The Faith of MacArthur: Binding Up the Wounds a Broken Nation, 1880 – 1964

Joseff J. B. Smith

Retired from his long and distinguished military career and residing at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City, the former potentate of Japan and most powerful American in U.S. history, General Douglas MacArthur reflected on how he wanted to be remembered in historical memory,

“If the historian of the future should deem my service worthy of some slight reference, it would be my hope that he mention me not as a commander engaged in campaigns and battles, even though victorious to American arms, but rather as that one whose sacred duty it became, once the guns were silenced, to carry to the land of our vanquished foe the solace and hope and faith of Christian morals…An occupation not conceived in a spirit of vengeance or mastery of victor over vanquished, but committed to the Christian purpose of helping a defeated, bewildered and despairing people recreate in the East a nation designed in the image of the West.” [1]

The purpose of this study is to examine the role that Christian faith played into the past and guiding philosophy of General Douglas MacArthur as the Supreme Commander of Allied Powers (SCAP) during the U.S. occupation of Japan, 1945-1951. Overall, this essay will look at different timeframes throughout the life of MacArthur, spanning from January 26, 1880 through April 5, 1964. However, the main focus of this essay will cover his time as SCAP, in Tokyo and will begin with the Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945 through his dismissal on April 11, 1951. To this day, no other military occupation in world history has matched the peace and reconciliation that MacArthur and the allied forces achieved in the aftermath of WWII. Reflecting on his success, he revealed that of all the reforms he passed as SCAP of Japan, none left with him with a greater satisfaction than his “spiritual stewardship” of the Japanese people. [2] During his time in Tokyo, he read his American Standard Version of the Bible every day, distributed at least 43 million Bibles to the Japanese, served as Honorary Chairman of Japan’s first post-war Christian University, requested for at least 10,000 missionaries to fill the “spiritual vacuum” in Japan, and yet scholars hardly ever attribute his faith with any significance during his command as SCAP of Japan.[3] This essay argues that MacArthur’s faith and upbringing in Christianity was the main driving force behind his guiding philosophy of leadership as SCAP in war torn Japan.

Past of MacArthur, 1880 – 1903

Douglas MacArthur’s exposure to Christianity in his early life prepared him for his pivotal role as “theologian” and “spiritual steward” during the U.S. occupation of Japan. [4] Traced back in time, MacArthur’s lineage hailed from the warrior, Clan Campbell of Scotland.[5] The Clan’s motto states, “Fide et Opera,”[6] translated it means, “with faith and by work.”[7] Douglas’ parents were no different than his lineage had indicated. They were both military and Episcopalian people. On January 26, 1880 he was born the third son of Arthur and Mary “Pinky” MacArthur, in the Tower Building at the U.S. Arsenal Barracks in Little Rock, Arkansas.[8] He had two brothers, Arthur Jr., born in August, 1876 and Malcolm born in October, 1878.[9] Although the family travelled extensively during his early life, due to his father’s Army career, they still maintained church membership at the Christ Episcopal Church of Little Rock, Arkansas. It was at this church where he and his brother Malcolm were baptized on May 16, 1887.[10] During their early school years, and up until high school, Douglas and his brothers were homeschooled by their mother. Although Pinky was never instructed in the art of teaching, she managed to create her own curriculum for her sons. Included in Pinky’s curriculum were daily moral lessons founded in Scripture.[11] The impact that Pinky had on Douglas, and the values that she instilled in him, would later guide him through his high school years, and well into adulthood.

