Dorothy Day on Hiroshima, Aug 6, 1945
Mr. Truman was jubilant. President Truman. True man; what a strange name, come to think of it. We refer to Jesus Christ as true God and true Man. Truman is a true man of his time in that he was jubilant. He was not a son of God, brother of Christ, brother of the Japanese, jubilating as he did. He went from table to table on the cruiser which was bringing him home from the Big Three conference, telling the great news; "jubilant" the newspapers said. Jubilate Deo. We have killed 318,000 Japanese.
That is, we hope we have killed them, the Associated Press, on page one, column one of the Herald Tribune says. The effect is hoped for, not known. It is to be hoped they are vaporized, our Japanese brothers, scattered, men, women and babies, to the four winds, over the seven seas. Perhaps we will breathe their dust into our nostrils, feel them in the fog of New York on our faces, feel them in the rain on the hills of Eaton.
Jubilate Deo. President Truman was jubilant. We have created. We have created destruction. We have created a new element, called Pluto. Nature had nothing to do with it.
The papers list the scientists (the murderers) who are credited with perfecting this new weapon. Scientists, army officers, great universities, and captains of industry — all are given credit lines in the press for their work of preparing the bomb — and other bombs, the President assures us, are in production now.
Everyone says, "I wonder what the Pope thinks of it?" How everyone turns to the Vatican for judgment, even though they do not seem to listen to the voice there! But our Lord Himself has already pronounced judgment on the atomic bomb.
When James and John (John the beloved) wished to call down fire from heaven on their enemies, Jesus said:
"You know not of what spirit you are. The Son of Man came not to destroy souls but to save." He said also, "What you do unto the least of these my brethren, you do unto me."
(Houston Catholic Worker, Vol. XXV, No. 5, July-August 2005. Reprinted from The Catholic Worker, September 1945)
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