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Pearl Harbor and Indifference

delivered on December 8, 1941

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:

Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. (Read and/or hear the entire speech here.)

The link below will quickly take you to an actual broadcast as it was interrupted by the terrible news of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Also, consider this speech by Elie Wiesel on Indifference.

Fifty-four years ago to the day, a young Jewish boy from a small town in the Carpathian Mountains woke up, not far from Goethe’s beloved Weimar, in a place of eternal infamy called Buchenwald. He was finally free, but there was no joy in his heart. He thought there never would be again. Liberated a day earlier by American soldiers, he remembers their rage at what they saw. And even if he lives to be a very old man, he will always be grateful to them for that rage, and also for their compassion. Though he did not understand their language, their eyes told him what he needed to know — that they, too, would remember, and bear witness. (link for the complete speech, both in text and audio here.)


America, and yes, the world, we cannot afford to be indifferent to crucial political and social developments as the winds of war and deceit and depravity whirl about us. Here in our beloved country comes the first elected official who opts to be sworn into office without the Holy Bible being present. We cannot ignore this pompous action, nor fail to realize its true threat. Complacency is utterly dangerous; instead, we must rally ourselves to be aware, informed, and extremely cautious. Eternally vigilant, must we be.

“But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. It behooves you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government.” –Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, March 4, 1837

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”–Edmund Burke

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 83 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 63 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

7 replies on “Pearl Harbor and Indifference”

Jeremy, I believe the problem here is that there are two swearings in. You’re right; in one there is no religious book used. The other ceremony–the private one is at issue here.

Jeremy, are you of the thinking that Mr. Ellison did not say he wanted to be sworn in using the Koran and not the Bible (or words to that effect.)?

Appreciate your comments.



Shirley, I cannot see how the point could not be moot. There is no religious book at all at the swearing in. That’s the end of the story.

Were there religious books I would have no problem with him being sworn in on a Koran. I also have no problem with the people of Minnesota electing a Muslim (though I do have my qualms about the particular person they elected).

Finally, on the Groothius quote, this is essentially the same rhetoric used against John Kennedy as a Catholic. Such rhetoric was wrong then and proves wrong now.

Whatever your beliefs about the founding of our nation, it is most definitely a pluralist nation. Just because co-religionists, members of the same ethnicity, or cousins in a country of origin do something does not imply that their counterparts in the Untied States will behave in the same fashion or even have the same mechanism and history behind them here to act in a similar fashion.


Thank you, Jeremy, for your time and effort in coming here and in voicing your thoughts. I realize this is a challenging situation and is one that calls for careful scrutiny and close consideration. Certainly this is exhibited by the diametrically opposing positions that have been taken among us Americans, even those having conservative views.

The issue is not moot, and the fact that Mr. Ellison reportedly refuses to have the Bible in the room during his private swearing in is quite telling. America, the very country who gives him, a Muslim, the right to office, is based on principles found in the Bible. The real problem here, in my opinion, is that the people of Minnesota elected a Muslim to serve in the Congress of the United States. I am far from being a student of the Koran, but I am bringing here the words of Douglas Groothius who says about the Koran:

“The Koran is another universe of discourse entirely. It is antithetical to the Constitution of the United States. A congressman cannot be sworn in on the Koran and pledge to uphold the Constitution and be logically consistent. Islam is opposed to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and to a Consitutional Republic in general. Look at the Muslim nations; look at history; look at the Koran.”


This is all moot. Members of Congress do not swear their oath of office on The Bible. They take the oath as a group and raise their right hands. No religious book has ever been involved in any official capacity. They may occasionally pose for publicity pictures with The Bible in tow. Just take a look at this picture of the 108th Congress being sworn in. No book at all.

Even if it weren’t moot, I do not consider a non-Christian politician swearing his oath of office on the book of his own religion to be a threat to America. In fact, that act by itself outlines the continuing pluralism inherent in our nation.


Maria and Robk, I believe it helps us to utilize history and the statesmen who have forged a way for us. Their wisdom surely deserves a review.

Thanks for your visit and your comments.


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