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  #46  
Old Aug 4, '04, 9:36 am
mocmom mocmom is offline
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Default Re: Karl Keating's E-Letter of August 3, 2004

Dear Karl,
We can debate all day and night about the morality of dropping "the" bomb on Japan. Many WWII vets that I know will tell you that while they wish it didn't happen they felt their own lives and those of many Americans were saved by that act. It was seen as the lesser of two evils. Why? The US was attacked by Japan; Japanese aircraft were suicide bombers...which right or wrong enters into the emotion of a choice and Japan did not surrender after Hiroshima was bombed...so what makes you think anembargo would have any or much of an effect. Where is Japan's culpability in all this? They started the Pacific war. They captured and tortured our men. They had no regard for life. And once Hiroshima was bombed Japan knew another bomb would be dropped. Where do you say anything about Japan's immorality? US hands are not spotless but neither is Japan's. And perhaps that is why we call war HELL. mocmom
  #47  
Old Aug 4, '04, 10:14 am
Karl Keating Karl Keating is offline
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Default Re: Karl Keating's E-Letter of August 3, 2004

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcoger
First, we need to come terms with the issue. You are not describing the moral choice as I presented it. The issue is not retaliation. It is preemption. It is not a matter of using the atomic bomb to retaliate for the use of biological weapons. It is a matter of preemptively using the atomic bomb to prevent the use of a potentially even worse weapon, biological warfare.

At the heart of your sense of morality seems to be the proposition that in wartime the military population is more culpable than the civilian population? In Germany, it was the civilian population that brought Hitler to power. Should they not bear the consequences? Are you going to seriously propose that the Japanese war effort could have been mounted without the support of the civilian population? In our own country, could we have as successfully waged war without 'Rosie the riveter.' What is your basis for distinguishing military and civilian culpability? You seem to see civilians as merely innocent bystanders with a childlike quality.
Bob:

Your arguments, and the arguments given by some others on this thread, really bother me. I knew that in writing about Nagasaki I would get opposition, mostly the "my uncle wouldn't be alive if the bomb hadn't been dropped" variety. But I'm disturbed at how far from Catholic moral teaching so many of the comments have been.

That said, let me respond to the points above:

1. It matters not whether it is retaliation or pre-emption. Dropping an atomic bomb on civilians is immoral either way. In fact, the pre-emptive use strikes me as even more heinous, since one wouldn't know for sure whether the enemy really was going to use biological weapons. (If you're going to act pre-emptively, you act against the store of biological weapons, not against civilian populations.)

2. By your argument, Rosie the Riveter was fair game for German and Japanese bullets, just as our troops were fair game. I wonder whether any American living during World War II would have said yes to that. You have erased all distinctions between civilians and soldiers. The Church always has drawn a clear distinction, knowing that civilians likely endorse the military campaigns undertaken by their country. That doesn't make them any less civilians.

I don't wish to single you out, Bob, because you're not the only one making such arguments, but you have made them especially candidly. That's why I'm quoting you. It seems to me that you and others have put your particular conception of country ahead of Church.
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  #48  
Old Aug 4, '04, 10:17 am
Karl Keating Karl Keating is offline
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Default Re: Karl Keating's E-Letter of August 3, 2004

Quote:
Originally Posted by mocmom
Where is Japan's culpability in all this? They started the Pacific war. They captured and tortured our men. They had no regard for life. And once Hiroshima was bombed Japan knew another bomb would be dropped. Where do you say anything about Japan's immorality?
Look at what you're saying: Because Japanese soldiers mistreated and even killed prisoners of war, and because Japan started the war, Japanese civilians deserved to be incinerated. This is frightening moral logic.
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Karl
  #49  
Old Aug 4, '04, 11:15 am
mocmom mocmom is offline
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Default Re: Karl Keating's E-Letter of August 3, 2004

Karl, Morality does not change. However, we are human beings and emotions color our decisions. 60 yrs. ago killing civilians was wrong as it is today. However, decisions in war are colored by emotion....that does NOT make those decisions moral but it does make it more understandable and we must learn from those emotional decisions. No one should be vaporized; the US has not dropped a nuke since then. War is hell and there is enough blame and immorality to go around. You said nothing about Japan committin g immoral acts. I said US was not spotless but neither was Japan. You did not say that. mocmom
  #50  
Old Aug 4, '04, 11:17 am
Elizabeth Elizabeth is offline
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Default Re: Karl Keating's E-Letter of August 3, 2004

