Compare and contrast:
A trope repeated with disturbing frequency by an awful lot (though not, of course, all) of the representatives of the Faithful Conservative American Catholic[TM] subculture: “if one innocent American life was saved by “THE BOMB”, God blessed Einstein’s work.”
Actual Church teaching: CCC 2314 “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.”
The American Catholic blog, as is their custom, feeds this particular species of dissent against actual Church teaching by the standard method used by all dissenters against Church teaching: they call on some academic somewhere to parrot the approved line of dissent and tell the Magisterium it is all wet. It is the same stupid pet trick used by dissenters on that other form of mass murder of innocents–abortion. Zippy Catholic (also a conservative American Catholic) shows up in the comboxes to protest this advocacy of abortion by nuke with his customary delphic brilliance and is largely outnumbered with a few exceptions. Among these exceptions, ironically, is Tom McKenna (still another conservative Catholic, and one who hates me with icy contempt because I oppose his apologies for Bush era torture and his zealous advocacy of death penalty maximalism with death penalty minimalism). McKenna does a fine job of arguing against the raw consequentialism on display in this TAC entry–while laboring to keep his distance from me since I have also argued strenuously against consequentialism and he dreads the thought of standing too close to me. Very amusing. I think Paul has the right approach to such Strange Bedfellow Moments (Phillippians 1:15-18). Kudos to him for an able defense of the Church’s teaching in the teeth of these embarrassing attempts to defend the deliberate taking of innocent human life.
In the Church’s mind, it turns out that not just American innocents should not be deliberately incinerated in their beds. Japanese innocents also turn out to be human beings and their murder is also a crime against man and God.
It’s a special sort of blasphemy to call down the blessing of God on the mass murder of 30,000 civilians. It should stop.
The most characteristic American heresy, left and right, is the conviction that you can do grave evil to achieve a good end. The sole difference is which grave evil and which good end these political camps embrace. And they often justify their preferred evil by comparing it to the really truly grave evil of Those Guys Over There. Abortionists compare themselves to those truly horrible war criminals and congratulate themselves for saving innocent women. War criminals and their fanboys compare themselves to those truly horrible abortionists and congratulate themselves for saving innocent troops. All of them loathe the command against embracing grave evil that good may come of it that has been a core moral teaching of Holy Church ever since Paul penned Romans 3:8.
So: to reiterate, it is always and everywhere, under every circumstance, gravely immoral and worthy of the everlasting fires o hell to deliberately kill innocent human life. It is immoral for the abortionist and it is immoral for the soldier who deliberately shoots through the innocent civilian to kill the soldier standing behind him. That, in the final analysis, is what we chose to do at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I defy Catholic apologists to find a single Pope or magisterial authority on the planet who says such an act is not a “crime against man and God”. It’s high time we stopped making excuses for it, much less celebrating it.