During his high school years, Douglas attended the newly established, West Texas Military Academy (WTMA), where his faith grew and developed.[12] In 1893, he enrolled in the ninth grade, with 48 other students, as the first graduating class to attend the newly established institution in San Antonio, Texas.[13] Founded in 1893, the WTMA was intentionally built on the tenets of Christianity and was administrated by a Christian faculty and staff. Much to the delight of Pinky, the school was administrated and founded by the Episcopalian Reverends and Doctors of Divinity: Allen Burlesoa and J.S. Johnston.[14] Burlesoa and Johnston strove to create a school that was equal parts academic intelligence and moral instruction, along the same guidelines as the great evangelism school of that time, the Moody Institute.[15] They aspired to create men who would be able leaders in life, and who lived according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Embedded in the core values of the school in 1893, and still today, are the values of moral integrity and spiritual maturity.[16] One of the central pillars that comprise the foundation of the Academy is spirituality.[17] The school’s mission statement reads, “to provide an excellent educational community, with values based on the teachings of Jesus Christ…”[18] Douglas attended the school from 1893-1897, where he graduated at the top of his class, with a final grade average of 99.07%.[19] Prior to attending the academy, he confessed to being an “average student” who cared little for school, and only sought to travel the country with his father on military expeditions. [20] However, he later described his four years at the Academy as “the happiest of my life.”[21] He stated that his placement in the WTMA created within him, “a desire to know, a seeking for the reason why, a search for the truth.”[22] When asked why he flourished academically at the academy, he stated that the wide range of subjects gave him a passion for learning, he found every subject useful to expand his inquisitive knowledge about topics that he found intriguing.[23] The subjects that he studied at the school included Latin and Greek as well as various forms of Mathematics, and the Bible.[24] Scripture was an integral part of the academy experience, where the Bible was not just a religion, but also a subject to be studied. Every day, no matter the weather, he and his 48 classmates would walk several blocks from the school to St. Paul’s Memorial Church where Chapel began at 8:25am. Along the way, they carried with them their required textbooks including a Bible, a prayer book, and a hymnal.[25] The services typically lasted a half hour and included prayer, hymnal singing, and short preaching messages.[26] By the time he was fourteen, he was a confirmed Episcopalian.[27] The use of the Bible in the classroom exposed him to more Scripture, to which he later stated, “Biblical lessons began to open the spiritual portals of a growing faith.”[28]

The years at the West Point Military Academy also played a pivotal role in preparing the growth and development of Cadet MacArthur’s morals and faith. Much like the WTMA’s commitments to Christianity, West Point laid a Christian foundation in the lives of its cadets. In 1898, he enrolled in the West Point Military Academy. In 1903, he graduated first in his class. Embedded in the mission statement at West Point was a moral-ethical program commitment which outlined the moral expectations of all students and graduates.[29] Very little scholarship has been completed on the topic of his faith during his school years, particularly at West Point. These early experiences helped shape his military philosophy of command from this point forward to his role as Army Chief of Staff in 1930.

Philosophy of MacArthur: Theory, 1930 – 1945

MacArthur’s philosophy of leadership reflected his deep understanding of the tenets of Christianity as seen in his public pronouncements as Army Chief of Staff, 1930 – 1935. During his time as Army Chief of Staff, he personally oversaw numerous reductions in the size and strength of the U.S. military. Alarmed at this shrinking trend, coupled with the growth of arms in Germany, Italy, and Japan, he took to the podium to convey his thoughts on the situation, as was his modus operandi. On July 14, 1935, two and a half months before the end of his tenure as Army of Chief of Staff, he spoke to the 42nd Infantry (Rainbow) Division where he shared his personal philosophy of leadership and argument for a stronger military presence,

The springs of human conflict cannot be eradicated through institutions, but only through the reform of the individual human being…We all dream of the day when human conduct will be governed by the Decalogue and the Sermon on the Mount.[30]

He argued that, should America lay down its arms as a “Christian nation” then others who did not live according to the Christian principles of “justice, tolerance, and understanding” would seek an avenue to power at America’s expense.[31] America, he argued, should maintain its military as a defense against others who do not share such a love for peace. The intentionally chosen words of his speech to the Rainbow Division reflected his belief that the depravity of humanity would always lead to self-interested nations infringing upon the peace of other nations through military enterprise. This argument provided his justification for maintaining a strong military buttress against the warmongering tendencies of humanity.

His invocation of the Decalogue and the Sermon on the Mount were scriptural references to what he believed should be the foundation for humanity’s spiritual reform. The Decalogue, being the Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses upon Mount Horeb, was proof that if governed by the practical applications of the Laws of God, humans would live in peace with one another. His inclusion of the “Sermon on the Mount” was a reference to the biblical passage generally cited from the Book of Matthew in chapters 5-7. The sermon was preached by the Lord Jesus Christ to a crowd of individuals on the Mount of Olives, around 30A.D. The gist of the Sermon calls for people to live peaceably according to the Word God and treat others the way they want to be treated.[32] If adhered to, he believed that the tenets of Christianity would spiritually reform the individual in society to such a degree that it would effectively eradicate the need for a military presence in the world. This Christian philosophy would resurface in the aftermath of WWII.

