This weekend we have tried to call the reader's attention to the two fateful days in August, 1945, in which the United States ushered in the Atomic Age. We have discussed the use of nuclear weapons against the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki here, here, here, here, and here. Now let's step back and get a bigger picture, and apply the lessons to the current "war on terror."
America originally thought of herself as "a City upon a Hill." The metaphor is from Christ's Sermon on the Mount, but America's settlers also thought of themselves as being planted on "the Holy Mountain" mentioned by Micah and other prophets. Every American had a shot at the American Dream, which was living safely under one's own "Vine & Fig Tree."
Evangelism, not imperialism, was the core of America's foreign policy. (Those two links are key; we will not repeat their arguments here.)
The first proposal, on May 15, 1776, that the 13 original American colonies become independent States, was not a proposal that they become atheistic states. The Declaration of Independence was a Theocratic declaration of 13 Christian Theocracies. They formed a union primarily to protect themselves from foreign invasion. Nothing in the Constitution of 1789 was intended to repudiate or overturn America's Theocratic character. In Federalist 45, Madison described the relationship created by the Constitution between the federal government and the states in these famous words:
The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former [powers delegated to the federal government] will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. [emphasis added]
The Foreign Policy given us by our Founders was simple, and one pundit summed it up by saying "Businessmen make the best diplomats." When American businessmen travel to foreign nations, they sell goods and services which increase the standard of living of those nations. If they're honest and don't defraud people, then the world loves Americans.
The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible."
— Washington, Farewell Address (1796) [Washington’s emphasis]
I deem [one of] the essential principles of our government, and consequently [one] which ought to shape its administration,…peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.
— Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801) [our emphasis]
In 1892 the U.S. Supreme Court summed up America's history from "Christ-bearer" Columbus to the present day, by warning an increasingly-secular nation that America was "a Christian nation." That case was overturned early in the 20th century, as we saw in a previous post, and the United States became a secular government that put itself ahead of God.
The dominion-oriented Puritan Calvinism that created America was pretty much dead in the United States by this time. The idea of America as a City upon a Hill, from which the Gospel would go out to every nation on earth, turning the world into a global Christocracy, was also dead.
It is beyond the scope of this humble blog post to write the history of the world from the Holy Trinity decision to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Highlights can illuminate the trends.
In 1910, two Union Oil Co. millionaires began funding the publication of a series of pamphlets entitled "The Fundamentals." The two were rivals of the Rockefellers. A decade later, one would also donate a significant sum to the Northern Baptist Convention, which then pledged that its missionaries would adhere to fundamentalist theology. Gary North reports that
This enraged John D. [Rockefeller], Sr., who had Junior inform every denomination and missionary society that had been receiving Rockefeller funds that there would be no further gifts if their missionaries were forced to espouse fundamentalism. This action, Senior told Junior, was designed "to forestall, if possible, the ill effect that their still treacherous action may have on the final carrying out of our ideas."
These "ideas" came into conflict in the persons of Pearl Buck, Presbyterian missionary to China and J. Gresham Machen, whose excommunication from the Presbyterian Church was front-page news for months in the New York Times.
Gary North's book Crossed Fingers: How the Liberals Captured the Presbyterian Church, could also be subtitled, "How the Liberals Captured U.S. Foreign Policy." Foreign missions and foreign policy were both hijacked by the religion of Secular Humanism. Suffice it to say that Pearl Buck and other liberal missionaries to China and Japan were not interested in "exercising dominion," or helping to create a Christian Republic such as America was. This chapter in particular is helpful in seeing what was not happening in China and Japan. Nobody was planting governments in Japan like the Puritans planted on God's "Holy Mountain" in America.
World War I was perhaps the first great evidence of this secularization of the U.S. The entire nation mobilized -- not for evangelism -- but for militarism. The foreign policy of Washington and Jefferson was scrapped. Not one in 100 Americans in 2009 can give a cogent explanation of why the U.S. entered the Great War. There was nothing Christian about that war, or the treaty that was imposed on Germany, and it paved the way for Hitler and Stalin, as Jim Powell and others have observed.
