Global Missiology English, Vol 3, No 14 (2017)

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75th Anniversary of December 7, 1941

Pearl Harbor: Did We Learn Anything? Yes!

9/11: Did We Learn Anything? Not So Much.


Anonymous ONE


Published in April 2017






I wrote this on the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. As I thought about the struggle that followed, and compared it to what we face today, some things became clear. I wrote them in the attached paper.


My hope is that we all realize that Arabs, Persians, Somalis, and all other Muslims are not our enemy. Our enemy is the doctrines that have first enslaved them, and then caused them to attack others. As it says in Ephesians 6, our struggle is not against flesh and blood people, but against "the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the 

heavenly places."  In this present case, our enemy is the militant doctrines of Islam.


In this paper, I urge that militant, radical Islam be separated from "mosque Islam" in other words, the more peaceful parts. As a Christian, this is not my final aim. My final purpose is to bring them into a real relationship with God through Jesus Christ. But let's look back at 1945 again. Once militant Shinto was disestablished (separated from state support), then Christian missionaries were free to go to Japan and preach. There was a great spiritual harvest for the next five years.





On December 7, 1941, there was a surprise attack on America, and about 2,400 people were killed. There were clues and indications that some kind of attack was coming, but we didnt pay enough attention to them. The perpetrators were clearly marked they didnt hide their identity or their motives. The next day, President Roosevelt made a speech and mobilized the country for the struggle ahead. The country immediately united and began to prepare to defeat the enemy.


Finally, on August 9, 1945, the enemy surrendered. The following several years showed our correct understanding of the nature of the enemy. The enemy was not the people of Japan. If that had been true, then our actions when they surrendered would have been to subject them to utter humiliation, and punish them so that they never thought to rise up and attack us again.


Our actions after the war showed that we understood the enemy to be the militaristic, nationalistic version of Shintoism practiced in Japan. It was not the Japanese people, but the ideology, the ism, or more exactly, the religion that had enslaved them was the enemy. The Japanese people were actually the first victims of radical, militaristic Shinto.


Here are the three main actions we took in Japan after the war against that enemy:


1. The American administration published a directive that disestablished the Shinto religion. That means that Shinto no longer received any financial or other support from the state. It basically directed Japan to implement the first amendment to the US Constitution, separating church from state. However, we still allowed peaceful Shinto rituals to be done when a new emperor was installed, and Shinto holidays to be celebrated. Shrine Shinto was allowed to be practiced the same as any other religion. For the complete text of the directive, see below.


2. At the insistence of the US administration, there was a declaration by the Emperor that he was not divine. The divinity of the emperor was a key element of radical, militaristic Shinto.


3. The new Japanese constitution cemented the disestablishment directive into the permanent law of the land.


As we know, since 1945 Japan has not disturbed the peace of the world in any way, but instead has benefited itself and the world through economic development.


On September 11, 2001, there was a surprise attack on America, and nearly 3,000 people were killed. There were clues and indications that some kind of attack was coming, but we didnt pay enough attention to them. The perpetrators were clearly marked they didnt hide their identity or their motives. That evening, President Bush called them terrorists and said We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them. The country immediately united and began to prepare to defeat the enemy.


But who was the enemy? Bush didnt say who it was at that time, nor later. Neither did President Obama who followed him. Terrorism is not an enemy it is a tactic. It would have been equivalent in World War II to Roosevelt declaring war against sneak attacks, or kamikaze attacks. Furthermore, if we destroy all the terrorists in the world and their networks, but allow the ideology that spawned them to continue, then we will never win the war, ever.





At the end of World War II, we did not allow the ideologies that started the war to continue to exist. Militaristic, state-sponsored Shinto religion was defeated on the battlefield, and then destroyed. The Nazi Party in Germany was defeated, disbanded and not allowed to reappear.

What is the parallel ideology today? It is state-sponsored, radical, militant Islam. People object, saying that Islam is a religion, and we cannot ban an entire religion. We not only can we already did. State-sponsored, militant Shinto was banned through our victory in the war and the actions taken by the US administration in Japan after the war. We did this by separating the peaceful elements of Shinto from the warlike ones, and allowing only the peaceful elements to survive. Japanese who wanted to burn incense to their ancestors at Shinto Shrines remained perfectly free to do so. But we prohibited any teaching or propagation of militant, nationalistic Shinto doctrines.





The difference today is not in kind, but only in scale. Militant Shinto was practiced only in Japan in 1945, by a population of about 72 million. At that time the population of the US was 140 million, so we had about a 2:1 advantage. Today Islam is claimed by about 1.5 billion. But this entire population is not all involved with militant activities. Roughly speaking, only 20% of Muslims seriously practice Islam, and about 10% support militant activities themselves. This means that our real enemy, militant Islam, is resident among only about 150 million people. The population of the US today is about 310 million, so again we have a 2:1 advantage. Thus the task is not as daunting as it may appear at first.


But there are differences. Militant Islam is spread around the world, and even exists within the US, as we have seen by continuing terrorist attacks. It is on the internet, which is international. And militant Islam has existed since the year 622, when Muhammad fled from Mecca to Medina, gathered followers and an army, and began to raid Meccan camel caravans. These two facts will make this struggle long and difficult.


The question is, are we willing to name the enemy, and do what it would take to defeat it? Are we willing to divide militant Islam from mosque Islam the way that we divided militant Shinto from shrine Shinto?


Only a small part of this struggle will be military. The vast bulk of it will be an ideological battle, and a spiritual battle. We must know the truth, and be prepared at all costs to spread it far and wide, so that Muslims everywhere will know true freedom.



Directive for the Disestablishment of State Shinto

Directive for the Disestablishment of State Shinto

Orders from the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers to the Japanese Government:

15 December 1945

MEMORANDUM FOR: Imperial Japanese Government

THROUGH: Central Liaison Office, Tokyo

SUBJECT: Abolition of Governmental Sponsorship, Support, Perpetuation, Control, and Dissemination of State Shinto

1. In order to free the Japanese people from direct or indirect compulsion to believe or profess to believe in a religion or cult officially designated by the state, and

In order to lift from the Japanese people the burden of compulsory financial support of an ideology which has contributed to their war guilt, defeat, suffering, privation, and present deplorable condition, and

In order to prevent recurrence of the perversion of Shinto theory and beliefs into militaristic and ultra-nationalistic propaganda designed to delude the Japanese people and lead them into wars of aggression, and

In order to assist the Japanese people in a rededication of their national life to building a new Japan based upon ideals of perpetual peace and democracy,

It is hereby directed that:

a. The sponsorship, support, perpetuation, control, and dissemination of Shinto by the Japanese national, prefectural [regional], and local governments, or by public officials, subordinates, and employees acting in their official capacity are prohibited and will cease immediately.

b. All financial support from public funds and all official affiliation with Shinto and Shinto shrines are prohibited and will cease immediately.

c. All propagation and dissemination of militaristic and ultra-nationalistic ideology in Shinto doctrines, practices, rites, ceremonies, or observances, as well as in the doctrines, practices, rites, ceremonies and observances of any other religion, faith, sect, creed, or philosophy, are prohibited and will cease immediately.

d. The Religious Functions Order relating to the Grand Shrine of Ise and the Religious Functions Order relating to State and other Shrines will be annulled.

e. The Shrine Board of the Ministry of Home Affairs will be abolished, and its present functions, duties, and administrative obligations will not be assumed by any other governmental or tax-supported agency.