Sunday, August 9, 2015

Christians in Nagasaki

On the 70th Anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki, I learned something about the presence of Christians there. The article obviously has a strong slant (I'm certainly no master of the ethical dilemmas posed by war). But it's well within tradition of Christianity & the "Christian Nation" question. A taste:
In 1945, the US was regarded as the most Christian nation in the world (that is, if you can label as truly Christian a nation whose churches are proponents of eye-for-an-eye retaliation, are supportive of America’s military and economic exploitation of other nations or otherwise fail to sincerely teach or adhere to the ethics of Jesus as taught in the Sermon on the Mount).

Ironically, prior to the bomb exploding nearly directly over the Urakami Cathedral at 11:02 AM, Nagasaki was the most Christian city in Japan, and the massive cathedral was the largest Christian church in the Orient.


Most Nagasaki Christians did not survive the blast. 6,000 of them died instantly, including all who were at confession that morning. Of the 12,000 church members, 8,500 of them eventually died as a result of the bomb. Many of the others were seriously sickened with a highly lethal entirely new disease: radiation sickness.

Three orders of nuns and a Christian girl’s school nearby disappeared into black smoke or became chunks of charcoal. Tens of thousands of other innocent, non-Christian non-combatants also died instantly, and many more were mortally or incurably wounded. Some of the victim’s progeny are still suffering from the trans-generational malignancies and immune deficiencies caused by the deadly plutonium and other radioactive isotopes produced by the bomb.

And here is one of the most important ironic points of this article: What the Japanese Imperial government could not do in 250 years of persecution (i.e., to destroy Japanese Christianity) American Christians did in mere seconds.


Tom Van Dyke said...

a) The Imperial Japanese government bears the moral guilt for Nagasaki, not the "Christian nation" of the USA

b) The Nagasaki numbers pale next to as many as 30,000 Christians wantonly slaughtered in Japan in the 1600s

c) Due to population growth alone, even the estimated 1-7 million Christians in Japan today are more than there have ever been in Japan

Art Deco said...

But it's well within tradition of Christianity & the "Christian Nation" question.

That's an alt-right crank site. You find churchgoers with an affinity for one or another Baskin-and-Robbins flavours of alt-right discourse, but Christian teachings are not what gets the operators of those sites out of bed in the morning and the function of Christian idiom therein is as a weapon.