Special to WorldTribune.com
By Bill Federer, January 20, 2021
Gen. Douglas MacArthur addressed the Massachusetts State Legislature in Boston, July 25, 1951:
It is not of any external threat that I concern myself but rather of insidious forces working from within which have already so drastically altered the character of our free institutions — these institutions which formerly we hailed as something beyond question of challenge — those institutions we proudly called the American way of life.
… Foremost of these forces is that directly, or even more frequently indirectly, allied with the scourge of imperialistic Communism. It has infiltrated into positions of public trust and responsibility — into journalism, the press, the radio and the school.
It seeks through covert manipulation of the civil power and the media of public information and education to pervert the truth, impair respect for moral values, suppress human freedom and representative government, and in the end destroy our faith in our religious teachings. … This evil force, with neither spiritual base nor moral standard, rallies the abnormal and subnormal elements among our citizenry and applies internal pressure against all things we hold decent and all things that we hold right.
As it has happened there it can happen here. … There can be no compromise with atheistic Communism, no half way in the preservation of freedom and religion. It must be all or nothing.
MacArthur warned in his Farewell Address to Congress, April 19. 1951:
The Communist threat is a global one … Under no circumstances must Formosa (Taiwan) fall under Communist control … … One must understand the changes in Chinese character and culture … China, up to 50 years ago … followed the tenets of the Confucian ideal of pacifist culture.
At the turn of the century, under the regime of Chang Tso Lin, efforts … produced the start of a nationalist urge. … This has produced a new and dominant power in Asia, which, for its own purposes, is allied with Soviet Russia but which in its own concepts and methods has become aggressively imperialistic, with a lust for expansion and increased power …
Chinese Communists’ support of the North Koreans was the dominant one. Their interests are … parallel with those of the Soviet. … But I believe that the aggressiveness recently displayed not only in Korea but also in Indo-China and Tibet and pointing potentially toward the South reflects predominantly the same lust for the expansion of power which has animated every would-be conqueror since the beginning of time.
There are some who, for varying reasons, would appease Red China. They are blind to history’s clear lesson … that appeasement but begets new and bloodier war …Like blackmail, it lays the basis for new and successively greater demands until, as in blackmail, violence becomes the only other alternative.
Douglas MacArthur was born January 26, 1880.
The lineage of both parents were military and Episcopalian Christian.
Home-schooled as child, he attended high school at the Episcopal West Texas Military Academy, founded in 1893, whose mission statement, “to provide an excellent educational community, with values based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.”
The school was similar to D.L. Moody’s “Moody Bible Institute” founded seven years earlier.
Every day, MacArthur and his 48 classmates walked several blocks, no matter the weather, to attend morning chapel at St. Paul’s Memorial Church.
He explained: “Biblical lessons began to open the spiritual portals of a growing faith.”
He graduated valedictorian of West Texas Military Academy, and in 1898, became a cadet at West Point Military Academy, where he graduated top of his class in 1903.
MacArthur conducted a reconnaissance mission during the 1914 U.S. occupation of Veracruz, for which he was nominated for the Medal of Honor.
He served as an officer in France during World War I. He was superintendent of West Point, 1919-1922. In 1930, at age 50, MacArthur became the youngest Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army.
A four-star general, he retired in 1939, but returned in 1941 to defend the Philippines.
When Japan invaded the Philippines, President Roosevelt ordered MacArthur to withdraw to Australia. MacArthur left the Philippines, but not before he promising “I shall return.”
When Gen. MacArthur heard that 10,000 Filipino and American prisoners died on the Bataan Death March, he stated, April 9, 1942:
To the weeping mothers of its dead, I can only say that the sacrifice and halo of Jesus of Nazareth has descended upon their sons, and that God will take them unto Himself.”
On Oct. 20, 1944, Gen. MacArthur returned with an American army to free the Philippines, stating:
People of the Philippines: I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God our forces stand again on Philippine soil — soil consecrated in the blood of our two peoples.
