President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivers “Day of Infamy” speech, 8 Dec 1941
I received an email that Herb Vierra, one of the board members of Legacy Foundation in Thailand (that oversees Legacy Institute, the school) has been released from the hospital. He was admitted with a bad case of pneumonia. He is not completely out of the woods yet, so continued prayers for him would be appreciated.
Losing Our History?
Yesterday, December 7, 1941–a date which will live in infamy–the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
The United States was at peace with that Nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American Island of Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack….
~ www.ourdocuments.gov, “Transcript of Joint Address to Congress Leading to a Declaration of War Against Japan (1941)
It seems that we Americans are very absent-minded and tend to forget history very easily. Of course, the problem with forgetting history is that we also forget the lessons we should learn from it. It also is a true-ism that it is hard to know where you are going when you don’t even know where you have come from. Both of those reasons are why the re-writing of history by so many is appalling.
Yet, when I scanned Yahoo! News this morning, I saw one reference to Pearl Harbor. Even then, I had to specifically click on “U.S.” to see even that much.
I think there is something telling when the news carries more stories about Hiroshima and Nagasaki than about Pearl Harbor, which was the event that propelled us into war to begin with. Have we truly become so self-loathing as a nation?
A lot of the news is about Nelson Mandela passing away, of course. I cannot say that is what is crowding out news about Pearl Harbor Day, however, when the third item on the list is a Dear Abby entry about a “girl’s excessive weight”.
Of course, the death of any leader is worthwhile news, and especially one that has impacted so many. In many ways, Mandela was an unlikely leader. Not only was he jailed, but he gained some notoriety just before his arrest for beginning to advocate violence in pursuit of their cause. So, at one end of history you could say he was no Martin Luther King, Jr.
Having said that, Mandela’s ending was quite extraordinary and very much in line with MLK advocated. His most redeeming virtue, and I believe the source of his strength, was his willingness to forgive in spite of persecution. Many would have chosen instead to become bitter in heart and spirit, but Mandela instead chose to forgive.
This is the type of forgiveness that Jesus spoke of, isn’t it? He said to forgiven while praying. He didn’t say to ask forgiveness only if the offender repented. Who are we to judge repentance, anyhow?
The Bible talks about only one unpardonable (unforgivable) sin, and that is the rejection of the work of the Holy Spirit. Once the Holy Spirit opens one’s mind, there is no turning back. However, the vast majority of humankind has never had this happen yet.
30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
~ Ac 17:30
Some people have made much of “winked at” above, but the simple answer is usually the right answer. God has overlooked the sins of the ignorant, and implied in that statement is that He will not overlook the sins of the willful, spiteful and disobedient. Most of mankind is ignorant, and that is because calling them now would lead to catastrophe. We must trust God to call everyone at the right time and in the right moment, and we must further trust that people will respond at the right time and in the right moment.