Witness for Atonement, by Robert Margetts


Rumor had it that during the Cold War, the Soviet Union had targeted my town and several neighboring cities and ports for nuclear strikes. A hardened communications center, less than a mile from my house as the missile flies, now serves as an office complex. The occupants of its companion building make Foot Joy golf shoes and accessories.

Once you live on the potential receiving end of a nuclear bomb, Robert Margetts’ story cuts deeply into one’s conscience. Bob served in the USAF as a navigator-bombardier, and he participated in the Strategic Air Command. When on airborne alert, he navigated B-36s armed with nuclear weapons. If ordered, he would have directed his crew to a target in The Soviet Union or China and would have dropped the bomb.

Later in his career, the Air Force trained him as a launch officer at an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) base where he stood ready to launch between ten to a hundred nuclear bombs. The combined explosive power of a launch ranged between 11.2 and 112 million tons of TNT. One of these bombs carried about 1,000 times the explosive power of the Hiroshima or Nagasaki bombs.

Bob justified his role in the defense of the United States because our country would never launch these horrific weapons as a first strike. In other words, we would retaliate if our enemy had already dropped nuclear bombs on us. Secondly, we would only bomb military targets. In 1968, the USA reversed its policy toward nuclear weapons. In an emergency, it would attack first and would nuke population centers.

The Second Vatican Council and Popes beginning with Pius XII through Francis, have condemned not only this policy, but any use of nuclear weapons. The Nuremberg Trials established that a soldier may not hide behind the claim that “he was only following orders.” Consequently, Major Robert Margetts asked for reassignment, so that his superiors could never command him to launch ICBMs. They rejected his reasoning and began proceedings that ended his career.

In his new life, Bob awakened to the “culture of death” that includes mutually assured nuclear annihilation, abortion, racism, eugenics and “a hidden agenda to undermine the ways of God.”

He wrote, “Eugenics is a motive of the abortion industry. Abortion as provided by Planned Parenthood has eugenic roots. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, saw abortion as a means of getting rid of ‘undesirables.’ Blacks, the poor, all other non-whites, especially those not part of the intellectual elite, became targets for abortion. That is why most (over 75%) abortion mills are in poorer sections of our cities.”

Bob cites evidence that the Japanese government sent peace overtures as early as 13 May 1945. The American response: “Work on the Manhattan project was speeded up in fear that Japan might surrender before the bomb could be used.” The destruction of the civilian populations on Hiroshima and Nagasaki warned the Soviets not to invade Japan. Did the end justify the means?

He witnessed the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001, from the New Jersey Turnpike, two miles away. “As I look back on that day, I doubt that we can ever think of ourselves as invincible any more. Will this bring about soul-searching in the hearts of many Americans, as it has in me? And – this one is not so easy to ask— was it the beginning of payback? Are we going to reap what we have sown?”

Fr. Eric Bergman told Bob, “If we don’t stop killing the innocent, the chickens will come home to roost…Historically, any nation that has killed innocent life has come under the judgement of God.” Is it too late?

Bob Margetts’ mission is enlist his readers as Witnesses for Atonement. He asks that Americans seek Divine Mercy in atonement for the crimes of our national leaders and for all who support abortion. He asks that all who join in this effort gather at Mass at the annual Feast of the Holy Innocents (28 December). Become a Witness by signing a petition available in the appendix of this book. Participate in acts of atonement including prayer fasting and sacrifice. The second portion of the petition asks the United States to take a leadership role in world nuclear disarmament.


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