first half is made up by somebody else. Whether the two parts of the quotation were erroneously joined or somebody deliberately tried to pass off a new line as his is unclear - see here for a little more discussion on this. Here is how it ought to be more correctly:
I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.Conspiracy theories are an inevitable consequence of a connected age - but then, now I mention it, they always abounded. Perhaps they just spread faster now. In much the same way that the Roman/Jewish authorities could have dealt with the rumours of Jesus' resurrection by producing his body, the credibility of the US government would be destroyed if Bin Laden were to appear alive or if his body could be shown to be somewhere else. The parallels and contrasts are interesting. In the case of Jesus, the assertion of the disciples was that he was risen, and their behaviour reflected that - something stopped them cowering in upper rooms as they had been immediately after Jesus' execution. It should have been in the power of the authorities to scotch this rumour, but they didn't. In the case of Bin Laden, the assertion of the conspiracy theorists is that he isn't dead. The authorities claim to have available evidence to refute this, although they haven't released it. In support of the proposition that he is dead, they claim to have eyewitnesses, and other circumstantial evidence (the content of Bin Laden's computer), and events are likely to take place which follow from him being dead. The stakes are incredibly high, and the US government knows this - the damage that would be done to them and indeed the credibility of the United States as a whole if they were shown to be wrong in this regard would be immeasurable. With all this at stake, the incentives for anybody to even produce evidence of a body somewhere other than where the US government says, let alone Bin Laden appearing live on the scene, are probably as large as the reward that the government offered. But absent any evidence that Bin Laden is still alive, the conspiracy theories will continue to look as though they are based on "blind faith", rather than any evidence.
"Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.