CATHEDRAL IN THE BOMB SITES August 10, 2011Posted by wmmbb in Humankind/Planet Earth, Modern History.
In August 1945, the Japanese Government was suing for peace and the war was over, it was claimed, yet the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were subjected to atomic bombs.
Part of the purpose of the bombing was to find out what would happen to the structures and population. Both cities were claimed to be military targets that had been left out of conventional bombing. Nagasaki’s fate was unfortunate. Kokura was the first target but on the day it was covered with cloud, and after circling the aircraft went on to Nagasaki.
Francis Xavier had founded a missionary church in Nagasaki in 1547. Christians had suffered persecution and had been forced underground, but by 1917 they were able to build St Marys Cathedral in the Urakami river district.
Gary G Kohls takes up the story at Consortium News:
It was the largest Christian cathedral in the Orient.
Now it turned out that the massive Urakami Cathedral was one of the few Nagasaki landmarks that could be seen at 31,000 feet, and so the Bock’s Car bombardier, looking through his bomb site, positively identified the doomed city and ordered the drop.
So, at 11:02 am, Aug. 9, 1945, in the middle of morning mass, the Christians of Nagasaki were boiled, evaporated and carbonized in a scorching, radioactive fireball that was several times hotter than the sun. The vibrant center of Japanese Christianity was wiped out. It had become Ground Zero.
And what the Japanese Imperial government could not do in over 250 years of persecution, American Christians had done in nine seconds. Of Nagasaki’s worshipping community of 12,000, a total of 8,500 perished that day. None of those who died were combatants.
The above true story should stimulate discussion among those who claim to be disciples of Jesus.
Dr Kohls sums up:
Jesus, whose ministry was all about the relief of human suffering, taught the principles of nonviolent direct action that Gandhi and King perfected two millennia later: the unconditional nonviolent love of friend and enemy.
I am not sure what evidence there is that the church was used to zoom in as the target, and that might have been the report of the bombardier, although one who think that fact would be suppressed by the War Department, as were the color films of the effects of the bombing. It remains an extraordinary story.
Amy Goodman on Democracy Now interviews Greg Mitchell:
Greg Mitchell’s written account is published at Common Dreams and confirms the bomb was exploded over the Cathedral, more than a mile off target