QUESTION: What do Al Kresta, Steve Ray, Sister Ann Shields, Ralph Martin, Peter Herbeck, Fr. Pat Egan and Theresa Hofer have in common (apart from being prominent Catholics on Catholic radio of course!)?? They are all members of the Parish of Christ the King in Ann Arbor, MI and as such are pivileged to have as their Parish priest, Fr. Ed Fride. He is a young man in his 'middle years' (as I am truly not sure of his age), and very much of the same 'breed' as Fr. Gonzalez. His adherence to the teachings of the Church and his passion for Jesus stoke the fire in the hearts of the Parishioners, a huge number of whom are young people. They are not turned off by his zeal; rather brought closer to the heart of the Lord and motivated to live their lives all the more openly for Him. I have been attending as a non-Catholic for over a year and it is precisely because of the conservative (with a small 'c') nature of this Parish that I am drawn closer to the catholic Church; wishy-washy I don't want! In the catholic Church I have finally found a church that believes and teaches what Jesus taught. Why would we water this down?? Grace means nothing when sin is no longer a sin. Thankyou Harley-riding Fr. Ed!
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  #51  
Old Aug 4, '04, 11:29 am
White Knight White Knight is offline
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Default Re: Karl Keating's E-Letter of August 3, 2004

I, for one, really enjoyed this particular issue...especially the part about the Catholics in Japan. How terrible that not only were they civilians, but fellow Catholics in Christ. Hopefully our prayers for peace will soon be answered.
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---The White Knight---
"Faith is to believe what you do not see--The reward for this faith is to see what you believe.
  #52  
Old Aug 4, '04, 12:05 pm
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RNRobert RNRobert is offline
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Default Re: Karl Keating's E-Letter of August 3, 2004

Regarding Nagasaki: I read somewhere that the invasion of Okinawa (the last of the war) cost 50,000 US casualties, 100,000 Japanese casualties, and 150,000 civilians (equal to US and Japanese casualties combined). The Japanese islands held some 550,000 well trained troops. If Okinawa was any example, then the invasion of the Japanese hone islands would surely have been very bloody, for combatant and non-combatant alike. It is true that Japan's miltary and economy were ruined. It is also true that the USN and USAAF had complete control of the sea and sky around and over Japan, and that an ever-tightening blockade would have eventually starved the Japanese into submission. However, how many Japanese would have died from starvation and disease before their government surrendered?

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  #53  
Old Aug 4, '04, 12:15 pm
csfontenot csfontenot is offline
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Default Re: Karl Keating's E-Letter of August 3, 2004

My parish is blessed to have a priest that loves us enough to tell us the whole truth of the Catholic faith. He preaches regularly on the Catholic Church's position on birth control, abortion, divorce and remarriage, unnecessary work on Sunday, etc.. The message may be hard, but it is the Truth! I pray that all priest would preach on these truths. We need to hear it. If all we hear is love your neighbor, we become lax on the issues that are hard to follow. The world tends to pull us away from the Truth. We need more priests willing to preach hard Truth.
  #54  
Old Aug 4, '04, 12:39 pm
Micki Micki is offline
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Default Re: Karl Keating's E-Letter of August 3, 2004

Let this be a warning to my liberal pastor--

PRIESTS LIKE FR. GONZALES ARE HEADIN' INTO TOWN!!

Micki
  #55  
Old Aug 4, '04, 1:10 pm
Exalt Exalt is offline
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Default Re: Karl Keating's E-Letter of August 3, 2004

Quote:
QUESTION: What do Al Kresta, Steve Ray, Sister Ann Shields, Ralph Martin, Peter Herbeck, Fr. Pat Egan and Theresa Hofer have in common (apart from being prominent Catholics on Catholic radio of course!)?? They are all members of the Parish of Christ the King in Ann Arbor, MI and as such are pivileged to have as their Parish priest, Fr. Ed Fride. He is a young man in his 'middle years' (as I am truly not sure of his age), and very much of the same 'breed' as Fr. Gonzalez. His adherence to the teachings of the Church and his passion for Jesus stoke the fire in the hearts of the Parishioners, a huge number of whom are young people. They are not turned off by his zeal; rather brought closer to the heart of the Lord and motivated to live their lives all the more openly for Him. I have been attending as a non-Catholic for over a year and it is precisely because of the conservative (with a small 'c') nature of this Parish that I am drawn closer to the catholic Church; wishy-washy I don't want! In the catholic Church I have finally found a church that believes and teaches what Jesus taught. Why would we water this down?? Grace means nothing when sin is no longer a sin. Thankyou Harley-riding Fr. Ed!


That's so true! Excellent post. I checked out the Ann Arbor Christ the King's Parish and I was pleased to find out that they have a LIFE TEEN youth group program. Coincidence..? I think not. Having good liturgy, good youth programs, good adult formation programs, good priests, and good lay ministers all faithful to Church teaching with passion and love reaps conversion and vocations!

Thank you, too, Karl for the great message! Maybe you could arrange to send a priest like that to my parish.
  #56  
Old Aug 4, '04, 1:18 pm
D'Hippolito D'Hippolito is offline
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Thumbs down Re: Karl Keating's E-Letter of August 3, 2004

Mr. Keating, I would like to give you the following quote from Theodore Roosevelt:


"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
You, like Fr. Richard John Neuhaus and so many others, have the audacity to suggest that you would make the "moral" choice had you been faced with the same pressures, decisions and dilemmas that Pres. Truman faced more than 50 years ago. That, sir, is the height of arrogance.

