FAST FOOD (AD 2019): Thirty-Seventh Helping
The Weapons Scientist: Today’s Grim Reaper
Before the first atomic bomb explosion at Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, there are men and women of great scientific and mathematical learning and of high intelligence who work hard every day for years so that the men in Enola Gay could say “bombs away” 30,000 feet over a hundred thousand of human beings living below in Hiroshima.
Before the first death sentence by electric chair is carried out on a thirty year old illiterate alcoholic from the slums of Buffalo, NY named William Kemmler on August 6, 1890 at Auburn State Prison, In New York, two of the finest minds on the planet work hard and vigorously compete to create and to market to politicians their respective versions of the “killing chair” as the electric chair is less euphemistically called at that time.
August 6, then, is a date on which two utterly new scientific homicide gizmos enter into use in the human community. But before both August 6 dates, there are the scientifically best and the brightest using an enormous portion of their finite life’s time and all of the special talents of intellect with which they are gifted to energetically figure out how to destroy other human beings.
Many, not all, but more than likely most of these brilliant men and women who brought these killing contraptions into existence were Baptized Christians. Edwin Davis who pulled the switch that burnt William Kimmler to death and Paul Tibbets who commanded the Enola Gay B-29, flew it over Hiroshima and gave the order to drop the A-Bomb that burnt 60,000 human beings to death were minor players in both events, although attention is often focused on them probably because of the immediacy of their presence to the event. But, anyone of thousands of people could have done their jobs.
The men and women who are truly indispensible to bringing these instruments of homicide from non-existence to existence are the scientists. They are the that-without-which killing chairs, atomic bombs and many, many other high-tech homicide gadgets and their legacy of multilevel death dealing could not exist. (High-tech scientific homicide implements are so expensive to invent and produce that they kill people, even if it’s never used; by their cost alone they deny many human beings the necessities of life.)
As it became clear to ordinary people after World War I, the manufacturers and marketers of weapons made fortunes once war was declared, selling them to all sides. Indeed, in many cases they were involved as instigators of the lethal hostilities. But the manufacturers and marketers have little to sell if the scientists do not turn their lives, time and talents over to them in order to come up with ever new, astounding and effective ways of doing the dirty deed of homicidal violence.
But in Christianity, the ABCD weapons scientists—atomic, bacteriological, chemical and electromagnetic—seem to be morally Teflon protected. Never in the Christian churches, regardless of the amount of death, destruction and misery that Christian scientists bring into the human condition by their new homicidal apparatuses, are they personally or collectively called to account in light of the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels for what they are doing with their Christian lives by being a major link in the chain of so much death and destruction of life.
Unlike the Christian who is born and brought up in the slum who kills somebody in a robbery and who is then excoriated, told to repent of his or her ways, accept punishment as the justice they deserve, get rehabilitation and make restitution as far as possible to those affected by his homicide, the Christian weapons scientist is either honored or ignored for his or her part in the homicides and misery in which they participated— homicides and misery far beyond one person.
Consider this one example of the end result of the work of the well-paid weapons scientist.
U.S. Pilot speaking:
“We sure are pleased with those backroom boys at DOW Chemical. The original product they made (napalm) wasn’t so hot—if the gooks were quick they could scrape it off. So the boys started adding polystyrene—now it sticks like shit to a blanket. But, then if the gooks jumped under water it stopped burning, so they started adding Willie Peter (WP white phosphorous) so’s to make it burn better. It will even burn under water now. And, just one drop is enough, it’ll keep on burning right down to the bone so they die anyway from phosphorous poisoning.”
-U.S. pilot, LIFE Magazine, July 1966
Nothing comes from nothing. Before the killing chair of August 6, 1890 there were the boys in the backroom, Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse, giving all they had to make “electricide” a success. Before the atomic bombing on August 6, 1945 there were the boys in the backroom, Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, Leslie Groves, Ernest O. Lawrence etc. Nothing comes from nothing. Before the V2 rocket plowed into London, there was Wernher von Braun. Nothing comes from nothing. Before nine year old Kim Phuc runs screeching in pain from the flames in a napalmed village with the clothes burnt off of her and with 90% burns across her body there were the boys in the backroom at DOW. Nothing comes from nothing. There is no sane, reasonable and valid way for a Christian who is a scientist to interpret and to obey Jesus’ “new commandment” to love as I have loved by being one of the boys in the back room.
It is far past time for the Churches to see and as institutional extensions of Christ in time and space, speak as Jesus would speak to the Christian scientists in your Churches. Nothing comes from nothing—not even metanoia.
-Emmanuel Charles McCarthy