American Atrocities

 [For a printer-friendly PDF version of this article, click HERE]

Most political conservatives in the United States would like us to believe that America was founded by Christians, that it is the most moral country that ever existed, and that it has had the moral high ground in all the wars in which it has engaged. The truth is that America, like every other nation, has been and continues to be a fundamentally immoral nation. America is not blessed by God, and God is not on the side of America, because God has never blessed or been on the side of any particular nation after Old Testament Israel. The founding fathers of the United States were not Christians by any stretch. A Christian is not to be "proud to be an American" (or proud of anything, in fact) and is to pledge no allegiance to anything or anyone but God Almighty.

Atrocities abound throughout the history of the United States. The slaughter of the American Indians and the enslavement, brutalization, and oppression of Africans are two salient examples. There never has and never will exist moral justification for these heinous acts, which were blatant transgressions of God's Law.

The American government has repeatedly required its military to violate God's commandment, "You shall not murder" (Exodus 20:13). Let us look at a few specific examples.

On December 7, 1941, men in the Japanese military committed murder against men in the American military at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Hatred against those of Japanese descent increased. The commander of the Pacific forces, Admiral William F. Halsey, said to a press conference in 1944, "The only good Jap is a Jap who's been dead six months." He added, "When we get to Tokyo ... we'll have a little celebration where Tokyo was." Halsey's motto was, "Kill Japs, kill Japs, kill more Japs!"

The American military began firebombing cities in Japan, including Tokyo, in February of 1945. Firebombing was a tactic in which clusters of incendiary bombs created a firestorm in which the air above the bombed area became extremely hot and rose rapidly, while cold air rushed in from ground level, creating vortices in which the victims were literally sucked into the fire. In the firebombing of Dresden, Germany (in which the U.S. military took part), a woman witnessed a baby being sucked out of her mother's arms and into the fire.

The firebombings were obviously intended to wipe out significant parts of the civilian population in a city and to create terror. Tokyo was a particularly susceptible target because the city was made almost totally of wood. The fires were so hot that the clothing on individuals was actually ignited by the heat as they were running away. Many of the women were wearing turbans around their heads, and the heat ignited the turbans, totally consuming the heads of the women.

But there were some cities that were spared from firebombing - for a treacherous reason. Secretary of War Henry Stimson wrote the following regarding his conversation with President Harry Truman on June 6, 1945: "... I was a little fearful that before we could get ready, the Air Force might have Japan so thoroughly bombed out that the new weapon would not have a fair background to show its strength. He [President Truman] laughed and said he understood." This "new weapon" was the atomic bomb. Some cities were left unbombed in order to be potential experiments to determine how devastating the atomic bomb would be.

The Target Committee at Los Alamos chose Hiroshima to be the first target because of its large size, because the surrounding hills would have a "focusing effect," and because it had at least some military presence in order to justify the bombing (it had a supply and logistics base). Obviously, the military was intentionally targeting civilians; the Target Committee admitted the importance of the "psychological" (i.e., terror) effects.

On August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, instantly killing an estimated 70,000 people. Subsequent death from radiation poisoning, injuries, and necrosis brought the total deaths up to an estimated 140,000.

On August 9, 1945, it was planned that the second bomb be dropped on Kokura; however, because of cloudiness over Kokura, the secondary target of Nagasaki was chosen. The bombing of Nagasaki instantly killed an estimated 70,000 people. It is estimated that another 10,000 people later died of radiation poisoning, injuries, and necrosis.

On September 2, 1945, Japan formally surrendered.

Eight years before the first atomic bomb was dropped (and 7.5 years before the first firebombing), the U.S. State Department issued a statement condemning Japanese bombing of civilian targets in China, arguing that "any general bombing of an extensive area wherein there resides a large population engaged in peaceful pursuits is unwarranted and contrary to principles of law and of humanity." Almost a year later, the State Department issued a similar statement condemning as "barbarous" the "ruthless bombing of unfortified localities with the resultant slaughter of civilian populations, and in particular of women and children." The hypocrisy is evident.

