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Tommy De Seno: Mets Win. Pope Beatified. Bin Laden Dead.


Culture and symbolism. These two words are inextricably tied to September 11, 2001.  Osama bin Laden hated our culture so he attacked our symbols. 

Judging by recent events in Islamic Middle East, our culture is thriving and his is waning.

On the day we found out that bin Laden was killed by us, it is worth looking at what occurred this day in our culture.

Baseball.  The importance of frivolity. Success of a nation can be judged by the joyful pastimes of its citizenry, for only a nation that has successfully handled human needs can turn its attention to human leisure.

Two baseball games come to mind in the fall of 2001.  I was in attendance when President Bush threw out the first pitch at the Yankee's World Series game against the Arizona Diamondbacks:

However another game always comes to mind first. The first sporting event played in New York City after the September 11 attacks was on September 21, 2001. It was the Mets vs their rivals, the Atlanta Braves.  We were longing to resume our culture, and baseball assumed the symbolism of our American aesthetic. That night didn't feel like the usual Mets/Braves rivalry, but there was an unspoken hope that Providence would smile upon New York with a Mets victory.

Down 2 to 1 in the bottom of the 8th inning, Mets catcher Mike Piazza stepped to the plate and blasted a 2-1 homer that allowed for the Mets 3-2 victory.  It is one of the most memorable home runs in baseball history, and goosebump worthy to watch a decade later:

So what happened today in baseball as we learned of bin Laden's death?  New York fans swithced frantically between news channels and ESPN's airing of Mets v Phillies.  As news of bin Laden's death spread through cell phones, the crowd began chanting USA! USA! USA!  It dripped with American patriotism.  Persevering through 14 innings, the Mets won 2-1.

More importantly, the Blessed John Paul II was beatified today.  He was not only a holy man, but an important political figure who was a heroic player in the fall of communism.

The beatification of John Paul II makes for an interesting backdrop to the death of bin Laden.  Religious freedom is celebrated while religious persecution is strafed. 

The President said in his speech about bin Laden's death:  "The United States is not now and never will be at war with Islam."   But a large swath of Islam is at war with us.  

The President also made clear that America's war on terror is not about religion.  True for us but not for the man who started the war.  Bin Laden's hatred for our liberal political culture and modernity was rooted in his view of radical Islam and its fascist view that non-believers be killed.

While the President has often made clear his Dhimmi view that America is not a Christian nation, he can't deny that Americans are 78.5% Christian.

So there is a beautiful irony that on a day when a religious oppressor such as bin Laden was killed by the United States, multitudes of Chrisitans in the United States celebrated the beatification of a man dedicated to religious freedom and justice, the Blessed John Paul II.

Today we see a new example of Schadenfreude:  From his window in hell, bin Laden was forced to watch a hedonic  New York victory in sport and a Christian celebration in America. 

Our culture is thriving.  Bin Laden's life was for nothing.

The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.


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