I have to say that when the news of the bombs falling on Zarqawi and his spiritual advisor and companions hits the news part of me immediately said “Alllllllright, couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy!”
I’m a product of my culture and he and his compatriots represented evil acts of a kind that civilization simply can’t tolerate (It has been reported that he took more than five minutes to sever one victim’s head). It is true that his being gone will probably make the world a better place.
But then my second thought came, a kind of sorrow over the human condition in general that from among us such a person would spring and also the sense of what awaits him in the eternity to come.
Barring some kind of last minute transformation our Christian world view says that a perpetuity of time in complete brokenness from God awaits the unrepentant. We call it “hell” and the picture images of the Scriptures and Tradition paint a very bleak picture of it. It is not my task to assign final destinies but if such is the state of Zarqawi there is the double pain of betrayal by his belief and facing the consequences of that betrayal. Surely this would be a profoundly horrible thing.
So while his passing into death sadly makes a positive difference inthe world I still mourn, not him, not his terrible acts, but the deep broken state of a world that could produce, and still produces, such people. I pray to God, as well, that I never become such a man myself.