A few days ago I felt compelled to read through some of the stories from the survivors of the bombings that took place on Japan during WW2. This led to me reading even more specifically on the bombing that took place on the city of Nagasaki. The result was a gallon of tears and several twitter post about the horrors that took place that day. The horrors that my “Christian Nation” had unleashed on thousands of innocent people; Men, women, and children incinerated in a blink of an eye, literally wiped off the map.
A little research will show you that not only was the war over in terms of Japan’s defeat before the bombing, but also that they were chaotically trying to find a way to surrender honorably. We refused them the chance because we had a point to make. America had to show Japan, Russia, and the rest of the world who was boss and we intended to do so in a big way. The bombings were not our “ace in the hole” to win the war, they were planned from the beginning to be an instrument that would permanently engrave fear into the heart of the nations. During the war the cities of Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Niigata, Kokura, and Kyoto were designated as off-limits to the fire bombings that had burned down more than 60 mostly civilian cities during the first half of 1945. Those five cities were left relatively undamaged so as to serve the greater purpose of being potential targets for America’s official testing of the monster that was birthed from The Manhattan Project.
The actions the American Government are not at all surprising. If history has taught us one thing it has to be that all great(I use that term more condescendingly than not) empires do whatever it takes to ensure they stay on top. We have countless examples; Babylon, Persia, Rome, and Nazi Germany to merely state a few. The bombing of Japan was our way of solidifying our place as the militaristic power house of the world. I can not even begin to explain how conflicted the circumstances of our past as a nation affects me. How am I, a follower of a nonviolent backwoods rabbi named Jesus, supposed to live as a citizen in the very same structure that He spent His life subverting and opposing? I reap the benefits of an Empire that claims Christianity as it’s civil religion, but actually bows down to The Beast. I hear your arguments on just war, the need for military, and our Second Amendment rights. I really do, but I can not get past the fact that our applications and justification for such things end in the untold deaths of thousands while we try and tie a nice little Jesus-Ribbon on top of it. Truth is no matter how we want to package it we can not escape how very Anti-Christ it all is. Still no convinced? Well let’s talk about Nagasaki.
I already stated about how the bombing on Nagasaki was simply about making a point despite having already won the war. Maybe you can still stomach that. Maybe that does not at all make you question about how we are such a great “Christian nation.” Maybe, like I heard this week, that you just see Nagasaki as the all to evident “collateral damage” of war. Well Nagasaki has a history that needs to be told. A history as the most prominent Christian center in all of Japan. From 1600-1850 Christianity was considered capital offense in Japan and anyone who professed Christ became subject to torture and death. Many of those who had committed their lives to the Gospel were even crucified. After decades of intense persecution it seemed that the the Japanese government had made Christianity a thing of the past. However after an offshore island was finally opened up for trade with America in the mid-nineteenth century it was discovered that Japan was home to thousands of baptized Christians who had been living out their faith right under the nose of the Japanese government. This discovery led to another attempt at a purge of the Christian faith that eventually ended after much international pressure and allowed for the Church to crawl out of the catacombs of secret faith for the first time in centuries.
In 1917 St. Mary’s Cathedral was built in Nagasaki and by the time of WW2 was home to 12,000 baptized believers. To say the church was thriving would be an understatement. The Church had endured so much under Japanese persecution and still had yet to falter in spreading the Gospel of Jesus. The Japanese government was no longer a threat to the cause of Christ in Japan, but we were. At 11:02a.m. during morning mass hundreds of congregants at St. Mary’s cathedral were turned to ash. That day 6,000 of the 12,000 member church lost their lives. The total reached 8,500 in the wake of the bombing. What 250 years of intense persecution could not do to the Christian church in Japan, we did in a total of nine seconds. Our “Christian Nation” crippled the Christian faith in Japan in nine-whole-seconds with a bomb dropped from a plane by professing Christian soldiers directly above (you guessed it) St. Mary’s Cathedral. The Church building became the bullseye for the plutonium bomb, named “Fat Man”, because it was the only structure visible through the cloudy sky at 31,000ft up.
A “Christian nation” order a plane full of Christian soldiers to drop a monster on top of the most populated Christian area of Japan to prove to the world that the U.S.A. was not a force to be reckoned with. After all we are “one nation under God” right? I wonder if it was in the God of Jesus Christ that we “trusted” to guide that bomb above St. Mary’s Cathedral, or maybe it was Mars, the God of War? The most Anti-Christ thing a nation can do is to convince Kingdom people that it is their God-given-responsibility to kill in the name of a nation. I hope my point is beginning to become more clear.
EMPIRE & KINGDOM
See, The Empire drops bombs on Nagasaki.
The Kingdom of God rebuilds the ruins.
The Empire throws masses in Auschwitz.
The Kingdom snatches the masses from the fire.
The Empire says “Eye for an Eye.”
The Kingdom of God says “Turn the other cheek.”
The Empire builds walls and creates division.
The Kingdom of God tears down walls and creates unity.
The Empire levels city’s and decimates nations.
The Kingdom of God builds cities and restores nations.
The Empire enslaves people.
The Kingdom of God liberates slaves.
The Empire rejects the foreigner.
The Kingdom of God welcomes them home.
The Empire destroys it’s enemies.
The Kingdom of God forgives it’s enemies.
The Empire achieves “peace” by the sword.
The Kingdom of God achieves Peace by self-giving love.
The Empire builds Babylon.
The Kingdom of God builds The New Jerusalem.
Which one would you say the great ol’ U.S.A. looks more like? I know how I would answer that question, but I am still learning how to live a life that will be a seed in the soil of Babylon. A seed that will eventually see the beauty of New Jerusalem burst to life right here, in America, in the empire. Please do not take my words in this post as disrespect for those that have died for this country. I can not tell you how bad my heart aches for their loss. If opposing war and embracing the Peaceable Kingdom of Jesus is disrespectful then I suppose that is what I am, but in all honesty the only way I know how to truly give reverence to those who have suffered in the face of war is to live a life trying to make sure no one else has to suffer.
So how do we, citizens of the greatest empire the world has ever seen, live in such a way that we see the Kingdom of God burst to life right here, right now?