Blog Archive

Monday, May 23, 2016

Bombing Christians ... Was it Okay Because They Were Japanese?

I don't want Obama running around the world apologizing for things. But, there you go. He's already apologized, bowed, scraped, on a global scale.

Now he's gone to Vietnam (and used the visit to lift a ban on the sale of weapons to that communist country) and will be traveling next to Japan.

Of course, the trip has made headlines for weeks as Obama's plans in Japan include a visit to Hiroshima. No other sitting president of the United States has visited the site of the first war-time, military use of an atomic weapon. There are many who are repulsed by the idea that Obama might apologize for the action authorized by America's only nuclear madman president, Harry Truman.

Maybe you think he should apologize? Those two bombings -- Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- targeted Japanese sites that did have military components, but, at the same time, those bombs were vastly destructive of civilian communities. At the time, and now, one might well argue that such targeting violated international treaties and covenants on the targeting of civilian populations.

Maybe you think he should not apologize? Those two bombings averted the need for a ground war in Japan, with the potential cost in military and civilian lives of an estimate of a million or more.

I'm going to ask your toleration of the following.

My dad fought in the Pacific Theater of WWII. He also fought in the Korean Conflict. He also served in the Vietnam Conflict. He was a "maverick." He started as an enlisted man. He ended as a full bird Colonel. After WWII, he graduated from law school, attended OCS and was commissioned as a Marine officer. He later became a Staff Judge Advocate, then a member of the intermediate Navy-Marine Court of Review, and finally, the senior judge of the Navy-Marine Corps' Piedmont District.

In our home, growing up, Pops didn't talk to me, or around me, about his wartime experiences with battle, with engaging the enemy. At most, he would talk about his interaction with Samoans when he was stationed there, and with generous host families on New Zealand, where he and other Marines took R & R during WWII. But, no, he didn't talk about engagement with the enemy. In my whole life, he never talked about shooting and killing a Japanese sniper in the south Pacific. After he died, I learned that he carried with him and kept for the rest of his life, three photographs that he took from the body of that dead sniper. But he never talked of it to us kids.

There was what seemed at the time to be the amusing anecdote that we would all recognize now as PTSD. He and Mother walking in downtown, I think Albuquerque, after he returned from the Korean Conflict. A car backfired loudly. Mother looked around and Pops was gone. When the explosive backfire occurred, he did what every sensible Marine did and hit the deck. Big laughs. Ha Ha Ha. Except, of course, now we understand how terribly damaging to the psyche war is, even if one counts themselves a fortunate survivor or even a victor.

As he approached second retirement -- he spent nearly two decades teaching police officers and other law enforcement personnel of the Commonwealth of Kentucky about the Constitution, criminal law, criminal procedure, and related topics at the Kentucky Police Academy -- he spent some time writing out some of his experiences in war, but still those recollections were mainly focused on the non-combat, non-lethal, sometimes amusing side of things.

He did write one letter, though. I've mentioned it on here before. As I understand the letter, he sent it only to his five sons, Paul Henderson, Dave Henderson, Joe Henderson, Tom Henderson, and me, Jim Henderson. He expressed regrets about choices he made in life, particularly once there was a family and children to be affected by how he pursued his military career. 

He also gave us each a book. That book embodied objective information about the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. It was written by a Catholic physician who, until he also succumbed to leukemia likely the result of exposure to radiation from the Nagasaki bombing, worked to heal, help, and soothe those whose lives were savaged by that bombing.

Until I read the book and then further studied the bombing of Nagasaki, I had never really considered the most peculiarly unChristian nature of that particular bombing.

Francis Xavier is largely considered responsible for Christianity's first rise in Japan. He planted churches there, and before the persecutions of the Church and the declaration of being a Christian constituting a Capital crime, Christianity flourished in Japan and eventually, before persecution, the Catholic Christian population of Japan number in the millions.

With persecution, the numbers of Christians dwindled. 

There were pockets of Christianity that remained and persevered despite persecution. One of those communities flourished in Nagasaki. At the time of the bombing of Nagasaki, the baptized community of the Nagasaki cathedral exceeded 12,000.

There they were. Twelve thousand who followed Christ, and if faithful, did not worship the Emperor. Twelve thousand that, if properly catechized abhorred war-making and the idea of racial superiority so endemic in Japanese culture.

