Seventy-five years ago, the Enola Gay, piloted by Paul Tibbets, dropped the atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima, Japan. In a little-known story, Mitsuo Fuchida, who led the attack on Pearl Harbor, met Christ through the ministry of an American missionary, Paul Deshazer. Deshazer helped Fuchida go on to become an evangelist who touched many for Christ, leading to a 1959 meeting with Paul Tibbets.
During that meeting, Fuchida told Tibbets, "You did the right thing. You know the Japanese attitude at that time, how fanatic they were; they'd die for the emperor ... Every man, woman and child would have resisted that invasion with sticks and stones if necessary ... Can you imagine what a slaughter it would be to invade Japan? It would have been terrible. The Japanese people know more about that than the American public will ever know."
Most people are unaware that the war had become so entrenched and the Japanese military so determined to continue the combat that when the American bombers flew over Japan, and when the word of Hiroshima and Nagasaki reached the people, they literally danced in the streets. They mourned for those who had to suffer but also realized there was no way Japanese military would stop the war. If the conflict had extended to the main island of Japan, between 3 and 6 million would have perished.
Another important but little-known fact is that before any major bombing the United States military would drop leaflets—70 million total, equal to the population of the country at the time—encouraging the Japanese people that the world was behind them, explaining that sadly there was no way to stop the war except bombing military targets and amazingly gave the time and areas of the bombing, asking the people to leave the area.
"For it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil" (Rom. 13:4, NASB).
Prior to the beginning of the war in Iraq, the same thing happened, with the people so desperate to rid themselves of the dictator Saddaam Hussein that they welcomed the bombing of the Americans. The situation was so bad that rumors began to spread in Baghdad of massive suicides; people could not longer endure the evil that they were living under.
Again, in 2011, after the terrible tsunami disaster, a stunned Japanese evacuee told the amazing story of how the American military ran 24-hour rescue operations by helicopter off the coast of Japan. The Americans rescued those who had been forgotten by their own country, taking them to safety and then urging them never to tell anyone of their valiant efforts, not wishing to embarrass a nation that once again refused to care for its people and had left them to die.
The 75th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima is an opportunity to reflect on the goodness of God working through Americans.
Following World War II, General Douglas McArthur asked for 1 million Bibles and 10,000 missionaries to come to Japan. Today, 6.2% of the people there are Christians, and the country has the largest number of missionaries in the world. Japan has now joined America in leading the world for good.
Charisma Media founder and CEO Stephen Strang, author of the new book God, Trump and Covid-19, says, "I love America, and I want God's blessing for all Americans. This reminds us of the famous words attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville: "America is great because she is good, and if she ever ceases to be good, she will no longer be great."
Truly, when called to do so, America responds with love, compassion and firmness, a legacy that will be on the line in a mere 89 days.
Amir George is the author of Liberating Iraq and directs The World Helpline at theworldhelpline.org.
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