Grace and Peace to you.
The spirit of Osama bin Laden is alive and well, among his followers who wish destruction and shout and wave guns and banners at us, and among his enemies, who wish destruction and shout and wave guns and flags at them. When in a fit of humanness we wish ill of terrorists, we become them. When we rejoice in their death, we join them in dividing the world. We project our fear and anger onto others. We think evil thoughts.
Fear is the root of all evil. More fear, even the fear of evil, even fear disguised as anger at evil, will not change things. According to scripture, it is only love that casts out fear.
The trouble with evil thoughts is not that they are bad for us, but that we are so mean to them. Like evil people, we judge them and despise them (that is, we fear them) and try to get rid of them. We think evil of them! But we are not responsible for the thoughts that leap into our minds. Nor do we have to identify with them and feed them. Just let them come and go. We can lovingly respect even our evil thoughts, as members of the heavenly host of our imaginations. In fact, our evil thoughts balance out our pious thoughts and maintain the ecosystem of our psyches. Evil thoughts are the flies and maggots of the mind. They’re disgusting, but they keep it clean.
Rather than being ashamed of our evil thoughts and trying to suppress them (which is a way of feeding them, focusing on them and remaining attached to them) we can accept them, confess them, surrender them to God, let go and move on. It’s not thinking evil, but letting go of evil, that sets us apart from terrorists.