He restated his Christianized philosophy through his public pronouncement during Japan’s formal surrender procession. On September 2, 1945 Japanese government officials formally surrendered to General MacArthur, all onboard the USS Missouri. Understanding the monumental opportunity that lay before him, he defined his vision for the future of Japan in his speech to the Japanese officials and the U.S. public. Standing alone aboard the quarterdeck of the USS Missouri, with “only God and my own conscience to guide me,” he read his speech that he had written only the night before. Trembling while he spoke, he outlined his own personal convictions and vision for the U.S. occupation of Japan. [33] Having received no directions or orders from President Truman he was free to say and do as he thought best, according to his beliefs in Christianity. In this twenty-one minute formal procession of surrender, he stated that the primary cause of WWII was spiritual in nature, and could then only be resolved through a spiritual reformation. He stated, “the problem basically is theological, and involves a spiritual recrudescence…It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.”[34] Employing biblical imagery and language to condemn the use of war, he claimed that if a “more equitable system” were not devised by men, “Armageddon will be at our door.”[35] By placing the blame for warfare on humanity’s need to be spiritually reformed, he was in effect stating what would later be the fundamental guiding philosophy of the occupation. In his mind, the occupation would be primarily a spiritual undertaking to right the “theological” wrongs in Japanese society.[36] He viewed the occupation of Japan as the the perfect opportunity to give “a practical demonstration of Christian ideals” to a spiritually lost society.[37] His Christian philosophy of leadership later guided his governing philosophy as potentate in postwar Japan.[38]

Philosophy of MacArthur: Applied, 1945-1951

With the carte blanche support of allied powers, General MacArthur was granted license to pursue his personal philosophy of governance in war torn Japan. On July 26th, 1945 Harry S. Truman, Chiang Kai-shek, and Winston Churchill issued the Potsdam Declaration which outlined the Japanese surrender, as well as the goals of an allied occupation of Japan. In late August, 1945 these demands were revised and greatly expanded by economists in conjunction with the State-War-Navy-Coordinating Committee (SWNCC), in a document known as the SWNCC 150.[39] On August 29th, 1945, the SWNCC cabled their revised plan to General MacArthur while his plane was refueling on Okinawa.[40] Much to his chagrin, this revised plan outlined extensive and unrealistic goals for the U.S. occupation of Japan. Distraught by its demands, he shared his anxieties in a cable to General Marshall on September 3, 1945. After reading it, Marshall responded by assuring him that the SWNCC 150 was merely a guide, not a directive to be followed in its exact form.[41] Marshall’s encouragement was validated when full investiture of power came via a transmission from President Truman. On September 6, 1945, President Truman sent a message to MacArthur stating, “The authority of the Emperor and the Japanese Government to rule the State is subordinate to you as Supreme Commander for the Allied powers. You will exercise your authority as you deem proper to carry out your mission.”[42] This message effectively made MacArthur the most powerful American in U.S. history. For the remainder of the occupation, any reference to the SWNCC 150 or the Potsdam Declaration were interpreted by him as the basic requirements of the U.S. occupation which would be subordinated to his Christian philosophy.

As SCAP, MacArthur attuned the U.S. Government’s basic political objectives in harmony with his Christian philosophy of leadership; that rebuilding a new Japan must begin by spiritually reforming the individual. MacArthur reduced the political objectives of the SWNCC 150 to the demilitarization and democratization of Japan.[43] These two basic requirements were secondary objectives behind the higher and more spiritual purpose of bringing Christianity to the enslaved Japanese society and psyche.[44] Christianity and its principles would be implemented as the “arch” of occupation policy to usher in democracy and individual liberty, while filling the void of a broken and defeated faith in postwar Japan.

MacArthur believed that Japan had to be demilitarized before spiritual reform could begin. To demilitarize and “neutralize the war potential” of Japan, MacArthur believed that the broken state religion of Japan, Shinto, had to be removed.[45] He understood that the Japanese people’s faith resided in an ancient warrior code known as Bushido, which officially formed the basis of ancestral worship of Shinto.[46] The state had taken the Bushido code and Shinto hostage, reformulating its teachings towards military arrogance, invincibility, and expansion.[47] So potent was this ethnocentric ideology that it had “permeated and controlled” all aspects of Japanese daily life, “physical, mental, and spiritual.”[48] After their defeat, Japan rued their misguided faith. A member of the Japanese surrender procession, diplomat and Harvard graduate, Toshikazu Kase stated, “We were not beaten on the battlefield by dint of superior arms. We were defeated in the spiritual contest by virtue of a nobler idea. The real issue was moral, beyond all the power of algebra to compute.” Rulers at the top of the social hierarchy had induced a faith and psychosis of militaristic fervor in order to pursue their own expansionist ends. Once Japan surrendered, “their entire faith in the Japanese way of life, cherished as invincible for many centuries, perished in the agony of their total defeat.”[49]

