A Cautious Man
August 04, 2005
 
"For It Means Destruction Of Innocent Lives"
Something to ponder regarding wars past and present, from the U.S. Catholic Bishops -
At this time of remembrance, we solemnly recall the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These bombings, like other acts of total war in that conflict, brought indiscriminate destruction and death to civilians and soldiers alike. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are permanent reminders to the entire human family of the grave consequences of total war.

No matter how noble the ends of a war may be, they cannot justify employing means or weapons that fail to discriminate between noncombatants and combatants. As the Second Vatican Council declared, “Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation.” (Gaudium et Spes, no. 80)

In our day, the threat of global nuclear war may have receded, only to be replaced by the prospect of nuclear terrorism. Terrorist attacks on innocent civilians are a crime against God and humanity and merit the same unequivocal condemnation of all acts that fail to discriminate between combatants and noncombatants
(Found via Bill Cork's Tischreden)

[Edited on August 9, to add the following] Just one detail from a news item about the 60th Anniversay Commemoration today in Nagasaki -
Tuesday’s remembrances began just after sunrise, hundreds of Catholics joined in a special Mass at Urakami Cathedral, which at the time of the bombing was the largest in Asia with 12,000 parishioners — 8,500 of whom are believed to have been killed.

When the cloudy sky lit up in a sudden flash at 11:02 a.m. in 1945, two priests were hearing confessions inside the cathedral and 30 faithful were inside. Everyone in the church died and the statues around them turned black because of the intense heat.
I'm not pointing this out because I think it was worse to drop the bomb on Catholics in church. But, maybe a detail such as that helps to remind people that the victims of that bombing (no matter what their race or religion) were really not so different from ourselves. They got up in the morning, and went to work, to school, or to church, and in the ordinary details their lives would have been similar to an American's.

In a war, there is a tendency to view the enemy as the "Other", as someone who is not like us. It happened in World War II (so much so that American citizens of Japanese origin were herded into camps), and it happens today in the War on Terror (or whatever its called). Listen to some of the characters on the Fox Bigotry Channel if you need further proof.

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