Tuesday, August 15, 2017

One War Ended 72 Years Ago; Is Another War about to Start?

It was 72 years ago today (on Aug. 15, 1945) that the Japanese Emperor made the announcement that brought World War II to an end. Two years ago (see this link) I wrote about that (and a few other matters) in an article titled “The Significance of August 15.” But now the looming question is this: is another war in East Asia about to begin?
The President’s Frightening Statement
Just a week ago (on Aug. 8) DJT publicly declared that if North Korea makes any more threats to the United States, “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
And then as if once wasn’t enough, he reiterated, “He [Kim Jong-un] has been very threatening beyond a normal state, and as I said, they will be met with fire and fury, and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”
The next day, NoKo (as some people are now calling North Korea) announced that (non-nuclear) missiles may be fired to within 18 to 25 miles from Guam by this week (mid-August).
Then on Aug. 10 DJT told reporters, “If anything, maybe that statement [about "fire and fury"] wasn’t tough enough."
Frightening words from the head of the nation with the world’s largest nuclear arsenal!
The President’s fear-provoking statement was made two days after Hiroshima Day and the day before Nagasaki Day, the somber days on which the death and destruction caused by the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945 is remembered.
So what does DJT possibly mean by threatening “fire and fury . . . the likes of which this world has never seen before”?
Even before DJT’s Aug. 8 statement, the Aug. 5-11 issue of The Economist had this provocative image on its cover: 
The Religious Support for War
On August 8, the same day DJT made his inflammatory statement, Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church, Dallas, made this supportive statement to the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN).
Jeffress said (in part): “In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong-Un.”
This prominent pastor went on to assert, “When President Trump draws a red line, he will not erase it, move it, or back away from it. Thank God for a President who is serious about protecting our country.”
 (Click here for the full statement Jeffress made to CBN’s “The Brody File.”)
It can be safely assumed that a large percentage of the evangelical Christians who voted for DJT agree with Jeffress—although, thankfully, some do not (for example, see here).
The Religious Opposition to War
In stark contrast, the World Council of Churches (WCC; see the third paragraph of this 8/9 statement) along with many other moderate/liberal church groups and individual Christians came out in strong opposition to the President’s statement.
While Jeffress based his support of DJT’s bellicosity on Romans 13, the WCC (in another statement) stressed Romans 14:10: “Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”
Then two days ago Fox News published “North Korea nuclear acceleration prompts church intervention,” an article largely about the Catholic Church's opposition to war with North Korea.
Individual Christian leaders have also made strong statements in opposition to the Jeffress’s reckless rhetoric. Here is just one example, an Aug. 8 tweet by UCC minister and university chaplain Chuck Currie:
You promote a dangerous theology of war that goes against Prince of Peace who preached just peace. I see nothing Christian in your remarks.
Truly, on this commemorative day marking the end of WWII, let us staunchly oppose war and war talk, actively pursuing what makes for peace.


13 comments:

  1. According to this morning's "Political Bulletin":

    The Los Angeles Times reports North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has “decided not to launch missiles toward Guam, Pyongyang’s state media reported Tuesday, easing the immediate threat of an attack.” The North Korean statement, however, warned that Kim could change his mind “if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions,” in which case the country’s artillerymen would “wring the windpipes of the Yankees and point daggers at their necks.” The Times says announcement appeared shortly after Defense Secretary Mattis warned that an attack could quickly escalate to war, “although it’s unclear if the developments were linked.”

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  2. As usual, Thinking Friend Eric Dollard in Chicago shares significant comments:

    "Thanks, Leroy, for your comments about the crisis with North Korea.

    "The situation with North Korea is difficult enough, but bellicose rhetoric only makes matters worse. Verbal threats by Mr. Kim should be ignored, at least publicly. In other words, Mr. Trump needs to keep his mouth shut and his Twitter account silent. Mr. Kim may be a monster, but he is not crazy and he knows that if he initiates a war, it will be the end of his regime.

    "The U.S. and China (and other east Asian nations) need to work out a security framework for east Asia, a framework that would lead to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and, hopefully, its gradual demilitarization as well. Anti-China rhetoric is not helpful either.

    "But if North Korea cannot be persuaded to give up its nuclear program, then the U S will need to consider ways to manage the situation without war. Any preemptive attack on North Korea would probably result in the deaths of thousands, or even millions, of people. Do we really want to go there?"

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  3. I think China`s assurance to the United States that they would NOT back North Korea if they attacked us and we responded and attached them, changed Kim`s mind-at least for Now.
    I feel we, as Christians, should be following JESUS in this area and talk Peace and Not war.
    Jesus is in control and if we are True Believers we should live by Faith, as our Bible instructs us.
    The Old Testament showed us what happened to Israel when they didn`t follow GOD and the Protections&Blessings they received when they did followed Him.
    We should put this and other situations in our LORD`s hands and follow His directions and Not those of our own in All situations to show we are His True followers.
    This is my two cents worth!
    Blessings to All,
    John(Tim) Carr

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    1. Thanks, John Tim, for your thoughtful comments.

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  4. Strange the freedom with which Christians leaders can support war? You can't follow the Prince of Peace fly in the face of His nature. Appreciate your presentations.
    Of course it is easy for you to remember the August 15 date in light of another significant happening on that day! Happy birthday,
    Les

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  5. Thinking Friend Michael Olmsted in Springfield, Mo., has given me permission to post his significant comments here:

    "From the beginning of our last national election it was very clear that DJT had no understanding of what it means to be a follower of Christ. His entire life has been marked by self gratification, both personally as well as in his business dealings. His responses to racist groups and his bullying echoes of the North Korean madman clearly portray this man's inability to understand consequences for his words or actions.

    "Democracy allows room for such tragedy, but the consequences fall on all of us. As Christians first and as citizens of a democracy ... we carry the responsibility to speak and vote for justice today and in the future. Without God's mercy and grace we have no hope. In the example of Jesus there is a future."

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    1. Thanks for your powerful comments, Michael!

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  6. Trump continues to do what is the unthinkable and the most reprehensible to so many of us.TX for your careful attention to the unbelievable worsening of an already very bad situation. Raise our voices. Encourage churches to pray for peace--and practice peaceful living.

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    1. Thanks for your pertinent comments, Larry!

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  7. Thinking Friend Graham Hales in Mississippi has recently sent me the following comments:

    "I so agree with this blog. Accidental war is so very possible with this president. We live in a world in which all could change forever in a few seconds if a nuclear bomb was dropped by either side.

    However, I sense in my circles almost no fear that this will happen and a few who hope it will to 'wipe out' North Korea as a threat with no awareness of what this would mean to S. Korea, Japan or the USA."

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  8. LeRoy ... it grieves me when I have good Christian friends post they are so happy we now have a man of God back in the WH... ugh.. -Gar

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