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Religion: Words & Works

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¶ Mitsuo Fuchida, 51, onetime Japanese navy airman who directed the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and later became a Christian convert and missionary (TIME, Nov. 17), paid Hawaii a return visit last week. “This time,” he told reporters, “I come not with orders from Tokyo but from a higher command: God.” When he spoke of a wish to lay a wreath on the bombed-out hulk of the U.S.S. Arizona, which still holds the bodies of 1,092 U.S. Navymen below decks, the Honolulu Advertiser editorialized: “Hawaii will listen with interest to what Captain Fuchida has to say, but Hawaii believes that his chief mission as a Christian now lies in Japan.”

¶ Patrick J. Norton, 70, onetime Dubuque, Iowa newspaper distributor and father of 14, returned from Rome, celebrated his first Mass in a U.S. church as a Roman Catholic priest. Though drawn to the priesthood as a young man, Father Norton had to find a job in which he could help his needy family. After the death of his wife, and with his children grown, he entered studies for the priesthood at 63.

¶ In a farewell sermon to his congregation at Hollywood’s First Presbyterian Church, Pastor Louis Evans, now “minister-at-large” for the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. (TIME, Jan. 12), observed a trend: “There is a deep, quiet nostalgia for God creeping on a tired and frustrated humanity . . . America has gone religiously through three eras. The religion of our grandfathers was an experience; the religion of our fathers was a tradition; the religion of the sons had become a convenience. It looks as though we are now stepping into an era that may lead us back to the experience of God again . . . Governors are more willing to be governed, teachers are more willing to be taught . .

¶ Governor Frank Clement of Tennessee took the pulpit in the Central Park Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. and touched on the mission of politics: “The politics of any situation we get into is only the means by which we should seek to achieve the religious ends for which we are put here on this earth … A nation which can breed atom bombs surely can breed atomic ideals. I say we must, or we die.”

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