President Truman, the United States military, and most citizens of the United States were of the view that the bombings were justified because they hastened the end of the war, thus possibly saving a million or more American lives.

When any Christian thinks about this justification for killing over 200,000 people, he will see the horrible implications of this kind of immoral reasoning. It is the "numbers game"; i.e., it is okay to kill a certain amount of people (most of whom were non-combatants) in order that a larger number of people would be saved. This is "greater good," "ends justify the means," moral relativism at its worst. Is it okay to kill one person to save the lives of two people? ("Person" is not a person who is about to kill you or is threatening to kill you; it is the average person on the street who has no intention of harming or killing you.) Is it okay to kill ten people to save the lives of 100 people? Is it okay to kill 10,000 people to save the lives of 100,000 people? (And in the case of the atom bomb, we cannot be sure that a certain amount would be saved; the justification of the killing of hundreds of thousands of people is based on the possibility that a million or more people would have been saved.)

With this kind of reasoning, one can justify the murder of unborn babies in order to "harvest" the stem cells in order that millions of lives might be saved. The lives of millions of people with Parkinson's and diabetes and cancer will possibly be saved by the stem cells of unborn babies. The killing of a couple hundred thousand unborn babies could possibly save millions of lives.

Consider this scenario: Suppose there is a person who needs a heart transplant, another who needs a kidney transplant, and another who needs a liver transplant. Why not take a person off the street and shoot him, then take his organs and use them to save the lives of the three people? You have killed one to save three. That is the numbers game. And it is utterly repugnant.

But bombs are such long-distance killing. Let us bring it down to face-to-face killing. Using the numbers rationale for the slaughter of men, women, boys, and girls in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, one would then have to defend the following: What if U.S. soldiers invaded Hiroshima and rounded up the civilian population, then the soldiers picked out all the young boys, 10 and younger, lined them up, and began systematically shooting them, one by one, in the head, until the government of Japan surrendered. Suppose Japan then surrenders because it cannot take any more killing. Those who would use the "numbers game" to justify the bombings must also justify this heinous act, because, after all, this ended the war, and hundreds of thousands of people were possibly saved by just the shooting of a few thousand (or even a few hundred) boys. Any such thing could be justified, including systematic rape, systematic killing of families in gas chambers, or whatever, as long as more people are saved.

But the immorality of the American government and military did not stop in World War II. We have a war going on right now that was begun on the blatantly immoral doctrine of preemption. Preemption is attacking another country before the other country has attacked your country (for whatever reason - usually to get rid of "potential" or "eventual" threats). The justification for this immorality is "self-defense," although it is a perversion of the notion of true self-defense (defending yourself when someone is trying to attack you). America invaded a sovereign country (Iraq) and overthrew its government when that country did not attack the United States. The "weapons of mass destruction" excuse was used first (which still does not justify preemption, since they never used these "weapons" to attack us). The war was then named "Operation Iraqi Freedom," implying that the purpose of the war was to free the Iraqis from a dictator. However, if that was their purpose, why have they not invaded any other country that is ruled by a dictator? The hypocrisy is evident.

Because Iraq was invaded based on an immoral doctrine, then when any U.S. soldier killed anyone as part of this invasion, it was murder. American soldiers are guilty of murder, as are all who have commanded them, all the way up to President Bush.

I have not even begun to go into the culture of the military, which is blatantly immoral. It is a culture of sex and violence. From the pervasive use of prostitution and pornography to the intentional massacres of civilians that come with every single war, it is clear that the military is a den of iniquity. The culture of death and killing (even for enjoyment) and sexual immorality is disgusting to every Christian.

May we look at what America has done and is doing through the clear lens of God's Word rather than through the perverted lens of the flag-waving "support our troops" conservative talk shows and "God bless America" churchianity.