You also have the temerity to suggest on the column
thread on Mark Shea's blog that the survival of some of the posters' loved ones as the direct result of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is irrelevant.
Such cold, soulless, esoteric rationalizations give Catholic moral theology the taint of evil. It's very easy for somebody like you or isolated theologians in Rome to spout platitudes. Neither you nor they make moral decisions based on a reality in which few (if any) perfect moral alternatives exist.
And, as we've unfortunately seen in the clerical abuse crisis, those who hold authority in this Church cannot make moral decisions within the framework of reality.
The same ecclesiastical authorities who tell us that evil must not be used to do good cannot recognize what a good decision is!
All you are doing, Mr. Keating, is hiding your tendencies toward moral equivalence and pacifism behind a Catholic facade.


Last edited by D'Hippolito; Aug 4, '04 at 1:21 pm. Reason: line up paragraphs to make reading easier
  #57  
Old Aug 4, '04, 1:26 pm
Steve O'Brien Steve O'Brien is offline
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Cool Re: Kudos, Karl!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Keating
Bob:

Your arguments, and the arguments given by some others on this thread, really bother me. I knew that in writing about Nagasaki I would get opposition, mostly the "my uncle wouldn't be alive if the bomb hadn't been dropped" variety. But I'm disturbed at how far from Catholic moral teaching so many of the comments have been.

[. . .]

I don't wish to single you out, Bob, because you're not the only one making such arguments, but you have made them especially candidly. That's why I'm quoting you. It seems to me that you and others have put your particular conception of country ahead of Church.
I'm afraid that Karl might be even more upset if he were to poll the "orthodox" Catholics on these forums for their reaction to the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

We should acknowledge the sad fact that "cafeteria Catholicism" exists, not only among left-leaning Catholics on the issues of abortion, contraception, and homosexuality, but also among right-leaning Catholics on issues relating to the Church's teachings on socioeconomic matters, including war and peace. For confirmation of this statement, please see some of the threads on the Politics Forum.

On that forum, please look, too, at the results of the poll seeking to determine how many of the participants have read the Catechism of the Catholic Church from cover to cover. The dismal results of the poll show that many people who regard themselves as serious Catholics have never even read key Magisterial statements of Catholic social doctrine.

One of the crying needs in the Church today is adequate catechesis.

Keep and spread the Faith.
  #58  
Old Aug 4, '04, 1:30 pm
D'Hippolito D'Hippolito is offline
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Thumbs down Re: Karl Keating's E-Letter of August 3, 2004

Mr. Keating, I would like to refer you to two more quotes from Theodore Roosevelt:

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." (1891)
"Criticism is necessary and useful; it is often indispensable; but it can never take the place of action, or be even a poor substitute for it. The function of the mere critic is of very subordinate usefulness. It is the doer of deeds who actually counts in the battle for life, and not the man who looks on and says how the fight ought to be fought, without himself sharing the stress and the danger." (1894)

Last edited by D'Hippolito; Aug 4, '04 at 1:31 pm. Reason: make space between paragraphs
  #59  
Old Aug 4, '04, 1:37 pm
Exalt Exalt is offline
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Default Re: Karl Keating's E-Letter of August 3, 2004

Quote:
Originally Posted by D'Hippolito
Mr. Keating, I would like to give you the following quote from Theodore Roosevelt: "It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who
[...]
All you are doing, Mr. Keating, is hiding your tendencies toward moral equivalence and pacifism behind a Catholic facade.

It's extremely simple. Those two bombs deliberately killed thousands of civilians. To deliberately kill innocent noncombatants is a grave moral evil (read: sin). Therefore, the dropping of these two bombs was a deeply grave sinful action. It was a sinful action that should have been avoided.

I don't see pacificism nor war-mongering in that simple statement, do you? I see clarity from the perspective of catholicism.
  #60  
Old Aug 4, '04, 1:50 pm
D'Hippolito D'Hippolito is offline
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Thumbs down Re: Karl Keating's E-Letter of August 3, 2004

Mr. Keating, perhaps if Catholicism were the bastion of moral clarity that it claims to be, its most authoritative practitioners (including this Pope)...

1. Would be far less feckless and far more forthright in confronting the clerical abuse crisis -- the greatest threat to the Church's moral credibility since the pre-Reformation days, and a moral outrage at least on the level of your reading of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

2. Would be far less willing to give Tariq Aziz -- a sycophant of a brutal tyrant -- the warm reception he received from much of the Vatican establishment while meeting with the Pope.

What would your alternatives be to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Mr. Keating? Launching a land invasion that likely would have taken exponentially more lives?

All of the solutions you offered are divorced from the facts of history at the time. I would like to offer this blog entry from Mark Shea's blog which quotes former Archbishop Hannan of New Orleans:

"Archbishop Philip Hannan (from New Orleans, who was a chaplain in the 82nd Airborne in Europe and nicknamed the "jumping Padre"), who celebrated Mass for American troops AND German POWs has said that he believes Truman's decision to use the A-Bomb was the best decision AT THE TIME."

Your attempt to isolate moral decision making from historical context wins you no respect, sir. Yet, unfortunately, this is a tendency among Catholics.
 

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