For years on Dec. 7, people of various ethnic backgrounds gathered around the lab where I worked and protested against the United States for bombing Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan. They denounced the U.S. for killing innocent people. They waved signs, spread out banners, hollered at passing cars, and made as big of a scene as the police would allow. When several overstepped their bounds, they were arrested but always released within an hour.
Most of us ignored them because they weren't hurting us or delaying our work. This is a country where we can protest all we want to, providing we don't interfere with others' lives. We figured it was their party, and they could cry if they wanted to.
One year, one of my colleagues joined the protest.
"Why didn't you join us?" he asked. "You don't like killing any more than I do."
"George, do you have any idea why we dropped Little Boy and Fat Man?"
"Your reasoning doesn't matter. We shouldn't have done that! Those are stupid names for bombs, anyway."
"Do you think the Japanese Emperor was correct in attacking a nation without declaring war?"
"It doesn't matter. We should not have been barbaric in our response!"
"Do you think killing 2,403 innocent people -- civilians and military personnel who were not at war with them -- was not barbaric? Allow logic to flow through your scientific brain. If they hadn't attacked Pearl Harbor, we wouldn't have retaliated. It's that simple."
I should mention here: Logic doesn't change a person's mind if they have entrenched in their position. That's proven today in Washington, D.C., and in world politics.
Another lab colleague asked me why I remembered or honored Pearl Harbor Day. My simple answer was in two reverse questions: Why do we remember 9-11? Why do we remember or celebrate the Fourth of July?"
He didn't respond.
Citizens of the United States have historically honored freedom. Freedom to worship according to conscience. Freedom of speech. Freedom to protect ourselves. And we fight to set others free. True patriots, and I am one of them, are not afraid to stand up for what is right: For truth. And I also stand up for the right for an opponent, of any kind, to enjoy those same freedoms.
But many people forget a basic factor in freedom. My freedom stops where it interferes with your freedom. The reverse is true. I may offer you my opinions, my writings, but I may NOT force them on you. Again, the reverse is true.
Many U.S. citizens have joined the mentality of Middle-Easterners who feel it's their duty to force their barbaric, illegal, and ungodly beliefs on others. True patriots of the U.S. don't agree.
Back to Pearl Harbor Day.
Why did Japan attack us? The answer explains why they attacked Manchuria, China, and southeast Asia. The answer explains why they took over Mongolia and tried to invade Australia.
The answer? The Japanese believed their gods wanted them to control the world. Pay attention now -- Japan was fighting a religious war. And I need to add: The war in the Middle-East today, which is spreading around the world, is also a religious war. Please remember that.
Why do I observe Pearl Harbor Day? It helps me stay alert to the international dangers we still face today. It helps me stay alert to the dangers we face within our own government. But above all, it reminds me to stay in tune with the Lord, Jesus Christ. True safety, true security, and true freedom are found only in Christ. Political freedoms are guaranteed only if people of high integrity are in government. But freedom in Christ will last throughout eternity.
Having said that, each one of us must think, respond, and react the way we believe the Lord wants us to. Jumping out of my chair, grabbing a rifle, and heading out the door to face the enemy may not be proper for me. Nevertheless, in every situation, I'll pray about what the Lord would have me do; I'll never back down from truth, and from serving Almighty God.
Pearl Harbor stands alongside the Texas Alamo as a memorial for freedom. But the greatest memorial for freedom is Jesus' empty tomb. He didn't have to endure that brutal beating and barbarous death on the cross, but He did it to rescue us from imprisonment in hell. Jesus' death and resurrection secured our freedom for eternity.
--GENE LINZEY IS A TEACHER, AUTHOR AND MENTOR. SEND COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS TO [email protected] VISIT HIS WEBSITE AT WWW.GENELINZEY.COM. THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR.Obits on 12/04/2019