by A. G. House
How are religious fallacies detrimental to foreign policy? If voters base their foreign policy ideas on notions such as that America should favor Israel over other nations because God supposedly said to Israel in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you,” then they are making real-world policy that affects those who don’t agree with them about a religious belief that is, by definition, unprovable.
It’s the ultimate nationalist/fascist fantasy: put it in your “infallible” holy book that it is an absolute Right from God that a collective of people are exclusive heirs to a boundary of land, regardless of any extenuating circumstances, and for all time. Why don’t we just write a new Bible in America and claim our current boundaries are sanctioned by God, can never change for the rest of time, for any reason, and tell all the world they will be going to an eternal, burning Hell if they don’t obey accordingly? It smacks of similarly nationalist delusions which seem ominously reminiscent of something I’d expect to read about the German population during the religious-like rise of mysticism surrounding the Third Reich. Yet, I’ll go even further—if you want to protect Israel, by all means join their military; but please, do not advocate to send American soldiers as world police and nation builders to die in another nation’s fight.
I guess someone who thinks a perfect and benevolent god, one who would send his only kid to die a gruesome death in his place, could also think it’s somehow benevolent to keep sending America’s finest, freshest bunch of young recruits off to a meat grinder of a war that can no longer be justified. Fuck the sanctimonious, bullshit piety of American religious leaders who are still perpetuating war fever and blood lust while wrapping themselves in the Stars and Stripes and wielding the Bible like an M-249 SAW gunner on a holy crusade of righteous genocide. Some of these pathetic imbeciles will preach to the kids to avoid the vampire, or other perceived “evil” lore of pop culture, but practice like real vampires on the blood of the sheep who listen to them and their ilk about being shepherds—all the while, these church “leaders” make friendly with the politicians who are leading the sheep to slaughter. If pulpits were the kindling areas where flames of God’s supposed fires of freedom were to spark in America, surely the cold dead ashes of the church’s obvious moral hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty would not give church leadership the authority from which to speak. If human life is worth no more to Christian Americans than to the Islamic fundamentalist terrorists with whom America has gone to war, then the terrorists have already won, proving that the Christian American’s moral code is in no way superior to their own. Both ultimately end up at the same depraved conclusion of murdering those with whom they disagree and can’t convert.
The hate and indifference to the loss of life and humanity that happens in war is not romantic or glamorous; it is barbaric, and maybe even shameful, that mankind has yet to figure out how to get along without war. War is still hell, regardless of what ill-contrived sunshine some nincompoop mainstream media talking head or snake-oil peddling televangelist would blow up your ass. Who in their right mind would actually want war? If you’re brave enough to ask yourself that question honestly, and ready to honestly consider all possible answers, just remember to follow the money. When one applies reason and logic to American foreign policy, as opposed to religious dogma, it is my guess that one might very well find they have been duped by those who were more than willing to play on superstitions for political support—political support which has in turn been used to coalesce support for an immoral, unconstitutional, unjust, illegal and expensive war.
Not that I can say I have much respect left for the church leadership in America, but it is my guess that if they don’t get this one right, they might as well resign themselves to the trend of continuous decline in church membership, due to the blatantly transparent nature of a fundamental, moral failure of the church leadership to speak truth to murderous, tyrannical power. I see this impending decline in the relevance of the church in the American political system as an opportunity to restore some sanity to the discussion about American foreign policy, one which might result in America acting more out of rational self-interest, rather than from spiritual interpretation of the Christian Bible.
This is simply a plea from someone who refuses to humor the kid who wants his invisible friend to make the decisions about life and death while American soldiers are being shot at in real life. Snap out of the religious fog for a minute, and please be reasonable and rational enough about this issue to approach it like an adult, not a delusional child who is gullible enough to accept faith as justification for a foreign policy that affects life and death. If you believe your god wants this war, then fuck your stupid god. If my words offend you, then maybe you need to be offended. Personally, I believe that anyone who challenges me enough to evoke an emotional response is usually my friend, in that they have jarred me into thinking. It’s the refusal to think about something as important as a life and death issue—such as war—in favor of parroting irrelevant religious dogma that is the real danger of religious fallacies in foreign policy. We can grovel at the altar of the church/state collective narrative like some ancient civilization of unscientific and superstitious savages, or we can choose to employ the modern and scientific tools of logic and reason. Somebody, please tell the crowd of voters with the invisible friend that there is no time for foolish children’s games when people (including children) are suffering and dying in a real war.
About the Author: A.G. House is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and former licensed minister of the United Pentecostal Church International who has become an atheist, anti-war activist, and gotten involved in many other issues which he believes affect the individual liberties of the people who’s Constitutional Rights he took an oath to defend. He currently resides in the heart of Tennessee with his companion dog ‘Liberty’ where he is recovering from PTSD and enjoys the therapeutic hobbies of writing, playing drums, and other forms of artistic expression.