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“The Japanese and their piety”

On the night of October 30, 1949, I heard a special radio program entitled, “Religion in American Life,” in which President Truman made the following statement.

The United States has been a deeply religious Nation from its earliest beginnings. The need which the founders of our country felt – the need to be free to worship God, each man in his own way was – one of the strongest impulses that brought men from Europe to the New World. The motto then was “new faith.” That is still our motto and we, as a people, still place our firm faith in God. Other countries look today to the United States for leadership in the ways of peace, and it is our task to meet that challenge. I am convinced that we are strong enough to meet the challenge. We are strong enough because we have a profound religious faith. The basic source of our strength as a nation is spiritual. Just as an active faith sustained and guided the pioneers in conquering the wilderness, so today an active faith will sustain and guide us as we work for a just peace, freedom for all, and a world where human life is truly held sacred.

As evident in the above statement made by Mr. Truman, it is indeed a wonder of the world that the United States has consolidated its position as the world leader within the last hundred years or so, and we need to know the underlying reason. I say that the United States as a nation is founded on a noble religious spirit – this is the reason for their growth. Naturally, then, the most important and urgent matter for reconstructing Japan is for all the populace to become people of faith. I am truly envious to hear that in the United States every family owns at least one Bible in their home.
(Hikari, vol. 40, December 17, 1949)