Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Foreign Policy of the Christian Right

Crossposted over at The Agonist.

The Christian Right's foreign policy is simple: everywhere oppose Islam, and agitate for war with Iran:
If 4,000 anti-Semites gathered in Washington, I dare say that -- with justification -- the airwaves would be filled with expressions of shock and outrage from our political leaders as they denounced the event. But when an organization that implicitly sanctions religious war and is engaged in the "ongoing vilification of Islam" brings the same number of delegates to Washington, they don't get condemned -- they get received with warm greetings from President Bush, while GOP leaders and their Israeli allies are practically falling over each other in their thirst for the crowd's adulation. The mob that they are so eager to please are the leaders of Christians United For Israel, founded by firebrand Christian Zionist pastor, John Hagee.
This is how Newt Gingrich's address gets reported in the Jerusalem Post:
The former speaker of the House of Representatives, who has strong conservative credentials, didn't hold back criticism of the commander-in-chief, whom he didn't address by the title president.

"We are in greater danger than you can imagine. We lie to ourselves. We have suffered in the West an enormous defeat in Gaza. We have suffered a significant defeat in South Lebanon, and we lie about it. We don't have a peace process. We have a surrender process," Gingrich said, eliciting applause from an audience waving hundreds of American and Israeli flags.
Fortunately, there are Christians who do not hold such extremist views and do not seem to believe that the message of Christ is to make unjustified war on people who don't look like us or worship the same God. As to Gingrich's comments, it's depressing to see him use the term "we" to conflate Fatah's defeat in Gaza and Israel's defeat in Lebanon with our own foreign policy and national security interests. If Edward Luttwak is arguing that we should pay less attention to the Middle East, Gingrich would seem to be arguing that our national security interests dictate we be a participant in every single struggle against Islamic extremism, whoever it's being waged by and wherever it's being waged. Such language, coming from people at a Christian-sponsored event, makes it difficult to convince Muslims that we are not in fact in a religious war with all of Islam. Of course for these Christians, we are.

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