Yet, on the day of the bombing, those Christians, brothers and sisters of yours and mine in Christ, were set to fire like matches, reduced to ashes, or, were horribly disfigured and endowed with the ticking time bombs of massive radiation exposure. How did that come to be?

Let me step forward to today.

In the American evangelical community, there are a lot of popular concepts about "persecution." If Walmart changes its seasonal decorations and verbiage to "holiday" themes rather than "Christmas" ones, it's the war on Christmas. Ditto for the cancellation of public school Christmas pageants, etc. These, of course, have nothing to do with true persecution.

On the other hand, there are evidences of real persecution in America. When a person is targeted by the government of their State or their Nation because their religious beliefs compel them to refrain from certain behaviors, and the State or federal government coerces them to choose between surrendering their conscience or their liberties (including their economic liberties), that is, at least, the camel's nose of persecution under the tent flap.

During this present administration, it is becoming easier and easier for evangelicals to connect with the idea of persecution. As the definition of marriage has been changed by the Supreme Court in the Obergefell decision, as the definition of good health insurance has been changed by Obamacare to include the provision of mandatory provision of coverage for contraceptives, including those known to cause abortions rather than prevent conception, evangelicals are recognizing that there has arisen in this Nation "a king that knew not Joseph." [Exodus 1:8 "Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph"]

In a nation that, by history and common acclaim, "is a Christian nation," suddenly accepted notions of life and conduct are disputed. And stubborn adherence to those notions, more and more, has attached to it the risk of losing the right to participate in the economy, and the risk of losing life savings and the like. In fact, well-informed evangelicals who have followed the rapid progress of an agenda quite at odds with Christian teachings, and of the greater and greater frequency of conflict with that agenda, might reasonably conclude that what has actually happened is that American Christianity has been targeted by progressives due to the risks that a vigorous Christianity presents to progressive social agendas.

Now, such targeting might be viewed as the product of overly paranoid Christians. In fact, the Bill Mahers of the info- and edu-tainment set insist that is all that it is.

Not so the death and destruction of the Christian community of Nagasaki.

When the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, the bombardier used the steeple of the Nagasaki Catholic cathedral as his target. The airburst of that atomic bomb occurred over the heart of surviving Japanese Christianity. In its aftermath, it is estimated that the bomb caused the immediate death of 6,000 of Nagasaki's baptized Christians. Thousands more died, with the passage of time, and the ravages of either blast injuries or radiation exposure. "A Song for Nagasaki" recounts that Catholic physician's experience with the blast, and with the brief lifetime of care given to survivors.

Now, Obama will be visiting Hiroshima, not Nagasaki. He will not see the 1000 cherry trees planted on the hillside near the Nagasaki blast site, planted by the author of A Song for Nagasaki. Nor will he meditate on how an American military force, at the command of a Democrat President, waged war in a blinding blast, against Christianity in Japan, in the name of ending conflict with Japan. Of course, were he to meditate on the moment when Democrat Truman unleashed fiery hell from above on Christianity, I think he might, quite likely, allow himself a brief smile and entertain his own foul wish.

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Congressional Rebuke To Obama's Bathroom Madness

