Sunday, November 27, 2011

From Feasting to Fasting

Thanksgiving is over, so let's change the subject somewhat.

I was hoping to complete a post on Foreign Policy this Thanksgiving weekend, but that hasn't happened. Here is an outline of the idea.

Thanksgiving is a religious holiday, a clear violation of "the Separation of Church and State." It has a long pedigree in American history. See some examples here.

But in addition to upbeat days of Thanksgiving, there were also official government-proclaimed days of fasting, humilation, and prayer. Here are some:John Adams issued a proclamation for a day of prayer, encouraging the nation in Trinitarian repentance:
  • call to mind our numerous offenses against the Most High God, confess them before Him with the sincerest penitence,
  • implore His pardoning mercy, through the Great Mediator and Redeemer, for our past transgressions,
  • and that through the grace of His Holy Spirit we may be disposed and enabled to yield a more suitable obedience to His righteous requisitions in time to come;
If we can list our nation's blessings, can we also list our nation's sins? Do we understand the concept of repentance?

Conservatives will be quick to list off sins we should repent of: abortion, homosexuality, divorce, Godless education, etc. I agree.

But what about our foreign policy?

I'm inspired to ask that question by the recent debate over foreign policy, and the way the mainstream media fawns over Romney and Gingrich while dismissing Ron Paul. The CBS Sunday show "Face the Nation" last week showed the contrast between The Knowledgeable Gentleman vs. the Venomous Viper. The Viper described Ron Paul's foreign policy against the potentially nuked-up Iran as "being nice to Iran."

That got me thinking.

Doesn't Jesus Christ command nations to "be nice" to their enemies?

If I believed the federal government had constitutional authority to set religious days of fasting and prayer, I think it should proclaim one for our foreign policy sins against Iran:
  • Overthrowing their popularly-elected government in 1953, in violation of Romans 13.
  • Putting in place a dictator who was worse than the one complained about in the Declaration of Independence.
  • Arming another dictator to wage war against Iran after Iran overthrew the U.S. puppet dictator.
  • Arming Saddam with weapons of mass destruction to use against Iran

This list of sins could be repeated for U.S. sins against many other nations on earth.

God's commandments cover not just acts of violence against others, but also the failure to discharge the requirements of love. "Thou shalt not steal" also means building up the estate of others. "Thou shalt not kill" also contains a duty to create greater health and longevity for others.

America, the once-Christian nation, has gone from being a "City upon a Hill" to being an imperialist warmonger. We no longer export the Gospel, we are the world's largest arms dealer.

This deserves a national day of "humiliation and prayer" and repentance leading to a reforming of our anti-Christian foreign policy.

This is absolutely vital to our "national security." Only by repenting of militarism and imperialism can the United States ever hope to have "a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence."


Dan Langenberg said...

What's your take on watching violent movies? Does scripture speak to that? and what is considered violent in your opinion? if it's telling a story is it ok? (a little off the subject, I know).

Kevin Craig said...

Not a little . . . TOTALLY off subject! But that's OK, it still bumps the blog up in the search engines.

Personally, I don't like violent movies. But that may be because I don't like movies. Not that I don't like celluloid, but most movies are simply a waste of time. The violence just makes it an offensive waste of time.

There is lots of violence in the Bible. Animal rights advocates are appalled at the violence done to animals in the temple. A small child could be freaked out by witnessing the sacrifice of a lamb. Obviously that violence is not "unbiblical."

The question is whether the violence advances Godly dominion. Most movies don't do that, with or without violence. It is "senseless violence" because the plot is senseless.

Then there's the question of fiction vs. reality. A lot of people worry about violence in the movies, which isn't real, but accept government-initiated violence in Iraq and elsewhere, which is very real.

Your question prompted me to read a bit, but I haven't found anything that's satisfying. Here are the last three articles I read:

Larry Elder: Is America desensitized?

David Corn: Gun Shy

Parents confront a summer full of violent movies pitched to children

I probably wouldn't object too much to a movie with a graphic crime, followed by a non-violent resolution, where non-violent good triumphs over violent evil.