Today marks the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima by the United States government. I have no interest in mincing words today; it was a despicable act of barbarism and a crime against humanity. Harry Truman and anyone else complicit in bringing it about is not a hero but a war criminal.
There is never a good excuse to kill 100,000 innocent people. Yes, I've heard the excuses--it was done to save lives, to end the war, to send a message to the Soviet Union--all of them are pathetic, not to mention historically untenable. Regardless, committing mass slaughter to save an unknown number of soldiers and civilians in a theoretical invasion of Japan is still mass slaughter. Committing mass slaughter to bring about a speedier end to a war is still mass slaughter. Committing mass slaughter to send a message to another country that we could blow them all to Kingdom Come is still mass slaughter. And these justifications fail to consider the real questions, like why exactly Japan needed to be invaded in the first place. They were done.
You see this is what total war does to a society--it excuses murder and turns the world into a giant game of Risk, that can only be won or lost. There is no middle ground, only people who get in the way. We go on and on about how World War II was the "good war," the "necessary war," fought by the "greatest generation" because our enemies did horrific things. The Holocaust, Nanking, Pearl Harbor--these were indeed acts of evil--but they do not excuse the way in which we retaliated. World War II was a scourge, a travesty, a tragedy of epic proportions, and it was capped off by the most irresponsible use of technology in human history, something we can't mindlessly blame on the Nazis or "Japs." World War II was the absolute repudiation of Christian values by everyone involved, and only opened the door for more unjust and brutal wars to be waged since.
You may think of me as unpatriotic, and you are free to think that. But I believe in patriotism, in wanting what is best for my country, in standing up for the founding principles of my country. What I reject is nationalism, a blind love for a political entity. The United States is just that--a state, a government. It is not God. It is prone to tyranny, oppression, and violence as all governments are. So when my government commits acts of heinous aggression, like it did 70 years ago, I will speak out against it with all the strength I have. I will still love my homeland, I will still love the people of my homeland, I will still mourn the deaths of those killed from my homeland (including my Uncle Hancel, who was at Pearl Harbor), but I will not defend acts of evil by my government, whether they be the President who issues the orders or the pilot who drops the bombs.
I will also mourn the deaths of those killed who happened to have the misfortune of living in a country led by an enemy of our government. The horror that must have been experienced by the poor souls in Hiroshima that day, and Nagasaki three days later. Human beings vaporized, incinerated, melted, blown to bits, crushed, gassed...utterly annihilated. Survivors afflicted with massive doses of radiation, burned and maimed. Homes, livelihoods, loved ones lost forever. Worlds of potential instantly turned into dark chasms of hopelessness and despair.
So pardon me for not rallying behind the next threat trumpeted by the warmongers trying to start yet another conflict. I desire for Iran to be nuclear-free as much as the next guy, but it's hard to take the American government seriously in its bid to prevent that when it has produced tens of thousands of nuclear warheads over the years and remains the only entity to ever use them on a populace.
I yearn for a day when we can harken back to the fundamental principles of Christianity, when we can stand up for life and liberty at all times and in all places. May we take this grim anniversary not to celebrate but to reflect and repent, and to strive to follow the Savior when he said, " Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."