What role should America play in the world, and what role should Christian ethics and morality play in shaping it?
On Sunday, September 24, at the Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, Texas, Providence managing editor Marc LiVecche and frequent contributor Matt Gobush joined a panel discussion to tackle these questions regarding American foreign policy. Nearly 200 people filled a chapel at Incarnation, a church in the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas, to listen to an animated debate featuring LiVecche, Gobush, theologian Elisabeth Rain Kincaid of the University of Notre Dame, and professor D. Stephen Long of Southern Methodist University. The event was co-sponsored by The Living Church, a biweekly magazine of Anglican Communion news, culture and teaching.
Bishop Anthony Burton, Incarnation’s rector, moderated the debate, which centered on the role of church and state in foreign affairs, the differences between international law and Christian morality, and the applicability of just war doctrine to America’s foreign policies. LiVecche argued for an assertive U.S. foreign policy that includes the use of force within the just war framework to meet its responsibilities to defend American interests and values. Gobush, a former White House National Security Council official, advocated for a liberal internationalist approach, aimed at upholding the responsibility to protect innocents and promoting democracy abroad, but doing so through multilateral institutions to prevent overreach. Kincaid and Long focused on the limits of U.S. power and moral authority, and questioned the relevancy of just war doctrine in today’s world.
Click here to watch the full 90-minute discussion about American foreign policy, which included questions and answers from the audience.