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above: Atomic cloud over Hiroshima [Image by: George R. Caron, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons, cropped and resized] 

Polemics & Exchanges

November 2020 Polemics: His Thoughts Are Not Ours

I was rather taken aback by Fr. Brian W. Harrison’s letter in the September issue of Chronicles (Polemics & Exchanges: “Evil That Good May Come”). He could not have been more mistaken. Fr. Harrison asserts that the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan was unnecessary because the Japanese were effectively defeated and were ready to surrender, given a few small concessions on the part of the United States. He further states that the attack was intrinsically evil and morally unjustifiable due to the massive death toll of Japanese noncombatants.

We don’t know and can’t know if the bombs were unnecessary. As the four articles published in Chronicles (“The Bomb” August 2020) prove, there are various and conflicting opinions on the subject. God alone knows if we were right in what we did.

Regarding God, I will remind Fr. Harrison that it was God who commanded the Israelites to slaughter, en masse, the Caananites in the land he had promised them. And Scripture says that Christ (therefore God) is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The God of the New Testament is the God of the Old. Therefore it cannot be said unequivocally that the atomic bombing of Japan deserves God’s condemnation.

Scripture also tells us that we should not rely on our own understanding, but in all our ways we should acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths. Can we, with certainty,...

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