Archive: February 21, 2010 - February 27, 2010
Given the pervasive nature of religion in most societies across the world, how these communities experience and interpret religion is essential to how they react to the world, including the U.S.
By Asma T. Uddin | February 27, 2010; 11:10 PM ET | Comments (9)
The problem with American foreign policy is that it never considers that a particular religious belief might be true or that some beliefs might be false. We don't argue with religious folk, we attempt to placate them.
By John Mark Reynolds | February 26, 2010; 4:55 PM ET | Comments (12)
Today is Ta'anit Ester, the fast of Esther. Many Jews all over the world fast today in honor of the three-day fast that Esther kept before approaching King Ahashuerus in the biblical book of Esther, asking that her people be saved
By Erica Brown | February 26, 2010; 4:47 PM ET | Comments (7)
Religion is a critical ally that U.S. foreign policy ignores at its peril. President Obama was right to promote a deeper engagement of foreign policy and religion in Cairo recognizing the importance of religious allies in politics, human rights, aid and peacemaking across the globe. The greatest challenge, however, will not be to enact this at the highest levels of diplomacy but how effectively to engage players at the grassroots where people live.
By Katharine Henderson | February 25, 2010; 6:25 PM ET | Comments (1)
If we are going to allow religion to define the country's foreign policy, then how are we going to ensure that religion does not become a state policy and partisan religious groups allowed to define all policies? Are we not opening a Pandora's Box?
By Arun Gandhi | February 25, 2010; 1:39 PM ET | Comments (1)
How can we as a God-fearing nation be all right with so many people not having health care insurance? Or not being able to afford adequate health care?
By Susan K. Smith | February 25, 2010; 8:55 AM ET | Comments (6)
The secularist illusion that foreign policy can be conducted without consideration of religion has fast faded since 9/11 and the global increase of religion's valence in common and political life.
By Willis E. Elliott | February 25, 2010; 8:21 AM ET | Comments (1)
For most of the rest of the world, the secularization process has not occurred as much, and the religious beliefs and practices of many people in the world remain important and integral in their lives and in their governments. We cannot pretend this situation does not exist, nor can we wish it away with our claims to the superiority of secularism.
By Ramdas Lamb | February 25, 2010; 4:45 AM ET | Comments (5)
Hindus and Buddhists comprise a growing portion of our foreign service establishment. But not one made the cut to sit on this task force recommending how our country should deal in a world where more than one in five persons is Hindu or Buddhist.
By Aseem Shukla | February 25, 2010; 12:30 AM ET | Comments (16)
I can think of nothing more potentially damaging than allowing religion to be a part of shaping foreign policy. We are already strained and divided by political ideology, so much so that precious little work on behalf of the people is getting done.
By Susan K. Smith | February 24, 2010; 4:36 PM ET | Comments (1)
Why do some people believe that God punishes the innocent (like children with disabilities) to punish the wicked?
By Sally Quinn | February 24, 2010; 3:43 PM ET | Comments (111)
To suggest that the Establishment Clause can never apply beyond our borders would be an emasculation of that critical pillar of the First Amendment that ensures religious liberty for all Americans and whose underlying principle of governmental neutrality informs a proper understanding of religious liberty abroad.
By J. Brent Walker | February 24, 2010; 12:38 PM ET | Comments (2)
Task Force Members in their report succeed in showing is that U. S. Foreign Policy leadership is more and more coming to understand that religion is already in the mix in conflict. They provide reasons for the nation(s) to recognize anew that religion is a waxing, not a waning force globally, and that not to understand this or to misunderstand its role, can be paralyzing and lethal.
By Martin Marty | February 24, 2010; 10:53 AM ET | Comments (3)
Recognizing the power of religion in the world is the better part of wisdom for anyone working on international concerns. Thinking that any government--especially ours--can and/or should use religion as a foreign affairs strategy is a prelude to disaster.
By Welton Gaddy | February 24, 2010; 9:46 AM ET | Comments (5)
The structures of the world's religions are the best existing vehicles for transmitting important lessons, and for communicating with and leading the world's peoples. Religions have the attention of the world's citizenry, and thus can make the most impact.
By Leo Brunnick | February 23, 2010; 6:22 PM ET | Comments (2)
Ignoring religion will doom peace initiatives because so many of the conflicts in the world today are based on interpretations of religious belief that promote violence rather than the peace on which these religions are founded.
By Feisal Abdul Rauf | February 23, 2010; 6:18 PM ET | Comments (8)
The role of religion around the world, and in individual nations and regions, is so complicated that I cannot imagine anything good resulting from American diplomats becoming more closely involved with religious communities abroad.
By Susan Jacoby | February 23, 2010; 4:26 PM ET | Comments (95)
Islam makes no accommodation for those of other faiths, or no faith, as America does. Any diplomatic "outreach" must understand this truth. It must also include at least some common principles in order for that outreach to produce objectives in the best interests of the nations involved, most especially the United States.
By Cal Thomas | February 23, 2010; 3:59 PM ET | Comments (25)
When any country's foreign policy gets religion, disaster usually follows. What U.S. foreign policy should get is secular. This involves learning more about the religious and cultural beliefs of people in countries where we are engaged.
By Herb Silverman | February 23, 2010; 2:22 PM ET | Comments (23)
Just as we ought to have a bright line between church and state in the United States, we ought rightly to maintain a distinction between the diplomatic relations we have with sovereign governments and the religious hierarchies that exist without regard to the responsibilities and limitations of those sovereign governments.
By Jack Moline | February 23, 2010; 12:39 PM ET | Comments (1)
History teaches that healthy societies are governed by guiding principles that support inclusiveness and universality where the welfare of their citizens is concerned.
By Phil Davis | February 23, 2010; 12:01 PM ET | Comments (6)
American foreign policy has been seriously debilitated from the lack of sustained analyses of the multiples roles religion plays around the world. Religious leaders and foreign policy experts should (and sometimes do) work towards each other in bringing religious assets to the table where they can support rational policy. This would be the "smart" in smart power.
By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite | February 22, 2010; 9:22 PM ET | Comments (4)
For the Founders, religion was a legal afterthought." The truth is, religion was a seven-year forethought, in the Constitution's predecessor, the Articles of Confederation. Indeed, also in the Declaration of Independence, a five-year forethought to the Articles of Confederation.
By Willis E. Elliott | February 22, 2010; 3:51 PM ET | Comments (0)
The question isn't IF; it is HOW? There are as many different religious perspectives as there are political parties and advocacy groups in any region where our government is plying its interests. Finding a way to navigate the minefield of competing interests religiously is just as tricky as negotiating with competing socio-political views.
By Max Carter | February 22, 2010; 3:27 PM ET | Comments (0)