I've spent a fair portion of time from Friday to now thinking about the Administration's "Dear Colleague" letter to American public school districts. Frankly, the departure from existing law and interpretation of law is not unexpected. Still, it is stunning, abrupt, and without justification in the relevant statutes (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Title IX of the Education Amendments). Hoping for impeachment? Really? With a dead ambassador and you were lied to about the cause and Congress has done NOTHING to discipline the administration for the lies or for its failure to secure the Ambassador when security was needed? Of course, the involved government officers should be impeached and removed from office, but who are we kidding. The Republicans lack the stomach for a fight. The Republicans are all about meaningless gestures. So, I spent some time tonight assisting them with yet another meaningless gesture. I drafted a Joint Resolution of Congress disapproving the "Dear Colleague" letter. Here it is:
2D Session
 H.J. Res ___
Providing for congressional disapproval of the interpretation given to the statutory term “sex,” as that term, “sex,” it appears in Title 42 USC § 2000e-2 and Title 20 USC § 1681, as that interpretation is evidenced in certain guidance and a letter distributed to American public school districts by the United States Departments of Justice and Education on May 13, 2016. 
MAY 16, 2016
Providing for congressional disapproval of the interpretation given to the statutory term “sex,” as that term, “sex,” it appears in Title 42 USC § 2000e-2 and Title 20 USC § 1681, as that interpretation is evidenced in certain guidance and a letter distributed to American public school districts by the United States Departments of Justice and Education on May 13, 2016. 
Whereas, on May 13, 2016, the Attorney General of the United States, by Vanita Gupta, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, and the Secretary of the Department of Education, by Catherine E. Lhamon, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, jointly provided a “Dear Colleague” letter to every public school district in the United States of America; and, 
Whereas, in the “Dear Colleague” letter, certain “guidance and best practices” were proffered by the Department of Justice and the Department of Education, related to the federal civil rights laws of the United States, including Title 42 USC § 2000e-2 and Title 20 USC § 1681; and, 
Whereas, the “guidance and best practices” provided in said letter depend on interpretations of the statutory language of Title 42 USC § 2000e-2 and Title 20 USC § 1681, in particular the statutory term, “sex,” as that term appears in each statute; and,  
Whereas, the interpretation adopted by Vanita Gupta, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights of the Department of Justice, and by Catherine E. Lhamon, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights of the Department of Education changes the meaning of the term “sex” from that intended by Congress in its enactment of the statutes and abruptly departs from the meaning of the term “sex” as interpreted by the Departments of Justice and Education under every previous administration preceding the current one, and lacks justification in the language of the statutes and the legislative history of the statutes; and, 
Whereas, the “Dear Colleague” letter raises the specter of disruption to school order and discipline, interferes with matters wholly within the purview of State and local educational authorities, contradicts and changes the meaning of congressionally derived terms, therefore be it 
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
That Congress disapproves the interpretation given to the statutory term “sex,” as that term, “sex,” appears in Title 42 USC § 2000e-2 and Title 20 USC § 1681, as that interpretation is evidenced in certain guidance and a letter distributed to American public school districts by the United States Departments of Justice and Education on May 13, 2016; and be it further
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 
That the interpretation given to the statutory term “sex,” as that term appears in Title 42 USC § 2000e-2 and Title 20 USC § 1681 shall have no force or effect.
************************************************** Now, that Joint Resolution could pass the House and the Senate in short order, even within a week. But, of course, a Representative would have to gather support, introduce it, and carry it through to completion. Even approved, it would die a death on the President's desk. It would then return to the House and the Senate for consideration of an override of a veto. Still, given this sort of activity is all one can count on the Republican leadership to offer, I wanted to put something out there for their consideration. If you think the House and Senate should sternly reprove the President, the Department of Justice and the Department of Education, maybe you should pass this along to others, and to your elected Representatives.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The "Woman" "Fathers" a Son ... A Testicular Conundrum

The Obama administration's Friday letter -- from the Departments of Justice and Education to school districts around the Nation -- posits constructions of two anti-discrimination statutes, and on the basis of those constructions directs school districts that they must allow individuals to use toileting and showering facilities based on their self-perceived gender identity, rather than limiting access to such facilities based on sex.

Proponents of such actions appeal yet again to the struggle of African Americans for basic civil rights. That appeal should fall flat just as the unfounded interpretations of federal statutes by this administration do fall flat.

Race has been understood to be an immutable characteristic.

I suppose adventures, such as the social experimentation in "Black Like Me" are suggestive of a chameleon like quality to race, but the daily application of pancake or black face to change one's "race" suggests more the immutable character of race.

Sex, likewise, has been understood to be an immutable characteristic. It continues to be such. And, in fact, the transgender kerfuffle doesn't change that.

Take a child, growing up in a boy's body, that "feels" like she is a girl. Give her loving parents that accept this construct of her personality and support her long term goal of transitioning to life AS A WOMAN. The right hormone suppressive drugs are administered. She wears clothing that, in her construct of the feminine, accords with her image of the female. Eventually, at some advanced age, say, 24-25, she has modification surgery often called reassignment surgery. Because the doctors asked politely, she allowed her testes to be donated to science.

She now thinks of herself as a woman. She may, to some greater or lesser extent, resemble a woman.

Is she a woman?

Unbeknownst to her, her doctors transmit her testes to a reproductive research facility. They are part of a research protocol to develop donor testes for survivors of testicular cancer. Ultimately, "her" testes end up in the sack of a guy that thinks he's a guy. A successful transplant, "his" testes from "her" begin producing spermatozoa. He impregnates his wife. The wife gives birth to a son.

Was our misfortunate child a woman?

Does the genetics of it all escape you?