American Churches, both fundamentalist and liberal, united behind Wilson's War. (North, p. 391f.) From the time of the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) through the "Mukden Incident" (1931) through the "Rape of Nanking" (1937), Japan was ignored by fundamentalist churches, who were preoccupied fighting liberalism at home, while liberals were promoting humanism around the world. Chapter 11 of North's book, entitled "Conflict Over Foreign Missions," describes the meeting between E.H. Harriman and the founder of The New Republic magazine, who eventually became Teddy Roosevelt's U.S. Consul in Mukden, and upon returning to J.P. Morgan headquarters in the U.S., discovered "where the real power lies in this country."
Flashback to Thomas Jefferson: When the young United States was pestered by "native American" terrorists at the time of the signing of the Constitution, the general strategy for dealing with them was to evangelize them, to civilize them, and not to "bomb them back to the stone age." What Japan needed in the decades before the Japanese invasion of China was Christian civilization.
Keep in mind that the reason why Japan was not allowed to surrender before the atomic bombs were dropped, was because Truman held out for "unconditional surrender," which was held over the Emperor's head like a sword of Damocles. Historians, both traditional and revisionist, agree that the Japanese Emperor was worshipped like a god, and Japanese soldiers would fight for the Emperor to the death. Japan's problem was therefore fundamentally a religious problem.
Read that last sentence again. Since when do Christians drop atomic bombs rather than missionaries on those who adhere to a false religion?
Harry Truman frequently talked like the Christian President of a Christian nation. But it was just talk. President Bush had the same kind of rhetoric. But his war on Iraq was far less Christian than the treatment of the "heathen" by Thomas Jefferson. And certainly less Christian than that of James Madison, "Father of the Constitution," who said legislators should vote against any bill if
the policy of the bill is adverse to the diffusion of the light of Christianity. The first wish of those who enjoy this precious gift, ought to be that it may be imparted to the whole race of mankind. Compare the number of those who have as yet received it with the number still remaining under the dominion of false Religions; and how small is the former! Does the policy of the Bill tend to lessen the disproportion? No; it at once discourages those who are strangers to the light of (revelation) from coming into the Region of it; and countenances, by example the nations who continue in darkness, in shutting out those who might convey it to them. Instead of levelling as far as possible, every obstacle to the victorious progress of truth, the Bill with an ignoble and unchristian timidity would circumscribe it, with a wall of defence, against the encroachments of error.
Japan labored under a false religion, similar in many ways to the Emperor worship which 1st-century Christians faced under the Caesars, but 20th-century Christians rereated from the world and left dominion-through-missionaries to the Rockefellers and liberals. Rather than turning the Japanese into American Puritans through missionary outreach, liberals incinerated them with nuclear weapons.
Liberals thought that they could orchestrate world events to bring about a New World Order. They prevented the Japanese from taking over China, but allowed the Communists to take control of China and murder more than 50 million Chinese.
• Why Hiroshima Was Bombed: The 'Utopians' Duped a Nation
• Dropping the Bomb By John F. McManus
• How China Became Communist: to understand why Mao triumphed, it is necessary to look beyond the battlefields in China to the fateful decisions emanating from Yalta and Washington.
Was this a "success" or a "failure" of liberal secularist foreign policy? If the takeover of China by the communists marks a "success" of liberal foreign policy, then it should be obvious that we cannot trust the liberal Establishment. If the "cure" (atomic bombing of Japan and communist takeover of China) was worse than the "disease" (Japanese takeover of China), then liberal foreign policy was a failure, and again, we should not trust the liberal Establishment.
The U.S. federal government failed to orchestrate world events in a way that preserved "Liberty Under God." Too many Christians still put their faith in the federal government.
Rather than dropping the atomic bombs, the United States should have followed original American foreign policy, should have endorsed Calvinist missionary efforts, and should have had "a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence." God can change the heart of the Emperor. Trusting in God is the only path to national security.
The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was truly a worldview issue.
(If you've had a chance to look at the links we've provided this past weekend regarding Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they undoubtedly consumed your entire weekend. Those last five links are next weekend's reading.)