Imagine an American Foreign Policy that Included God

Bombs Over Hanoi
Would American foreign policy be more productive if Americans and their leadership thought more about how God would want us to act among ourselves and toward the other nations of the world? Absolutely--because if we turned to him, he would bless us with peace.
This morning in Sunday School class we read this Old Testament scripture that really got me thinking.
Therefore also now, saith the Lord, aturn ye even to me with all your bheart, and with cfasting,
and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great ckindness

But I will aremove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the beast sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his cstink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.

Joel 2:12, 13, 20

If we turn to God, there will be no need to worry about terrorists.  It's that simple.  I firmly believe that the above scripture is symptomatic of the problems caused by a Godless American foreign policy. If we turn to God, he will ensure that our enemies are far from us.

The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ has two great lessons regarding foreign policy. God will ensure that we live in peace unless we:

1. Are Mean and Selfish. When we continually think about ourselves more than our neighbor, we become weak.
11 Now this great loss of the Nephites, and the great slaughter which was among them, awould not have happened had it not been for their bwickedness and their abomination which was among them; yea, and it was among those also who professed to belong to the church of God.

12 And it was because of the apride of their hearts, because of their exceeding briches, yea, it was because of their oppression to the cpoor, withholding their food from the hungry, withholding their clothing from the naked, and smiting their humble brethren upon the cheek, making a dmock of that which was sacred, denying the spirit of prophecy and of revelation, murdering, plundering, lying, stealing, committing adultery, rising up in great contentions,

2. Exercise Pre-Emptive War. It is spiritually--and temporally--counterproductive to attack our enemies just because we think that they might be planning to attack us.
 20 Now the people said...let us go up upon the mountains and into the wilderness, that we may fall upon the robbers and destroy them in their own lands.

  21 But Gidgiddoni saith unto them: The Lord aforbid; for if we should go up against them the Lord would bdeliver us into their hands; therefore we will prepare ourselves in the center of our lands, and we will gather all our armies together, and we will not go against them, but we will wait till they shall come against us; therefore as the Lord liveth, if we do this he will deliver them into our hands.

If we expect our leaders to seek the blessings of God, we must first seek the blessings of God ourselves.  Equally important to remember is that God does not bless us if we are mean, selfish, warmongers.


Imagine an American foreign policy that actually included God. What a much more wonderful world it would be.

Comments

  1. The United States of America was founded on the principle of religious freedom, and this idea of neutrality with regard to religion also applied to foreign policy from the beginning.

    The classic (though not the only) example is the Treaty of Tripoli, ratified unanimously by the Senate in June 1797.

    "As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, - as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, - and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

    I would argue that it's best to leave God out of foreign policy, and adhere to international law and applicable treaties.

    For example, the United Nations Convention Against Torture (signed by President Ronald Reagan) requires the U.S. government to prosecute any allegations of torture. By not doing so, the Obama administration is breaking the law. And yes, they are being "mean and selfish."

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  2. Richard: I didn't say anything about Christianity. I agree that we should abide by agreements such as international law and treaties. God expects us to keep our word.

    There is a conscience inside all of us, and that is what I call God. Conscience has not very often informed our politics; rather, pragmatic politics has. That's why we have such a muddled mess in the middle east.

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  3. Sorry, I was under the impression that "The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ" had something to do with Christianity.

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  4. ;-)

    That was simply used to show an example of how God does not protect us. There are such examples in other, including non-Christian, scripture.

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  5. rmwarnick: Steve Farrell blows apart your No Christianity due to the "Treaty of Tripoli" theory: http://radicalacademy.com/studentrefpoliticslibltr23.htm

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  6. It does not require a belief in or reliance upon a God in order to treat others with kindness or eschew violence as a method of achieving personal or national goals. What it does require is a populace that understands history, that has a knowledge of and respect for other peoples, other cultures and other nations, and a citizenry that controls its own government rather than letting it be controlled by those who profit from war.

    Often religious groups subvert the cause of peace by viewing their nation as special in God's eyes, and replace its real history with a myth intended to prove the nation's high and noble purposes; other times they exalt their own culture and show little respect for others; and too often the desire to enforce the religion's social mores is co-opted by those who profit from war.

    If peace is the goal, then working for justice everywhere is the best method. We are all human, regardless of religion, and we all understand what it means to be treated unjustly.

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  7. Charles D: Masterfully said! I agree.

    In the LDS Church, we do believe that America is a great nation, but we teach that that greatness is shared through peaceful actions and not through war and intrigue. Here's a reference to what I'm referring to: http://scriptures.lds.org/en/1_ne/22

    Although, by their support of George W. Bush during his two terms there were (and still are) many LDS Church members who don't understand the concept explained behind the above link.

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