You think that Republicans are all over the bathroom issue? Why is it lost on you that this brouhaha began when the City of Charlotte amended its ordinances, added "gender identity" to its city antidiscrimination laws, and stripped away from private businesses the previous legal protection they had from discrimination.

I should the hell hope that Republicans are all over OVERTURNING the inane stupidities of progressive social engineers run amok.

And, no, Eisenhower was not demanding that a black kid that thought he was a white kid be treated like a white kid would be treated because, as this new movement seems to demand, Eisenhower insisted that the black/white boy's self-conception must be respected.

What Eisenhower, and the law, demand is that we recognize that treating governments treating people differently based on racial classifications violate the color blind Constitution.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

How Many Abortionists Does it Take to Play Catch with a Dead Child?

Among the slogans used by pro-life advocates, there is one that has particular relevance on this Mother’s Day. “Having an abortion doesn’t make you not a mother it makes you the mother of a dead child.” My goal isn’t to make you feel bad today, I just want to take a look back at how far we’ve come as a culture with respect to abortion.

34 years ago, my brother Dave Henderson and I were sued by two abortionists and the business where they worked. The case was Crist versus Henderson. In the era before Operation Rescue clinic blockades, we were something of an anomaly, conducting prayer vigils and picketing on public sidewalks spaces outside of an abortion business. We didn’t block doors. We didn’t trespass. We didn’t block driveways to keep cars from entering the business. We just prayed. We just marched with signs.

Even then, the right to engage in First Amendment free-speech was subjected to restrictions such as requirements to obtain a permit for demonstrations. While such restrictions are, in the view of First Amendment absolutists like me, always unconstitutional, we complied with the requirement and filled out dozens of permit applications over a two-year period. 

Unbeknownst to us, a police officer with the city police department was a niece of one of the abortionists. She made copies of our permit applications and provided them to her uncle. Her uncle contacted local attorneys here in Jacksonville North Carolina, and those attorneys instituted a defamation lawsuit against my brother and me on the ground that are referring to abortion as murder defamed them as murderers. The lawsuit sought $200,000 in damages and a permanent injunction against our picketing activity at the clinic.

While the outcome is not the point of the story let me just say that we were represented first by the North Carolina chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and later by a new legal organization known as the Rutherford Institute. The Rutherford Institute one a motion on our behalf for summary judgment. That victory was based on the court’s conclusion that the First Amendment protected our right to communicate our message about abortion. I’m thinking about that case today, however, because it is a sign of how things have changed over time.

Back then, in depositions of the abortionists, our attorneys from the Rutherford Institute found that these abortionists were familiar with the common, dehumanizing tactic of referring to a child within its mother by such to simulations as “gobbets of meat,” “products of conception,” and “conceptus.” Terms like these were common then as they are now because they disguise a reality which when recognized is too shocking for the normal mind to stand. That reality is that what an abortion does is kill a living human being.

That same abortionist once declined an invitation from our local community college to participate in a discussion and debate on the issue of abortion in which I would represent the pro-life view unless I agreed not to use photographic images of aborted babies as part of my presentation. Again, an obvious reason for doing so is to disguise a reality which the conscientious mind has difficulty accepting.

34 years later things are much different. Abortion advocates do not feel that the sacred right of abortion is much at risk when the reality of what it does is understood. Enough time has passed, enough conscience has been seared, enough exaltation of individual right has been established so that the capacity for sorrow and shame and horror approach nil.

For nearly 3 millennia in Western culture, the archetypes and mythology of ancient Greece have played against the conscience of the Western mind. Out of those archetypes and mythology two stories are particularly relevant.

Abortion isn’t new to this era. Where abortion was unavailable, infanticide was common, particularly in cultures not influenced by Judeo-Christian values. A common practice in Greek city states, known as exposure, involved parents of affected children babies being placed out of the cities on the sides of hills exposed to the weather and animals and allowed to die. Today, of course we know about the search and destroy methodology of abortionists who target, for example, babies with Down’s syndrome while still in the womb. Then, such sophisticated diagnostics were unavailable and a malformed baby would likely find itself exposed on a distant hillside. The story of one child left exposed on a hillside is told in a trio of plays by Sophocles. I refer here to the place of Oedipus

As you will recall, a prophecy was given to the parents of Oedipus that the child, not yet born, would kill its father and marry its mother. Patricide and incest wrapped in flash. Of course his parents place them on a hillside when he was born in hopes that he would die from exposure. As a side note, of course there is in the act of exposure at least that modicum of mercy which says to the gods will leave this child exposed on the hillside, you’ll decide whether he’s killed by animals dies in the heat of the cold or is spared by some intervention at your hand. In the case of Oedipus, he was found and rescued and raised rather than dying. Of course, ultimately, Oedipus does exactly as the prophecy says kills his father, marries his mother, father’s daughters and sons, and blinds himself when he discovers that he is that most loathsome creature about whom the long-ago prophecy foretold.