We have come, dedicated and committed to the task of destroying every vestige of enemy control … The hour of your redemption is here … Let the indomitable spirit of Bataan and Corregidor lead on.
In a radio speech broadcast from the invasion beach on returning to the Philippines, Gen. Douglas MacArthur stated, Oct. 20, 1944:
Strike at every favorable opportunity. For your homes and hearths, strike! For future generations of your sons and daughters, strike! In the name of your sacred dead, strike!
Let no heart be faint. Let every arm be steeled. The guidance of Divine God points the way. Follow in His name to the Holy Grail of righteous victory!
Gen. Douglas MacArthur stated: “In war, when a commander becomes so bereft of reason and perspective that he fails to understand the dependence of arms on Divine guidance, he no longer deserves victory.”
Promoted to Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific, he received Japan’s surrender on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Harbor.
Men since the beginning of time have sought peace … military alliances, balances of powers, leagues of nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. The utter destructiveness of war now blots out this alternative. We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and equitable system, our Armageddon will be at our door.
The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence (renewal), an improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature and all material and cultural developments of the past two thousand years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.
After the surrender, Japan was under direct control of the U.S. Occupation Army led by Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces Pacific (SCAP).
This was different than post-war Europe, in which Germany was divided into four zones controlled the allied powers.
President Truman sent a message to MacArthur, Sept. 6, 1945: “The authority of the Emperor and the Japanese Government to rule the State is subordinate to you as Supreme Commander for the Allied powers. You will exercise your authority as you deem proper to carry out your mission.”
Japanese investigative journalist Eiichiro Tokumoto wrote in Under the Shadow of the Occupation: The Ashlar and The Cross (1945): “There was a complete collapse of faith in Japan in 1945 — in our invincible military, in the emperor, in the religion that had become known as ‘state Shinto.'”
Shinto beliefs were taught in the public schools and permeated Japanese society, exciting the militaristic fervor of an ancient samurai warrior code known as Bushido, fighting to the death, similar to Islamic jihad martyrs.
MacArthur warned: “Japan is a spiritual vacuum … If you do not fill it with Christianity, it will be filled with communism.”
He pleaded that Youth for Christ and other ministries send 10,000 missionaries to Japan: “Send missionaries and Bibles.”
While in Tokyo, MacArthur daily read the American Standard Version of the Bible and helped distribute 43 million Bibles, resulting in it becoming a best-seller in Japan. He served as Honorary Chairman of Japan’s first post-war Christian University, and advocated for the spread of Christianity:
MacArthur wrote in 1948: “I am absolutely convinced that true democracy can exist only on a spiritual foundation. It will endure when it rests firmly on the Christian conception of the individual and society.”
These views were held by Franklin D. Roosevelt, who stated Nov. 1, 1940: “Those forces hate democracy and Christianity … They oppose democracy because it is Christian. They oppose Christianity because it preaches democracy.”
Emperor Hirohito offered to have the government convert all of Japan to Christianity. Amherst College professor of Japanese history, Ray Moore, recorded the general told evangelist Billy Graham: “the Emperor had offered to make Christianity the official religion of Japan.”
MacArthur made the fateful decision to decline the offer, believing that it could potentially create conflict between Protestants and Catholics, and that conversion should be only by a free choice: “This most sacred of human rights – to worship freely in accordance with individual conscience – is fundamental to all reforms.”
As recorded in “The Faith of MacArthur: Binding Up the Wounds of a Broken Nation,” by Joseff J. B. Smith, (College at Brockport, SUNY, 05/10/2013), MacArthur stated:
If the historian of the future should deem my service worthy of some slight reference, it would be my hope that he mention me not as a commander engaged in campaigns and battles, even though victorious to American arms, but rather as that one whose sacred duty it became, once the guns were silenced, to carry to the land of our vanquished foe the solace and hope and faith of Christian morals …
An occupation not conceived in a spirit of vengeance or mastery of victor over vanquished, but committed to the Christian purpose of helping a defeated, bewildered and despairing people.
