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Tobotron's avatar

Is American foreign policy based on fundamentalist Christianity?

Asked by Tobotron (1313points) May 24th, 2010

I just watched a documentary which discussed this viewpoint, I’m not sure how else to pose this to the community so il let the main question pose itself to you all…

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32 Answers

Draconess25's avatar

Most likely. I don’t pay attention to politics or religion, but that’s probably the case.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I think the American foreign policy is based in imperialist, colonialist nostalgia and in the oh-so-tiresome ‘because we can’ attitude – both of these don’t have to be based in any religion, specifically and have remained throughout our country’s history even when religion’s hold ebbed and flowed. It’s all profit-driven, rather than ideology driven but the latter is sure used as a scapegoat a lot of the time.

kevbo's avatar

Fundamentalist Christian beliefs have pervaded the U.S. military and were employed rhetorically if not evangelically by the Bush administration leading up to and during the war in Iraq. I think there’s a division between “true believers” and those who employ the rhetoric to rally the troops, but surely it was used for the latter purpose if not for and by true believers.

the100thmonkey's avatar

American foreign policy is based on realpolitik.

How good any administration is at it is only really defineable years after the fact, usually.

Cruiser's avatar

In order for the second coming of Christ to occur, it is believed the Jews need to be returned to Palestine. This belief shaped early foreign policy but thanks to nuclear weapons much more is at stake today than just Christian ideology. And thanks to a President with a Muslim background I expect to see a much more arms length approach to any Christian ideals influencing our foreign policies.

evandad's avatar

Not based on it, but it usually finds it’s way into the mix.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I am not that familiar with their foreign policy, but Israel certainly only exists because of fundamentalist Christians. Many conservative Christians believe that Israel will feature in the end of time saga, which led to the re-settling of Israel.

Kraigmo's avatar

I’m not sure what the causitive factors are (I’m sure there are some); But there definitely is a correlation between American Exceptionalism Policy and Fundamentalist Christianity.

Then there is a group of businessmen, the “neocons”, who’ve attached themselves to American Exceptionalism as well, and they use the political Christians as pawns in their games. Karl Rove even called them “useful idiots”, according to David Kuo (ex-Fundamentalist Neoconservative Christian, author of Tempting Faith.)

One of the connecting factors is Desire to Dominate. Traditionalist Christians and rightwing Jews often feel that their faith, culture, or nation is under attack by competing social groups, and many of them feel they must attack first before being attacked themselves. This translated into Bush’s “pre-emptive warfare” policies, which were a violent and radical extenuation of existing American policies.

These are the same people who, on a more local level, use their fears to create bāsēz for more domination and more control. They were behind the temperance laws of the 1920’s. They were behind the imprisonment of Comedian Lenny Bruce; the jailing of Tommy Chong; The Blue Laws, The Drug Wars, bans on cabarets, and more.

The Fear-Based Authoritarian Belief System thinks that the whole world is so untrustworthy, that control grids need to be in place for everything there is (except pollution and guns, which are the two things they don’t like to control, at least in America.)

Basically, its the people who fear chaos the most, that create it the most.

anartist's avatar

Jesus H Christ, I hope not. The last thing the world needs is a worldwide crusade and reciprocating jihad.

plethora's avatar

Would you define fundamentalist Christianity? Would that be with the snakes and stuff?

walterallenhaxton's avatar

No. It based on the empire that killed Jesus and the money changers in the temple who he pissed of and who drug him in to be killed. If he had not messed with that gang of thieves he probably would have died of old age.
We call the money changers a central bank today and the empire the USA that is the only difference in names and style.

plethora's avatar

@walterallenhaxton Ahhh….got it.
@Tobotron Is this the official definition? Or are there others?

Nullo's avatar

Not even close.
The nearest that fundamentalist Christianity comes to even having a stance on foreign policy is long-range evangelism, enacted by missionaries.

@plethora “Fundamentalist” is usually code for “mainstream, 20–40 years ago.” The snake-handlers are effectively a cult.

roundsquare's avatar

Not really, adding to what @the100thmonkey said, its based on the mentality from the cold war.

Things might change as the EU/China/Russia become bigger competitors and the US can’t flex its muscle as well. The next few decades will be very fascinating.

plethora's avatar

No takers on definitions??? I’m disappointed. Aren’t we just pi****g in the wind without knowing who we’re talking about? Or am I missing something?

Cruiser's avatar

@plethora These may not be end all but give a peek in concept…

Fundamentalism sought to fight religious and intellectual modernism and all it represented. It insisted on the literal truth of scripture, but this wasn’t Scripture as reformed evangelicalism would hold it. This was about what he called the ‘versification’ of scripture (carving it up into verses) – the taking of little pieces of scripture out of context and insisting upon their self-interpreting authority.

