Religions, particularly the Christian faith that animated so much of US history, typically tell their adherents to pray for peace. A consortium of faith groups, under the umbrella “Evangelicals for Peace” has launched a thoughtful new year prayer initiative that anyone can participate in.
“With history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.” -John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961
In what follows I will first lay out some of the most important obstacles, the challenges they pose, their respective weaknesses, and some thoughts on opportunities they offer; then I will offer some thoughts on how best to bring Christianity into engagement with American foreign policy.
Some lament the fact that we live in such a violent world, but that’s precisely the point. Because we live in a violent world, governments must take steps to deter those who can be deterred—and neutralize those who cannot.
Reinhold Niebuhr exposed the assumptions of progressive Christianity and helped create the political theology of “Christian realism”, which sought a more biblical view of how the Christian citizen can live responsibly within a civilization in crisis.