“We thank God that it has come to us, instead of to our enemies; and we pray that He may guide us to use it in His ways and for His purposes.”
“It” is the atomic bomb. The speaker is President Harry Truman.
That a man who had just committed the greatest war crimes in history had the hubris to thank God and ask His guidance in using weapons of mass destruction says something very revealing about “American exceptionalism”. And that there was no huge outcry over this speaks volumes about the state of religion in America. The peace churches protested of course, as did a handful of Catholics, but the overwhelming majority of Americans joined Mr Truman in his thanksgiving. Indeed, they still do, and every anniversary brings, not a huge cry of repentance, but at most debate about whether the circumstances did in fact justify the bombings.
The first atomic bomb fell on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, the feast of the Transfiguration. The crew was blessed by a Catholic priest, Fr George Zabelka, who later repented and spent his life working for peace (and who was my pastor as a child). The pilot was a Catholic. The bomb was tested at the Trinity site. The second bombing, at Nagasaki, targeted the cathedral of this most Catholic city in Japan. Like the Transfiguration of Christ, the bomb brought a blinding light, one that brought, not the life and divine light of Mt Tabor, but death and diabolical energy.
The whole thing reeks of blasphemy of the highest order.
And we have never repented as a nation. We have swallowed the poison of consequentialism, the idea that a good end justifies an otherwise evil act.
We as a nation can have no credibility in condemning terrorism, when we have committed the greatest acts of terror in the history of the world.
And those who call themselves “Christians” and “prolife” can have no credibility until they have renounced our nation’s history of terror.
Lord have mercy.