MacArthur believed that by demilitarizing Japan, a “spiritual vacuum” would transpire in the wake of their defeat, leaving an empty void for Christianity to fill.[50] MacArthur’s Aide, General Courtney Whitney reflected on Japan’s total defeat, stating “In their hour of agony, like all human beings they had turned to their religious faith for support, and at this crucial moment even their faith had failed them.”[51] MacArthur understood that the collapse of Japan’s national faith resulted in a “spiritual vacuum” which would inevitably be filled by “either a philosophy of good, or a philosophy of evil.”[52] If Christianity did not assume the void, then “atheistic communism” or other pernicious ideologies would readily do so.[53] Later commenting on these plans for Japan, he stated that, “discarded is the traditional intolerance of human rights, the restrictions upon human liberties, the callousness to human life, and in their place have been accepted and fused into the Japanese heart many of the Christian virtues…”[54]

In her autobiography, well-known writer Miura Ayako shares her deeply personal “catharsis of faith” and the new life that followed.[55] As a school teacher during WWII, Miura experienced firsthand the nefarious militaristic psychosis that was foisted upon her by state regulations and propaganda. Miura was sixteen years old when she began teaching at a junior school.[56] For at least twenty years prior to her days teaching, Miura stated that “the aim of education was to build a nation for the emperor.”[57] Like most Japanese people at the time, the state easily deceived her, “How much less could a young girl who didn’t know East from West discern the thinking of that era?”[58] Miura had no understanding of the world outside of her own. Like the rest of her generation, she grew up expected to obey those in authority over her, and was misled by them. Distraught, Miura pontificated upon the meaning of truth, “When things have been right until now, and then have become wrong, can we blame it on the times?” she asked.[59] Ashamed, Miura resigned from teaching, “In spite of pouring my life into teaching, I had no satisfaction or pride, because I was constantly filled with shame and regret that, under the guise of being a good teacher, I might have taught error.”[60] Plunged into grief, Miura stated, “At that time I could believe in nothing. Ever since everything had crumbled on the day of the defeat and I had given up all I had believed in for twenty years, I had become afraid of believing.”[61] Not long afterwards, Miura attempted suicide but to no avail.[62] Later, she found hope and faith in Jesus Christ, and went on to become the most well-known Christian novelist in Japan.

General MacArthur believed that a democracy in Japan must first be preceded by the spiritual reform of the individual. He believed that “democracy and Christianity have much in common, as practice of the former is impossible without giving faithful [service] to the fundamental concepts underlying the latter.”[63] This stance on democracy echoed the belief of many former American leaders that a democracy could only exist as long as the morality of the people could uphold it.[64] He believed that Christianity and democracy existed in a directly dependent relationship. While Christianity could exist under any form of government, democracy could only exist when founded upon the principles of “justice and understanding” as found in Scripture.[65] In a letter to the editor of a Christian journal in 1948, he clearly stated this belief that, “I am absolutely convinced that true democracy can exist only on a spiritual foundation. It will endure when it rests firmly on the Christian conception of the individual and society.”[66]

Legacy of MacArthur, 1945 – 2013

MacArthur’s vision for the Christianization of Japan is often criticized by scholars and historians for numerous reasons, and the story always ends with failure being attributed to him in one form or another. What is interesting to note is, these criticisms come from a variety of academic backgrounds and a variety of professions. One particular example comes from Mabel Francis, a New Hampshire born missionary to Japan from 1909-1967. Mabel left New Hampshire for the Japanese mission field in 1909, under the umbrella of the Christian Missionary Alliance.[67] She chose to remain in Japan during the Great Depression era in the U.S. of the 1920s-30s despite losing all missionary support. She also chose to stay in Japan throughout the course of both world wars, and was held as a prisoner of war during WWII.[68] In 1963, representatives of the Emperor of Japan bestowed upon Mabel the 5th Order of the Sacred Treasure for her missionary efforts.[69] At the time, she was the only living person to ever receive the award. In her autobiography, she stated two reasons why she believed that the Christianization of Japan was a failure. First, American churches failed to send enough missionaries when General Douglas MacArthur requested them. Secondly, the U.S. occupation forces and General MacArthur failed to use public education as a vehicle in which to teach the public about Christianity. She rued the missed opportunity to provide the youth of Japan with purpose and meaning as found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.[70] Likewise, the scholar Okazaki Masafumi, through historical analysis, argues that General MacArthur failed to Christianize Japan due to his stance on the separation of church and state. The U.S. occupation policy of separation of church and state, argues Masafumi, came in direct conflict with MacArthur’s continual push to Christianize Japan. Historian Lawrence Wittner believes that the ingrained religions that existed prior to Christianity were the cause of MacArthur’s failure to Christianize Japan.[71] In his scathing biography of MacArthur, Russel D. Buhite claims that MacArthur attempted to convert Japan to Christianity, and was an “ultimate failure.”[72] From a variety of fields, scholars have labeled General Macarthur as a failure. However, none of the individuals take into account the fact that he turned down Emperor Hirohito’s offer to convert all of Japan to Christianity.[73] This decision by MacArthur was a display of his belief in religious freedom of choice, as he stated personally, “This most sacred of human rights – to worship freely in accordance with individual conscience – is fundamental to all reforms..”[74] They also ignore the fact that MacArthur saw himself as only a “spiritual steward” whose role was merely to “pave the way” for others to “Carry the Word of God and advance the Cross” to the Japanese people.[75] In this regard, MacArthur was not a failure.