Promoted to five-star general, MacArthur was Supreme U.N. Commander during the beginning of the Korean War, making a daring landing of troops deep behind enemy lines at Inchon and recapturing Seoul.
MacArthur became at odds with President Truman who did not want to confront the Communist Chinese. Truman instead introduced the “containment” strategy which sentenced millions to live under communist totalitarianism.
MacArthur disagreed, stating: “It is fatal to enter a war without the will to win it”; and “In war there is no substitute for victory.”
Truman made the stunningly unpopular decision to remove MacArthur.
On April 19, 1951, following his tour of Korea, Gen. Douglas MacArthur spoke to a Joint Session of Congress to announce his retirement:
I am closing my fifty-two years of military service. When I joined the Army, even before the turn of the century, it was the fulfillment of all my boyish hopes and dreams.
… The world has turned over many times since I took the oath on the Plain at West Point, and the hopes and dreams have all since vanished, but I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barracks ballads of that day, which proclaimed most proudly that old soldiers never die; they just fade away.
And, like the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who has tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty. Good-by.
MacArthur told West Point cadets, May 1962:
The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training — sacrifice.
In battle and in the face of danger and death, he discloses those Divine attributes which his Maker gave when He created man in His own image …
No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of Divine help which alone can sustain him.
However horrible the incidents of war may be, the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country is the noblest development of mankind.
On Jan. 18, 1955, a monument was dedicated to Gen. Douglas MacArthur at the occasion of his seventy-fifth birthday, which had inscribed his statement:
“Battles are not won by arms alone. There must exist above all else a spiritual impulse — a will to victory. In war there can be no substitute for victory.”
On July 25, 1951, Gen. Douglas MacArthur told the Massachusetts Legislature:
It was the adventurous spirit of Americans which despite risks and hazards carved a great nation from an almost impenetrable wilderness … which built our own almost unbelievable material progress … which raised the standard of living of the American people beyond that ever before known …
This adventurous spirit is now threatened as it was in the days of the Boston Tea Party by an unconscionable burden of taxation.
This is sapping the initiative and energies of the people and leaves little incentive for the assumption of those risks which are inherent and unescapable in the forging of progress under the system of free enterprise.
Worst of all, it is throwing its tentacles around the low income bracket sector of our society, from whom is now exacted the major share of the cost of government.
More and more we work not for ourselves but for the State. In time, if permitted to continue, this trend cannot fail to be destructive. For no nation may survive in freedom once its people become servants of the State, a condition to which we are now pointed with dreadful certainty …
Nothing is heard from those in the supreme executive authority concerning the possibility of a reduction or even a limitation upon these mounting costs.
No suggestion deals with the restoration of some semblance of a healthy balance. No plan is advanced for easing the crushing burdens already resting upon the people.
To the contrary, all that we hear are the plans by which such costs progressively may be increased … for greater call upon the taxable potential as though the resources available were inexhaustable.
In 1942, Gen. MacArthur was named Father of the Year. He stated:
By profession I am a soldier and take pride in that fact. But I am prouder — infinitely prouder — to be a father.
A soldier destroys in order to build; the father only builds, never destroys. The one has the potentiality of death; the other embodies creation and life.
He composed “A Father’s Prayer” in the early days of World War II while in the Pacific:
Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.
Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail …
Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.
MacArthur warned in a speech to the Salvation Army, December 12, 1951, stating:
History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.
MacArthur, who considered himself “a soldier of God as well as of the republic,” concluded his address to the Massachusetts State Legislature in Boston, July 25, 1951:
We must unite in the high purpose that the liberties etched upon the design of our life by our forefathers be unimpaired and that we maintain the moral courage and spiritual leadership to preserve inviolate that mighty bulwark of all freedom, our Christian faith.