Nagasaki and Hiroshima – We Will Never Forge

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Children light lanterns at this year’s 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings

One of the greatest tragedies of the World War II was committed by the Allies who bombed rural districts in Nagasaki and Hiroshima.  I have repeatedly condemned these actions and have been disgusted by some of the excuses I’ve gotten from some people.  To this day I believe there were so many alternatives to persuading Japan to surrender, but not by attacking its civilians.

Saint John Paul II wrote that all acts “directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants” are “a crime against God and man” which require our condemnation [1].  It is amazing how this comes out just days after I was falsely accused of being a “neo-fascist” who endorses the bombing of entire cities.  How utterly and completely stupid, not to mention groundless, such an accusation was.  It was all in order to discredit me on my criticisms of Planned Parenthood and abortion.

Our thoughts and prayers are for Japan.  We pray as we should for people all around the world for various purposes, but especially for their salvation, as Saint Paul said, “I urge all petitions, thanksgivings and prayers be offered for everyone” [2] and to give thanks “in all circumstances” [3].  This is because God desires all to be saved and come to knowledge of the truth [4].

Nagasaki and Hiroshima remind us that we should always be mindful of what is just and unjust even when we have a reason to go to war.  Unarmed civilians should never be attacked even if it is for the purpose of persuading the enemy to let down their arms.  This is the kind of act the aggressor would commit.  To two major proponents of the just war doctrine, Saints Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, emphasized how the state must go into war with the role of the peacemaker, having peace in mind as the goal, not political or financial gain, and especially not for revenge.  The former said, “[E]ven in waging war, cherish the spirit of the peacemaker, that, by conquering those whom you attack, you may lead them back to the advantages of peace” [5].

[1] Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2314

[2] 1 Timothy 2:1

[3] 1 Thessalonians 5:18

[4] 1 Timothy 2:4

[5] Saint Augustine of Hippo. Letter 139.

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