Thursday, May 19, 2005

Reversion to savagery

The rejection of Catholicism, and especially the rejection of Christianity, causes a people to revert back to the most base savagery. In war, the deliberate targeting of civilians is accepted, even praised, as ending wars with fewer lives lost. Numbers are all that matter. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are accompanied by comments that the Japanese ought to be thankful that they didn't get what they deserved. What did they deserve? Why, the total destruction of their race. And yet we denounce Hitler and the Nazis for attempting to commit just such an act of genocide. Looking further back in history we find the genocidal attacks on the Native Americans perpetuated by the Protestant settlers. To be fair, Spanish and Portuguese Catholics were often no better, but their failings were exactly that: Failings. The Church strongly condemned atrocities and slavery (indeed, Queen Isabella I of Spain supported the colonization efforts for the conversion of the Native Americans and rejected all slavery). But with the Protestant settlements in what would become the United States, atrocities were the rule. These atrocities continued until there were no more Indians left, around the beginning of the 20th century.

During the Civil War, Gen. Sherman deliberately destroyed several Confederate cities and devestated the land, purposefully targeting civilians. This is hailed as military genius by our modern society. But how is it military genius to attack those who are simply trying to live their lives as best they can? While there is no moral problem with attacking factories producing war material or logistic lines like railroads, Gen. Sherman didn't restrict his army to what was just, but attacked everything. This wasn't even necessary for the war to be won, and it was not the March to the Sea that won the war, but rather the destruction of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Total war was then taken to its extreme following the rise of airpower. The entire purpose of air forces until the development of the blitzkreig (and resulting shift to tactical air power) was the murder of as many civilians of the enemy country as possible, using chemical and conventional weaponry. During the Second World War, when the Allied air forces would firebomb cities, they would do so in a manner that deliberately trapped firefighters in the center of the inferno, to prevent any attempt at putting out the flames. The firebombing of Tokyo targeted an area that was 85% residential. The leaders of these campaigns deliberately attempted to make war as cruel was possible, for the utopian dream of a "war to end all wars."

During the Cold War, our entire system of deterrence was based upon the threat to murder millions of Soviet citizens if they ever crossed into Western Germany.

All of that was while we still claimed to be Christian. Now, in a "Post-Christian" age, we slaughter thousands of babies a day, calling it freedom. We are about to engage in the cannibalism of infants, tearing them apart to try and heal ourselves, even though adult stem cell research has worked better in every test. And yet we still perpetuate the American myth that we are a nation set aside, a people without sin.

We need a few asteroid impacts to cure us of 200 years of ingrown arrogance.


At 6:24 PM, Blogger Chad said...

Gee, Paul, dontcha think asteroids are going a bit too far?


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