After the fall of Oedipus, rebellion arose in his house. A faction led by one son rose in rebellion against a faction led by another son. Both of Oedipus's sons were killed. Oedipus’s brother, Creon, was made king. Creon ordered that the one son be buried with honors for his role in defending the city. At the same time, he ordered that the other brother be left, his carcass exposed to the sun and to carrion fowl. In the Greek mind, being left exposed to the sun and carrion fowl, being denied burial, was a denial of humanity, and an obstruction to the afterlife.

In Antigone, Sophocles tells the story of Antigone, rejecting the king’s command, granting even handfuls of dirt for burial to her brother. It is a story in which Antigone recognizes the humanity of her shamed brother and demands for him a decent burial.

(If you did not read Antigone in school, I think you can still connect to the basic notion if you are a fan of the walking dead. As you recall, virtually every member of the faithful band was provided an honorable burial, while the walking dead enemies and strangers were left exposed on the ground. Those dozens of individual acts of burial of family and friends recognize the essential humanity of, and connection to, those lives.)

Another Greek myth tells the story of Tantalus.

Tantalus, like many of the chief figures of Greek mythology, was the son of Zeus. Granted a rare honor Tantalus was allowed to dine at the table of the Olympian gods but stole ambrosia from their table. Later, to appease the gods, he invited them to dine at his table. Whether he thought it was an honor, as some suggest, to do so, or whether he was testing the gods, Tantalus offered the body of his son for the gods to dine upon.

One of the gods, Demeter, consumed a portion of Pelops’ shoulder. The other gods immediately recognized, however, the blasphemy committed against them by Tantalus in offering human flesh to the gods. Zeus ordered Pelops restored to life and the missing portion of his shoulder was replaced by one made of ivory by Hephaestus.

In his afterlife, for punishment, Tantalus was required to stand immobile in a lake of freshwater that reeks to about his knees. Where he stood in the lake, he was just beneath the boughs of trees bearing fruit. To his eternal torment, however, each time he reached to scoop some of the cool water to slake his thirst the water receded away from him. Compounding the torment, each time he reached to satisfy his hunger to take a piece of fruit from the boughs above them, the branches pulled upward and away keeping the fruit tantalizingly out of reach. This was his eternal torment for blaspheming the gods and abusing the human corpse.

Tantalus abused a human corpse to tempt the gods. Creon blasphemed the God’s by prohibiting the burial of Antigone’s brother. In both cases the transgression was to fail to recognize the humanity of another.

William Brennan, professor of social work at St. Louis University, has researched and written extensively on the psychology of the Holocaust. In his work, he has demonstrated that Germans did not leap to the murderous rampage of Birkenau, Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, and other work and death camps. Rather those atrocities occurred at the long end of a trail of denial of humanity degradation of the humanity of another and then ultimately attacks on humanity. If you have not read Brennan’s work it is certainly worth reviewing.

The basics of the psychology make a lot of sense if you think about it. Few people could live with themselves if they believed and thought that they were murderers. So Jews become Unter mentioned, blacks become knickers, Asians become slopes, whites become honkies. We dehumanize then we kill.

I know these are dark thoughts on Mother’s Day.

Imagine discovering that the staff at local veterinary clinic was playing catch with the dead puppy that you had brought in.

Imagine discovering that the staff at the local mortuary was playing catch with the dead relative that you brought in.

There is a deep disorder in the mind which results from denial of humanity of the unborn child. To throw in aborted baby’s body back and forth in a game of catch tells us how far we have come from the days when abortionists use terms like conceptus, products of conception, or gobbet of meat to cover up the murder of children.

“You’ve come a long way, baby, to get where you’ve got to today.” That was the Virginia Slims theme when the cigarette for women was introduced nearly 50 years ago.

Well, as a Nation we have come a long way, a long way toward the inhumanity that turned a blind eye to Holocaust, to slavery, to the Trail of Tears. And part of that long journey is marked by the change from abortionists that use weasel words to hide child murder to abortionists that play catch with dead children.