During World War II an untold number of non-combatant Germans, Japanese and others were killed when towns and cities in which they lived were leveled by American bombers under a policy set by U.S. President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill. The aim of the policy was to terrorize civilians in enemy countries into refusing to support the efforts of their nations’ armed forces. The intentional slaughter culminated on August 6 and 9, 1945, when nuclear bombs were dropped on the inhabitants of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. Some days later, on August 21, the great Richard Weaver, author of Ideas Have Consequences and much else of importance, wrote in a letter to a friend: “The atomic bomb was a final blow to the code of humanity. I cannot help thinking that we will suffer retribution for this.”
Retribution? From whom? In what form?
Weaver, who died in 1963, lived into the era of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction), the Cold War military doctrine under which the U.S. and USSR kept nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles trained around-the-clock on each other’s territories. Morally, the horror of it was that the U.S. government officially averred that this nation would never be the one to start a nuclear war. This meant that if our radars ever detected Soviet missiles coming over the northern horizon, it would make no sense to retaliate by hitting the bases from which they flew — the missiles were already in the air. So, before they reached our missiles in their silos, we would strike back by launching our nuclear weaponry against Soviet cities and the people in them. It was like a man saying, “If you attack me, I’ll shoot your wife and children.”
If Weaver ever wrote about MAD, I have not seen what he said, but am certain he would view this willingness to expunge human life on a near-astronomical scale as no less deserving of retribution as Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The sinful deed, after all, is willed before it is done, and when the “doing” is nuclear war, there would be nothing — no real length of time — between the willing (the command to launch) and the irretrievable missiles going airborne.
Whatever Weaver thought, considering who Americans were during World War II and still in the earlier years of MAD — a predominately white, mainly Protestant people — I believe the retribution for what was done, and also for what was intended, could now be upon the land. My notion of this is born of a religious truth obscured in our day: Hell is not a punishment inflicted on its inmates by God. The souls that go there choose it — choose to be separated from God for eternity.
They do it by choosing over Him something in this life when choice is still possible, so that’s what they get. To the drunkard, drink becomes so much more important than staying close to God, he can never quench his thirst in this life. He will be thirsty forever. The lecher will have his itch forever. The man who did nothing to control his temper will be angry forever (what a Hell that will be!). The eternal fate of these souls is their own doing. It is a just fate. Except that He is Justice Himself, God has nothing to do with it.
In much the same way, the mainly Protestant whites who dominated America politically and socially in 1945 and who saw too little value in the lives of German and Japanese civilians to spare them, went right on making war on life after 1945. Only, apart from the Soviet non-combatants they intended to kill, those targeted weren’t foreigners.
True, right after the war there was the evanescent phenomenon of the “baby boom,” but as soon as the first postwar suburban subdivisions were filled by the mainly Protestant whites who were the dominant element in U.S. society, the same majority began to “limit” the number of their children so they would have more money sooner to buy bigger houses in newer subdivisions, and two cars instead of one to park out front, and automatic washers and dryers when they came on the market, and then television sets, and on and on. At first this was done by simple techniques of life prevention (a.k.a. birth control), but in the sixties along came the Pill and the more widespread practice of abortion, which was inevitably legalized in 1973. The result: By 2030 the old white majority will be a minority everywhere in the country as they already are in California and elsewhere. Their number will just keep going down after that.
There is another way of putting this: Having seen fit to expunge the life of so many others in the past, the old majority are now drowning in their own blood — that of their offspring whose life they saw no more reason to spare, or allow to come into existence, than that of Germans, Japanese and Russians.
The old majority will take with them into oblivion their history. That is, America will not cease to exist. It will simply be another America. (This in somewhat the way the old majority’s America replaced the America of the Spanish and French who first began to settle the continent.) Plymouth Rock, “the shot heard around the world,” the Gold Rush, wagon trains, Antietam, San Juan Hill, “Over There,” Pearl Harbor — none of it will mean anything to the Mexicans, Guatemalans, Cambodians, Chinese, Indian Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Sikhs, etc., etc., already replacing the remains of the old majority. If this is the retribution foreseen by Weaver, and as I’m suggesting it may well be, it will be as just as a lost soul finding in eternity whatever it was he wanted in this life more than God. And God will not be responsible for it. It will be done by Americans themselves, as Americans used to be known. They will deserve it.
What I’ve been talking about here is irreversible. The demographers all agree. If every non-Hispanic white married couple in the U.S. produced a child nine months from now and another a year later, which they won’t do, they would still be a minority within the lifetime of most persons reading these lines. However, that doesn’t mean all is necessarily lost. After all, God’s mercy, the name by which we have known His love ever since the Fall, is as perfect as His justice. The favor of it should be sought. For what? How?
First, it would be futile and not even fitting to hope the old majority will remain the majority. We’ve just said, that’s not going to happen. However, it is reasonable to hope that old moral, cultural and social standards could be left standing, standards that were European before they were American, and even that they can be raised higher than they have during the past seventy years. Of course, raising them higher — high enough for a new America to coalesce around them — requires holding and fortifying the ground in which they are planted: the One True Faith. I’m talking about evangelization — holding and then capturing ground beyond what is already held. Will God in His mercy grant that the men to do that will stand forth? Why not? In any event, it brings me to how.
As mentioned a few weeks ago in Part I of this article, back in 1969, when I was an editor and writer for the conservative Catholic magazine Triumph, I wrote a series of articles for it on the immorality of Countervalue, as MAD was then known in national-defense literature. Figuring in the series was a U.S. Air Force major named Robert Margetts. He helped man a missile silo out west and had the job of turning the key (one of two that had to be turned; there is no “button”) that would send a missile streaking toward a city somewhere in the Soviet Union. The trouble was he was Catholic and took the teachings of the Faith seriously enough he came to realize he could not perform an action that would result in vaporizing thousands of human beings and incinerating many thousands more. He informed his superiors. There was a trial. He was discharged from the service. Margetts had sacrificed his career for the sake of what he believed.
On the other hand, he would never possibly have to plea, if only at Judgment, that he was “simply following orders.”
I am not writing here in more detail about his case because Margetts has now written a book of his own, Witness for Atonement. He is not a writer. The book is not a literary masterpiece. But he does write from the heart. More to the point, by his sacrifice Robert Margetts earned the right to give witness and to be heard.
He does more than give witness. His book includes an appendix, a form readers can fill out, thereby enrolling themselves as “witnesses for atonement” with no formal obligation except on every December 28, Feast of the Holy Innocents, “by prayer, fasting and Mass attendance we can make atonement to God for all the innocent people we have killed in recent wars and for the millions of children in the womb who have been aborted.” This could be likened to the annual March for Life, except “witnesses” and God are involved instead of marchers and politicians.
Such action, it seems to me, can be a step in obtaining from God’s mercy that there will be men who will ensure that as one nation disappears and another emerges, the newer will be marked not simply with the best and highest of the old, but more deeply infused with it.
Margetts has put up a website, www.witnessforatonement.com, where an extract of his book can be read, the book ordered or downloaded, and more information about “witnesses for atonement” obtained. You can also enroll as a “witness” online without buying Margetts’ book.