These improper uses of the Bible have had a direct bearing on foreign policy. American fundamentalism over the last 120 years gave birth to a whole new, now mainstream, genre of what they call “prophecy” teachings.


Fundamentalist Christianity promotes a slave-revolt which uses resentment and morality to impose the rule of the weak upon the strong.

plethora's avatar

@Cruiser ok…..thanks. Not sure I either agree or disagree with that line of thought. Are you saying fundamentalist thinking and prophecy teachings are the same? Or different? or one follows the other?

Don’t understand the last sentence at all. Can you elaborate?

Cruiser's avatar

@plethora I am not particularly schooled on this but there is/was a lot at play and it also involved evangelists and the Zionists who used the lure of a better life to promote western world ideals all in the name of God. A 150 years or so ago things were pretty crappy for a lot of people in this world who were barely surviving under the thumb of oppressive Governments. Show them a better life under the fundamental teachings of Jesus and it was an easy sell to have our government now have first dibs of valuable resources and opportunities to provide infrastructure construction projects to these 2nd and 3rd world countries. So this is where the slave revolt comes in to help free these oppressed people and get what they perceive to be theirs from the clutches of the stronger oppressors. Many a hard core revolt has taken place with the promise of a better life in the name of Jesus. This is the simple distilled version, google Zionism and US foreign policy for the rest of the story.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@plethora You are the first person who has.

Tobotron's avatar

@walterallenhaxton I also have no idea who has what? :S

Ron_C's avatar

The right wing Christians keep harping on the subject which has no basis in truth. The founders looked at a wide range of government styles. It is more likely that our government has closer ties to the Iroquois Confederation than to the bible.

I have just been reading about this subject. The founders were amazed that that the Iroquois had a government system that was democratic and participatory long before the settlers arrived. The common though was the if these “unlettered” natives can form a fair honest government without royalty, educated Englishmen could do a much better job.

There is nothing in Christian tradition that would point towards a democratic institution. They had kings, slaves, tribal leaders but no government that actually let the common laborers participate in the process of formation of government.

In fact I would say that the American government was formed despite religious teachings, not because of them.

Our foriegn policy reflects or reflected the unenlightened view that every country should be like ours. The results are anything but christian.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Ron_C Although you are right on the money with your answer, I’m not sure it answers the question. American foreign policy has little relation to the events and ideas that went into writing the constitution. Their foreign policy has been dictated by the combined attitudes of the governments that have been in power over the last few decades, and it is those that reflect fundamentalist Christian ideals.

Ron_C's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh if you had said that our foreign policy reflected the need of the prevalent industry of the time, I would agree. The closest our policy came to demented christian values is when the idiot Bush declared that we were on a Crusade against middle eastern terrorists. That had more to do with stupidity and oil companies than religious outlook.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Ron_C I still think the classic example is Israel. Although my parents weren’t even born in 1948, I cannot work out why Israel exists except for the sentimentality of fundamentalist Christians who expect the temple to play a part in Armageddon.

Ron_C's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh don’t forget, there was a war on Jews at the time and even fundamentalist christians have a bit of a heart. The idea that it would bring them closer to the “second coming of Christ” makes it what they call in the U.S. as a “twofer”. They got to save some jews, punish the middle east for supporting Hitler, and secure a beach head for oil production. Good deal for all concerned.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Ron_C Somehow I don’t think creating Israel was in the best interests of the Jews – it has just bought them more war and hatred. Maybe oil was the motive, maybe not, but as far as I know Saudi Arabia’s oil wells were undiscovered at the time, and not many people knew or cared that oil resources were finite. If I remember correctly, the first fuel crisis did not hit until about a decade later. As for punishing the Middle East, how juvenile is that! It is not so much punishment as spite.

Ron_C's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh I didn’t say that any of this was right, just that it happened. The people that gave the Jews Palestine didn’t really care for the Jews either. Remember, they were just closing down the British Empire. Saudi Arabia, was just a gift of land for a semi-loyal family. The only reason they’re a country is because the pay off fundamentalists and they hold Mecca and Medina hostage.

It is very hard to find any good guys in the whole situation.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Ron_C True. It is unfortunate that the US seems slow to learn from its mistakes, and have discussed at length further interference in Middle East affairs in regard to Iran. Why can’t their foreign policy become like it was prior to WWII? Support those you are allied with, but stay the hell away from everyone else.

Ron_C's avatar

You’ll have to ask the jerks in Washington about that. As for me, I have to go to work. I have a doctors appointment then a 10 hour drive ahead for me. Good day, I’ll get back to you later.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Ron_C And I have a 1500 word essay to write. Enjoy your drive!

Ron_C's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh 1500 words shouldn’t take too long, if you know your subject. Good luck, hope you get a good grade. I have just finished the 1st 600 miles, and it’s 23:00 here in CST, 24:00 where I came from. I’m going to bed.

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