Japs and A-rabs, Not Fellow Christians

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On August 9th,
1945, two-thirds of Japan’s Catholics were annihilated. Nagasaki’s
historic importance as the center of Japanese Christianity and openness
to the West, one would think, would have spared it from being targeted
by a Western Christian nation. Leaving aside the question of the
unquestionable immorality of targeting a civilian center of population
with a weapon of mass destruction, surely the leadership of an even
nominally Christian and Western country would have realized that
a city with Nagasaki’s legacy would have served as a bridge for
future trade and cultural ties, and thus would have protected it
from destruction at all costs. This was not the case.

On that day
that will live in infamy, at 11:02 AM, history’s second atomic war
crime slaughtered more Japanese Christians than had been martyred
in four centuries of brutal persecution. Fat Man exploded over St.
Mary’s (Urakami) Cathedral, the largest church at the time in the
Far East, where the faithful were gathered to pray. In that House
of God, and in the surrounding neighborhoods, extended families
of Kakure Kirishitan, hidden Christians, who had kept the
Faith in secret for generations over the centuries, were obliterated
from the earth forever, their seed wiped out in an instant.

Even if the
destruction of Hiroshima had been understandable – and it never will
be; even without the peace overtures of the previous months, the
deliberate targeting of civilians is never justifiable under Christian
just war principles – the destruction of Nagasaki was unfathomable.
Father James Gillis, editor of The Catholic World and stalwart
of the Old Right, labeled the bombings of these two cities “the
most powerful blow ever delivered against Christian civilization
and the moral law.”

This “most
powerful blow ever delivered against Christian civilization and
the moral law” was an example of what today’s neocons call “creative
destruction.” (Interesting that Michael Ledeen should have appropriated
and perverted a positive term originally used by Austrian economist
Joseph Schumpeter, but that is a topic for a different essay.) The
fate of Japan’s Catholics, one of Christianity’s younger communities,
was of absolutely no consequence to the war planners in 1945. The
war planners six decades later have shown an equal disregard for
some of Christianity’s oldest communities in Iraq.

Over half of
Iraq’s Chaldeans and Assyrians, ancient Catholic and Orthodox communities,
some of whom speak the same language spoken by Christ, have fled
the country in the wake of chaos generated by the “creative destruction”
unleashed by Mr. Bush’s illegal invasion of 2003. The vast majority
have found refuge in that “Axis of Evil” member Syria, itself high
on the list for neocon “creative destruction.” These Christians
had not found the need to flee during the rgime of Saddam Hussein,
nor during the fourteen centuries of what neocons like to call “Islamo-Fascism.”
Is it any wonder that Christians in Syria were praying for a Hezbollah
victory against American proxy Israel – or is it America that
is Israel’s proxy? – in its war on Lebanon last year?

the Japanese Catholics of Nagasaki, the Iraqi Chaldeans and Assyrians
would have been a natural bridge for trade and cultural ties for
the Christian nations of the West. Instead, our so-called leaders
have again shown themselves to be apostates, and meted out “creative
destruction” upon our brothers. How can we expect our so-called
government to deal humanely with other nations of the world when
it treats its supposed co-religionists as nothing more than inconsequential
Japs and A-rabs?

2, 2007

An American
Catholic son-in-law of Korea, Joshua Snyder [send
him mail
] lives with his wife and two children in Pohang, where
he serves as an assistant visiting professor of English at a science
and technology university. He blogs at The
Western Confucian

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