Note: I went on Tom Snyder’s Twitter out of sheer boredom. And I am committed to not letting his, or his colleagues, affect me to the extent that they did months ago, when I wrote about Tom and the organization he worked for (Movieguide) constantly. Old habits die hard. When I look up, and write about, Tom or Movieguide now though, it’s only because I’ve reached a point where I can’t think of anything else to do. For more on Tom and Movieguide, click here.
Love your enemies.
~ Matthew 5:44
“Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation.”
~ Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 3214
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”
~ Matthew 7:15
With Martin Scorsese’s Silence out on December 23rd, I’ve been finding online a renewed interest in the relationship between Japan and Christianity.
The following is a conversation between this man and I:
Me: “Call me crazy, but I think God frowns on turning little kids, made in His image and likeness, into shadows.”
Tom Snyder: “You know nothing about the evils of Shinto Buddhism during 20th Century in fascist Japan or the persecution of Catholics in the 1600s.”
Me: “How do you know that I know nothing? Nothing justifies killing civilians.”
Tom Snyder: “Because you wouldn’t write what you write. Ever hear the biblical principle you reap what you sew? See SILENCE. Read KILLING THE RISING SUN. Study the Rape of Nanking and the Battle of Manila and the Bataan Death March. Paganism is really bad.”
Me: “I will never see the killing of civilians as justifiable. And since you clearly do, I have only one more thing to say to you: Get away from me, Satan.” (Matthew 16:23)
Tom Snyder: “You’re being idiotic. The post was offering the idea that when we do evil, we reap what we sew. Japan started doing evil in the late 1500s in its brutal persecution against the Christians, which got worse in the 1600s under the unification of Japan under the Takugawa dynasty. And, Imperial Japan was brutal under Hirohito and the Buddhist military dictatorship. The brutality in the Pacific War, including against the Filipinos, because of them was their fault. Death is not the worst thing that can happen to you. And, the ‘civilians’ in Japan, whom Hirohito was arming in advance of the coming invasion by the U.S. forces, were not “innocent.” You are projecting your own demonic influences upon me, as you have done from the beginning, apparently. There’s no reasoning with you. . .”
Me: “Buddhism advocates respect for all life. Show me the Buddhist teaching that justifies rape and murder. If you can’t show me that teaching, than saying that Buddhism is what made the Japanese do what they did is irrational. There’s no reasoning with me? Than you clearly haven’t been listening to anything I’ve ever said to you, because if you had you would know that I have acknowledged you were right before — there are times I have acknowledged that you said something I agreed with. You’ve said in the past that I ‘attack’ you, and yet you call me an idiot for valuing human life. If that isn’t hypocritical, I don’t know what is.”
Me: “I have one more thought about your words ‘There’s no reasoning with you.’ And that thought is: You’re being a hypocrite. Why do I say that? Because: There really is no reasoning with you. For example: On December 14th, I said: ‘I am exposing Movieguide’s ‘fruitless deeds of darkness.’ What do I mean by that? I mean: I am exposing Movieguide’s slander of people like Roger Ebert.’ And you responded by saying this: ‘That’s not what you’re doing.’ I tell you the truth, and you plug your ears and go ‘Nuh-uh!’ You refuse to accept reality: The reality that I am criticizing Movieguide in order to expose what I see as its ‘fruitless deeds of darkness.’ How am I supposed to reason with a person who refuses to accept what is fact?”
Tom Synder: “Nagasaki and Hiroshima saved a couple million lives. You need to go study history, theology, apologetics for a few years.”
Me: “Nothing justifies killing civilians. I would rather die than kill the innocent.”
Re-reading our words, I was reminded of this quote from Daredevil:
“Men have used the atrocities of their enemies to justify their own throughout history.”
~ Fr. Lantom
Re-reading our words, I realize that I still have a lot to learn about loving those I perceive to be my “enemy” — those I perceive to be working against everything I stand for.
The reason I gave this post the title I did is because, with Silence just around the corner, the discussions about it taking place online, I believe, illustrate the importance of Jesus’ command to love one’s enemies.
On a lighter note:
I’m glad to know that, over the centuries, the relationship between Japan and the West has improved to such an extent that stuff like this now exists:
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
~ Isaiah 55:12