As architect of the U.S. occupation, MacArthur’s governing philosophy of leadership was built upon the foundation of his faith in Christianity. He viewed the struggle of WWII, and all war, to be the result of humanity’s spiritual depravity, in what he called the “human problem.”[76]  He believed that the way to resolve humanity’s failings was through spiritual reform. The warmongering Japanese required a spiritual reformation at the individual level to effect transformation in the whole. This was the end goal of his philosophy of occupation governance, and yet this proposed the greatest challenge of all. He believed that for over “2,000 years” the “highest theologians” have been “baffled” on how to reform the individual.[77] Undeterred, he would set the course of occupation policies towards the spiritual reformation of the individual. All of this became possible when, by fiat, he was given full license to enact any desired directive at his own discretion.[78] While the U.S. Government had its own political objectives, MacArthur’s spiritual objectives took precedence as he stated, “progress has rested more upon the application of those guiding tenets of our Christian faith – justice, tolerance, and understanding – which, without yielding firmness, have underwritten all applied policy…”[79] All phases of the occupation policy were built upon the cornerstone of spiritual reform to rebuild a strife torn Japan. Confident in this philosophy, he stated,

History will record that so long as that philosophy prevails, reform here injected will survive and a people will emerge firmly dedicated as are we to man’s dignity upon earth and to the moral, spiritual, and material advance of the whole human race.[80]

This apostolic philosophy of spiritual reform would be echoed again and again through his policies, public pronouncements, personal correspondences, and religious practices both during his time as SCAP and well afterwards. While this essay does not attempt to apply righteousness to MacArthur, it does pay homage to the most neglected thread of his command and personal life, his faith. It was this faith that skillfully guided the architect of the most successful military occupation in world history.


Further study of MacArthur’s faith is vital for three reasons: historical memory, blueprint for military leadership, and protection of religious freedom in the military. Firstly, MacArthur’s faith is a neglected thread in scholarship. While the Allied occupation of Japan has been a burned-over topic amongst historians and scholars, scholarship on the role of MacArthur’s faith has barely begun. Numerous well known and admired historians have covered the occupation while paying little or no attention to Christianity’s role in MacArthur’s command.[81] There can be no justifiable cause for the intentional exclusion of such a monumental thread that pioneered the actions of the de juro potentate who rebuilt war torn Japan.

Secondly, The U.S. occupation of Japan should serve as the blueprint for all modern military endeavors. MacArthur’s philosophy of governance was a bottom-up approach to societal rehabilitation, not top-down. He believed that the “human problem” of spiritual reform had to first be addressed, with political objectives following closely behind.[82] The fact that the occupation and rehabilitation attempts of our modern nation are so unsuccessful could be due to the fact that their leaders have yet to discover that any occupation must be conducted from the ground up. MacArthur’s rehabilitation of Japan was directed first and foremost at the soul and spirit of the individual citizen of the war torn nation. From 1945-1952, 83 million people were left at the mercy of an occupying military force which attempted to serve, rather than dominate its subjects.

