Sunday, August 15, 2010

THE HUMANITY: Remembering FDR's Historic Shinto Shrine Speech

We all remember the historic day that FDR, while hosting a Shinto ceremony in the White House during WWII, reminded Americans that everyone had a right to worship as they chose.  Right...?

Of course we don't remember that act of political suicide, because it never happened.  No one in America would have dreamed of such a thing as we were engaged in a war with not just a people but a warped religious ideology that had brought flame and death to our home in an unprovoked attack.

Of course, in that day, no Japanese-American would have suggested they could, would, or should build a Shinto shrine a block or two from the smoking hulk of the U.S.S. Arizona even as divers sought remains of the dead aboard her.  That would have been an unthinkable affront.

The Shinto religion held that the Emperor was a literal god on earth.  No believer would dare doubt the Emperor, or his appointed minions.  Under the Emperor, Japan had undertaken to assert what the Shinto martial cult had decreed was its destiny.  They did it aggressively via a war of merciless expansion.  It was much more than a religion; it was an integrated socio-political construct that operated according to its own norms.  Those norms were at existential swords-point with Western norms.

During WWII, this was a known reality that shaped everything done by the U.S. and its allies, from the common combat soldier to the leaders of state.  But that was before the modern cult of moral relativity gained a foot-hold in American life...before we began to loath our own virtue and see atrocity as a merely "another, equally valid truth".

In WWII, a Shinto follower of the Emperor who espoused the beliefs of the martial cult in Japan...regardless of his citizenship...would have been changed, tried and imprisoned.  Sadly and shamefully, many loyal Japanese-Americans who did not follow the Emperor were put in concentration camps and their property taken.  We were better than that then, and we are today.

In America today, we are confused.  Do Muslim Americans have a right to build their mosques?  Of course, and they do.  Few would dream of denying them that right.  To the extent that they have, they have been marginalized as they should.

But what of the Islamists...that martial, expansionist element of Islam that actively destroy Western pluralism?  Do they have a right to build, to preach, to recruit?  Do they have a right to build the equivalent of a Shinto shrine on the Pearl Harbor water-front, even while the remains of the 9/11 dead are still being recovered?  Our WWII generation would have been amazed at the question.

Most of America is still amazed...and angered...that anyone would pose that question.  What angers them more is the inference or declaration that opposition to the Cordoba House is the result of bigotry against all Muslims.  That, they know, is simply a lie, and they resent the lie.  They are not confused about the propriety of the Cordoba House, or the intent of its promoters. 


  1. Outstanding Rags. The Pearl Harbor analogy is dead on target. The problem, of course, is that our present leaders do not know we are at war or who our enemies are. We are instead now engaged in an "Overseas Contingency Operation". Geez - Try to imagine FDR trying to appease the Emporer AFTER Pearl. Insanity - and exactly what Barry and Hillary are doing.

    "Sadly and shamefully, many loyal Japanese-Americans who did not follow the Emperor were put in concentration camps and their property taken. We were better than that then, and we are today."

    A different time and a different world. Did you read Malkin's "In Defense of Internment?" She makes a pretty compelling case, though I still don't know if I really agree. I was impressed with Kristi Yamaguchi's family. Her parents were both born in the interment camps, and her parents and grandparents harbor absolutely no animosity toward the US at all. They understood the times and the fear Americans had of the Japanese. Skippy "I'll see yo mama outside" Gates was trying to compare the Japanese interment to slavery, but Yamaguchi wouldn't buy it. Her family loves this country regardless of past mistakes.

    Remember also that Islam, like Shintuism, is by definition a theocracy. The "church" IS the state. The goal of any true Muslim is to bring the land they live in into accord with the Koran and Islam. Allowing "freedom of religion" to a religion bent on overthrowing the country annihilates the very freedom that enables it.

    BTW - Check your email. Sent a brain fart article if you want to use it.

  2. I've read excerpts from Michelle's book. I think she paid a very high price for shedding a little truth on the very PC world of "internment shame".

    It was with that in mind that I phrased my piece as I did. There were Japanese who SHOULD have been interned, though perhaps not with the lack of due process involved. Many others should not have been.

    Whenever I hear some blithering idiot say we have never fought an enemy like the Islamists, I wonder if any of them ever heard the word "history". Japan was VERY like the Islamist threat.

  3. Somebody needs to tell these liberals that they're going to rent half the building to Wal-Mart. This project will get crushed quicker than Chris Matthews can pucker up for Obama.

  4. Or we could just tell them that it's a Christian Orthodox church, and see how quickly the plans would be rejected...and of course, only the blogosphere would call them out on their hypocrisy.

  5. You guys know there is a Shinto Shrine at Pearl Harbor, right?