“On August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb was dropped on a Japanese city. Turning to a group of sailors with him on the battle cruiser Augusta, President Truman said, “This is the greatest thing in history.” Truman, once described as “an outstanding Baptist layman,” was supported by the majority of American Christians, who expressed few misgivings about the bomb. The bomb, however, was the sign of our moral incapacitation, an open admission that we had lost the will and resources to resist vast evil.
The American church had come a long way to stand beside Harry Truman in 1945. Just a few years earlier, in 1937, when Franco’s forces bombed the Spanish town of Guernica, killing many civilians, the civilized world was shocked. That same year, when the Japanese bombed the city of Nanking, the world felt it was now dealing with particularly insidious forces which had little intention of obeying historical prohibitions against killing civilians.
[...] What had begun as the acts of ruthless Fascist dictators had become the accepted practice of democratic nations. Few Christians probably even remember that there was a time when the church was the voice of condemnation for such wantonly acts. [...]
Obliteration bombing of civilian populations had come to be seen as a military necessity. A terrible evil had been defended as a way to a greater good. After the bomb, all sort of moral compromises were easier — nearly two million abortions a year seemed a mere matter of freedom of choice, and the plight of the poor in the world’s richest nation was a matter of economic necessity.
The project, begun at the time of Constantine, to enable Christians to share power without being a problem for the powerful, had reached its most impressive fruition. If Caesar can get Christians there to swallow the “Ultimate Solution,” and Christians here to embrace the bomb, there is no limit to what we will not do for the modern world. Alas, in leaning over to speak to the modern world, we had fallen in. We had lost the theological resources to resist, lost the resources even to see that there was something worth resisting.” (Stanley Hauserwas and William H. Willimon, Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony (Abingdon Press: Nashville, Tennessee), 1989, p. 26-27).
People Don’t Change Unless They Want To.
People don’t change unless they want to. Unless something in their life prompts it. You have to learn to see people for who they really are, right from the get-go. If you don’t like something about someone, or how they’re treating you, don’t expect that they’re going to change just for you. It’s who they are. Expecting any different, only leads to frustration, disappointment and more hurt or disrespect. Not worth it!
There aren’t many things in life that aren’t possible, but one of them is that people who don’t want to change can’t be helped to be changed by us. There are many in our lives that we know that seem to be willingly undertaken by life and its circumstances. We must all learn that though there are those in our lives who we feel aren’t getting everything out of life that they possibly can, and are living nowhere near to where they may potentially be, there is nothing that we can do for these people if they don’t want change within themselves.
The best way for us to help these people is to try to live as an example of what following your heart can do. Though there are many who need help in ways that we can’t help them, we can still help by sending our prayers and positive thoughts their way as much as possible. We must also be willing to let go of those who are inevitably headed towards destruction, because if that is what they desire in their hearts, there is truly nothing that we can do to change them, they must first want change in their own hearts.