Lastly, religious freedom is under attack in the military today. On April 23, 2013 the U.S. Pentagon appointed Mikey Weinstein, the author and founder of the Military Religious Freedoms Foundation, as their religious freedoms consultant. Under the guise of religious freedom, Mikey Weinstein vehemently argues against the sharing of one’s faith in the military, no matter the faith. Those who are open about their faith are dubbed by Weinstein as, “fundamentalists, spiritual rapists, and predators.”[83] He also labels openly discussing one’s faith in the military as, “seditious, treasonous, and unconstitutional.”[84] He personally calls for the court martial of those who speak of their faith, including military chaplains. Weinstein frequently cites abnormal cases of spiritual abuse in the military to pursue his own anti-religious agenda. If Weinstein has his way, I fear that another MacArthur may forever be banned from the U.S. Armed Forces. While spiritual abuse should never be tolerated, as MacArthur would agree, Religious freedom must be protected in the U.S. Armed Forces and never be infringed by anyone under the guise of religion, hyper-secularism, atheism, or any other ideology.[85]


Primary Sources:

“The Genesis of Post-war Christian Ministries in Japan.” Accessed April 4, 2013,   

About West Point, accessed April 4, 2013,

Catholic Herald Archives

Francis, Mabel. One Shall Chase A Thousand. Harrisburg VA: Christian Publications, 1968.

General Douglas MacArthur, Class of 1897, last modified May 5, 2012, accessed April 4, 2013.   

Graham, Billy. Just as I am: The Autobiography of Billy Graham. San Francisco, Calif: Harper,     San Francisco, 1997.

Gunther, John. The Riddle of MacArthur: Japan, Korea, and the Far East. New York: Harper &   Brothers, 1950.

Lee, Clark, and Richard Henschel. Douglas MacArthur. New York: Holt, 1950.

MacArthur, Douglas. Reminiscences: Douglas McArthur, General of the Army. New York:           McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1964.

MacArthur, Douglas. Revitalizing a Nation: A Statement of Beliefs, Opinions, and Policies             Embodied in the Public Pronouncements of General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur.    Chicago: Heritage Foundation, 1952.

MacArthur Memorial Archives

Miura, Ayako. The Wind is Howling. Trans. Valerie Griffiths. Japan: Oversees Missionary             Fellowship, 1990.

New York Times Archives

PBS Archive

Whitney, Courtney. MacArthur: His Rendezvous with History. New York: Alfred A. Knopf,         1956.

Wooding, Dan. God’s Ambassadors in Japan: The Kenny and Lila Joseph Story. London: Ripe,   2009.

Secondary Sources:

Buhite, Russell D. Douglas MacArthur: Statecraft and Stagecraft in America’s East Asian Policy. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2008.

Choi, Jai-keun. “MacArthur’s Religious Policy in Occupied Japan.” Theological Forum 40            (2005), 135-154.

Clayton, James D. The Years of MacArthur. Vol.  1, (1880-1941). Vol. 2, (1941-1945). Vol. 3,      (1945-1964). Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1970-85.

Darby, Jean. Douglas MacArthur. Minneapolis: Lerner, 1989.

Dower, John W. Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. New York: W.W.            Norton & Co., 1999.

Duffy, Bernard, K., and Ronald H. Carpenter. Douglas MacArthur: Warrior as Wordsmith.          Westport, Conn: Greenwood, 1997.

Hanley, Ray. Little Rock. Mount Pleasant, SC: Arcadia, 2007.

Imparato, Edward T. General MacArthur: Speeches and Reports 1908-1964. Paducah, KY:          Turner Pub., 2000.

Moore, Ray A.. Soldier of God: MacArthur’s Attempt to Christianize Japan. Portland, ME:            MerwinAsia, 2011.

Manchester, William. American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur, 1880-1964. Boston: Little, Brown, 1978

Okazaki, Masafumi. “Chrysanthemum and Christianity: Education and Religion in Occupied        Japan, 1945–1952.” Pacific Historical Review 79, no. 3, (2010), 393–417.

Perret, Geoffrey. Old Soldiers Never Die: The Life of Douglas MacArthur. New York:               Random House, 1996.

Wittner, Lawrence S. “MacArthur and the Missionaries: God and Man in Occupied Japan.”          Pacific Historical Review 40, no. 1 (February, 1971), 77-98.

[1] Douglas MacArthur. Revitalizing a Nation: A Statement of Beliefs, Opinions, and Policies Embodied in the Public Pronouncements of General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur, (Chicago: Heritage Foundation, 1952), 28; MacArthur, Revitalizing a Nation, 23.

[2] MacArthur, “Bringing the Bible to Japan,” U.S. News & World Report, Feb. 4 1955.

[3]“The Genesis of Post-war Christian Ministries in Japan.” Accessed April 4, 2013,; Choi, Jai-keun. “MacArthur’s Religious Policy in Occupied Japan,” Theological Forum 40 (2005): 150; Dan Wooding. God’s Ambassadors in Japan: The Kenny and Lila Joseph Story, (London: Ripe, 2009); William Manchester. American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur, 1880-1964, (Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1978), 14.

[4] Douglas MacArthur. Reminiscences: Douglas McArthur, General of the Army. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1964), 282; MacArthur, “Bringing the Bible to Japan,” U.S. News & World Report, Feb. 4 1955.

[5] MacArthur, Reminiscence, 3.

[6] Ibid., 3.

[7] Jean Darby, Douglas MacArthur, (Minneapolis: Lerner, 1989), 10.

[8] Ray Hanley. Little Rock. Mount Pleasant, (SC: Arcadia, 2007), 22.

[9] MacArthur, Reminiscence, 3.

[10] Clark Lee and Richard Henschel. Douglas MacArthur, (New York: Holt, 1950), 240.

[11] Darby, Douglas MacArthur, 10.

[12] MacArthur, Reminiscinces, 17.

[13] Ibid., 16: Geoffrey Perret, Old Soldiers Never Die: The Life of Douglas MacArthur, (New York: Random House, 1996), 21.

[14] Manchester, American Caesar, 58; Perret, Old Soldiers Never Die, 21.

[15]Perret, Old Soldiers Never Die, 21.

[16] General Douglas MacArthur, Class of 1897, last modified May 5, 2012, accessed April 4, 2013.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid.

[20] MacArthur, Reminiscences, 17.

[21] Ibid., 18.

[22] Ibid., 17.

[23] Ibid., 17.

[24] Ibid., 17.

[25] Manchester, American Caesar, 58: Perret, Old Soldiers, 22.

[26] Perret, Old Soldiers, 22.

[27] Ibid., 22.

[28] Manchester, American Caesar, 58

[29] About West Point, accessed April 4, 2013,

[30] Edward T. Imparato. General MacArthur: Speeches and Reports 1908-1964, (Paducah, KY: Turner Pub, 2000); “MacArthur’s Speeches: The Noblest Development of Mankind,” PBS Archive.

[31] Ibid; Letter from MacArthur to Dr. Louie D. Newton, President of the Southern Baptist Convention, November 29, 1946, MacArthur Memorial Archive.

[32] Matthew 5-7, (King James Version).

[33] MacArthur, Reminiscences, 272; Jai-keun Choi. “MacArthur’s Religious Policy in Occupied Japan,” Theological Forum 40 (2005), 136. In his historical essay, Jai-Keun Choi falsely quotes MacArthur as stating he was “studying” on the quarterdeck of the U.S. Missouri.

[34] Ibid., 276.

[35] MacArthur, Reminiscinces, 276.

[36] Ibid., 276.

[37] Patrick O’ Connor, “MacArthur Sees the Occupation of Japan as Practical Demonstration of Christian Ideals,” Catholic Herald, October 3, 1947.

[38] John Dower, Embracing Defeat

[39] Ray A. Moore. Soldier of God: MacArthur’s Attempt to Christianize Japan. (Portland, ME: MerwinAsia, 2011), 33.

[40] Moore, Soldier of God, 33.

[41] Ibid., 34.

[42] Letter from President Truman to MacArthur, Sept. 6, 1945.

[43] Moore, Soldier of God, 33.

[44] MacArthur, Reminiscences, 276.

[45] Ibid., 276.

[46] Courtney Whitney. MacArthur: His Rendezvous with History. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1956), 273.

[47] Whitney, MacArthur, 273.

[48] Ibid., 273.

[49] Douglas MacArthur. Revitalizing a Nation: A Statement of Beliefs, Opinions, and Policies Embodied in the Public Pronouncements of General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur. (Chicago: Heritage Foundation, 1952), 22.

[50] MacArthur, Reminisceces, 272.

[51] Whitney, MacArthur, 274.

[52] Ibid., 272; MacArthur, Revitalizing a Nation, 22.

[53] Bernard K. Duffy, and Ronald H. Carpenter. Douglas MacArthur: Warrior as Wordsmith. (Westport, Conn: Greenwood, 1997), 60.

[54] MacArthur, Revitalizing a Nation, 23.

[55] Whitney, MacArthur, 273.

[56] Ayako Miura. The Wind is Howling. Trans. Valerie Griffiths. (Japan: Oversees Missionary Fellowship, 1990), 12.

[57] Miura, The Wind is Howling,14.

[58] Ibid., 15.

[59] Ibid., 15.

[60] Ibid., 16.

[61] Ibid., 18.

[62] Ibid., 37.

[63] Letter from MacArthur to Reverend James Flint Boughton of Wesley Methodist Church, November 22, 1947, MacArthur Memorial Archive.

[64]Upon exiting the second Continental Congress, Benjamin Franklin was approached by a woman who asked, “what form of government are we?” Franklin replied, “A republic, if you and your sons can keep it.” This basic understanding of moral responsibility and in government is echoed in MacArthur’s belief that democracy and Christianity go hand-in-hand. To him, a democracy and a republic were one and the same.

[65] Russell D. Buhite, Douglas MacArthur: Statecraft and Stagecraft in America’s East Asian Policy, (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2008), 86.

[66] John Gunther, The Riddle of MacArthur: Japan, Korea, and the Far East, (New York: Harper &                 Brothers, 1950), 76.

[67] Francis Mabel, One Shall Chase a Thousand.

[68] Mabel Francis, One Shall Chase A Thousand, (Harrisburg VA: Christian Publications, 1968), 89-91.

[69] Francis, One Shall Chase a Thousand, 89-91.

[70] Ibid., 91.

[71] Lawrence S. Wittner, “MacArthur and the Missionaries: God and Man in Occupied Japan,” Pacific Historical Review 40, no. 1 (February, 1971), 97.

[72] Buhite, Douglas MacArthur, 86.

[73] Billy Graham, Just as I am: The Autobiography of Billy Graham, (San Francisco, Calif: Harper, San Francisco, 1997), 194. MacArthur told this story to missionary Alice Cary in a personal meeting, (see Dan Wooding) as well as to Billy Graham in a personal meeting. I’ve not heard a single story of MacArthur turning away a Christian missionary who called upon him. This priority of individuals, access to the potentate, should speak volumes how highly he regarded his mission of spiritual reformation.

[74] Letter from MacArthur to Bishop Taguchi, Bishop of Osaka, January 23, 1946, MacArthur Memorial Archives.

[75] Letter from Douglas MacArthur to Mr. Donald S. Ewing, Gordon College of Theology and Missions, Boston, MA, Nov. 4, 1949, MacArthur Memorial Archives; MacArthur, “Bringing the Bible to Japan,” U.S. News & World Report, Feb. 4 1955.

[76] Letter from MacArthur to Reverend James Flint Boughton of Wesley Methodist Church, Pleasantville, NJ, November 22, 1947, MacArthur Memorial Archives.

[77] Edward T. Imparato. General MacArthur: Speeches and Reports 1908-1964. Paducah, KY: Turner Pub, 2000; “MacArthur’s Speeches: The Noblest Development of Mankind,” PBS Archive.

[78] John W. Dower, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II, New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1999; “Transcript of General Macarthur’s Senate Testimony on His Concept of the War in Korea,” New York Times, May 4, 1951, New York Times Archive.   

[79] Letter from MacArthur to Dr. Louie D. Newton, President of the Southern Baptist Convention, November 29, 1946, MacArthur Memorial Archive.

[80] Letter from MacArthur to Roy G. Ross, General Secretary of the International Council of Religious Education, November 20, 1946, MacArthur Memorial Archives.

[81]All three of MacArthur’s major biographers, William Manchester, Geoffrey Perret, and James D. Clayton, The Years of MacArthur, Vol.  1, (1880-1941), Vol. 2, (1941-1945), Vol. 3, (1945-1964), Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1970-85 all mysteriously neglect the thread of his faith. Even the renowned historian John Dower fails to discuss MacArthur’s faith to any great detail. The list of secondary sources who neglect this thread is almost endless.

[82] Letter from MacArthur to Reverend James Flint Boughton of Wesley Methodist Church, Pleasantville, NJ, November 22, 1947, MacArthur Memorial Archives; In 1993, Major John Obert Baker III of the U.S. Marine Corps conferenced with the governing bodies of the U.S. occupation of Mogadishu, Somolia. During the conference, he was asked, “What is it that this occupation needs? Is it more education? Should we create new housing projects? What should we pursue as the occupying force?” Major Baker responded, “Sir, we can bring in as much education as we want, we can pursue any directive we desire, but the only thing that will truly impact this culture and society is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Major Baker understood the very crux of MacArthur’s governing philosophy that effective rehabilitation should be bottom-up in its apporach.

[83] Todd Starnes, “Religious Groups Fear Christian Purge from Military,” The Christian Post, May 2, 2013.

[84] Ibid.

[85] MacArthur rejected Emperor Hirohito’s plea to convert all of Japan to Christianity. He firmly believed in religious freedom, not wanting to force anyone into any faith. However, as long as religious freedom was secured for all peoples, he believed it was perfectly alright for people to share their faith. If the playing field was level, then it would be alright.

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