from Lew Rockwell.com
by Michael Eversden
March 6, 2012
In the debate among Christians about who should be the Republican nominee for president, the discussion is unfortunately informed more often by the Gospel According to O’Reilly and the Book of Limbaugh rather than the Bible. I have therefore undertaken in this article to apply Biblical principles to four issues that are under discussion in this year’s presidential campaign, which are or should be important to Christians, including foreign policy, life, education, and monetary policy. I conclude that Ron Paul’s positions are by far the most consistent with Biblical principles and indeed that the other candidates have decidedly unbiblical views on these issues.
Before proceeding, please note that I have entitled this article “A Biblical Case…” because I am sure there are other applicable Scriptures and perhaps other better Biblical arguments to make on this subject, but I offer the arguments below in an attempt to help my Christian brothers sort out to what extent the candidates conform to Biblical principles on the four issues that are addressed in this article.
- Foreign Policy
Matthew 7:12 (ESV) – “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 5:9 (ESV) – “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
Romans 12:18 (ESV) – “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
Hebrews 12:14 (ESV) – “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”
Duet. 5:17 (ESV) – “You shall not murder.”
A government is nothing more than a group of men who possess certain powers and authority over those residing in a certain geographical area. Relations between governments are essentially relations between groups of men. There is nothing in the Bible that exempts the groups of men known as governments from the commands of God.
Therefore, applying the commands God gave, as quoted above, Christians should urge their government to do to other nations what they wish other nations would do to them. Christians in the U.S. no doubt would like their own country to be free from invasion, attack, assassinations, covert operations, or other violent and subversive interventions by other countries’ governments, so they should advocate a foreign policy that will not involve invasion, attack, assassinations, covert operations or other violent and subversive operations by the US government in other countries, and they should support candidates for office who will oppose such unbiblical practices.
Moreover, Christians should not advocate an interventionist foreign policy that will inevitably produce unjust wars, the killing of innocents, and the subversion and overthrow of other countries’ governments, because to do so would be to thwart the command of the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:18 to live peaceably with all. Indeed, not only do interventionist actions violate Paul’s command in themselves, but they also provoke violent responses and thus perpetuate conflict, as the United States has experienced a number of times. Such responses are known by a term the CIA coined: “blowback “. It illustrates the truth that violence begets more violence, and as Jesus said in Matthew 26:52 (NIV), “[A] ll who draw the sword will die by the sword.”
Furthermore, a foreign policy that advocates aggressive wars (that is, wars that involve the invasion of other countries and not the repelling of an invasion of the U.S.) is anathema to the Sixth Commandment, which prohibits murder. Wars of aggression are unjust (as the Nazi leaders learned from the Allies in the trials at Nuremburg), thus making the killing associated with them unjustified (even the killing of enemy combatants) and therefore murderous. Even just wars become unjust when the means by which the war is conducted are unjust, as in the killing of innocents.
In addition, because rulers are not exempt from the commands of God, they too must abide by the law of the land in accordance with Romans 13. The law of the land in the U.S. is the Constitution, which gives limited powers to the executive branch and only allows for war in the event that Congress has issued a declaration of war. No war since WWII has been a declared war, which means that all wars since that time have been unconstitutional and illegal, in violation of Romans 13.
To these arguments, one might object: What about all of the dictators and repressive governments in the world? Should we just sit back and do nothing about them? First, the U.S. government for decades has been a supporter, financially and otherwise, of repressive dictators throughout the world, including Saddam Hussein in Iraq in the 1980s, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt until he was overthrown in 2011, the Shah of Iran (whom the U.S. government installed after overthrowing the democratically elected Mossadegh), Pinochet in Chile, Noriega in Panama, Diem in Vietnam, and many others. If Christians are concerned about repressive dictators, then they should urge the U.S. government to stop supporting them.
Second, if we were to operate on the principle that the U.S. must overthrow repressive dictators, there would be no end to war until our own country collapsed economically, because contrary to popular belief, wars destroy wealth, not only for those whose lives and property are destroyed, but also for those who pay for the destruction (e.g., U.S. taxpayers).
Third, the best way to influence a country is through open and free trade, which leads to the exchange of ideas. As Ron Paul has said, “Ideas are very important to the shaping of society. In fact, they are more powerful than bombings or armies or guns. And this is because ideas are capable of spreading without limit. They are behind the choices we make. They can transform the world in a way that governments and armies cannot. Fighting for liberty with ideas makes more sense to me than fighting with guns or politics or political power. With ideas, we can make real change that lasts.” China provides a great example of this principle. The U.S. opened relations with China in the early 1970s, and since that time, owing to trade and the consequent exchange of ideas, China has liberalized more and more, and the people of China have prospered. Of course, China is not yet a beacon of liberty, but the point is that it changed for the better without the use of sanctions or bombs. It is no longer Mao’s China.
The lesson is clear: The U.S. should stop installing and supporting repressive governments, stop overthrowing and attempting to overthrow other governments, and instead pursue peaceful commercial relations with other countries. (Note: This is precisely what George Washington’s foreign policy was.)
Ron Paul is the only candidate who advocates a Biblical and Constitutional foreign policy. He is not an isolationist. Rather, he advocates peaceful commercial relations with all and denies the right of the U.S. government to intervene in the political affairs of other countries. His foreign policy is essentially the Golden Rule given by Jesus in Matthew 7:12, as applied to governments (remember, governments are just groups of men). Moreover, Ron Paul would refuse to go to war without a declaration of war by Congress, thus upholding the Constitution and the idea that political leaders are not above the law.
Every other candidate (including Obama) supports an interventionist foreign policy, which is to say they advocate aggressive wars and military operations (e.g., Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and the coming wars in Iran and Syria), assassinations, economic sanctions (which do nothing but harm the poor, destroy the middle class in the target country, and solidify support for the existing regime in the target country), as well as violent and subversive operations in other countries. Rick Santorum, for example, recently cheered the assassination (murder) of Iranian scientists, calling it a “a wonderful thing” and saying he hopes that the United States was involved in their killing, and he has been beating the war drums against Iran more and more each day. He also apparently has no problem assassinating (murdering) American citizens without due process of law, notwithstanding the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits it. Mitt Romney advocates imposing “crippling sanctions” on Iran, taking covert action to overthrow Iran’s government, and even waging war against Iran to prevent it from doing something that the U.S. government and the Israeli government have already done hundreds of times over – obtain a nuclear weapon. Newt Gingrich agrees entirely with Romney’s approach on Iran. Like Santorum, both Romney and Gingrich approve of the disregard Obama showed for Biblical prohibitions on murder and the Constitution’s guaranty of due process when he ordered the assassination of an American citizen.
(As an aside, Does any of the discussion about Iran’s nuclear program sound familiar? The people who are beating the war drums against Iran for its supposed nuclear-weapons program are the very same people who lied the country into war against Iraq in 2003 on the false premise that Iraq possessed “weapons of mass destruction,” notwithstanding abundant evidence at the time that no such weapons program existed. They led us into one crippling disaster, and hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives. Why should we follow them into the abyss this time?)
Lastly, neither Santorum, Gingrich, nor Romney have any qualms about a president initiating war without a declaration of war from Congress. This means that they are willing to violate the Constitution that they would be sworn to uphold. Christians cannot support someone who would violate the law of the land without themselves violating Romans 13.
Much more could be said about the immorality and illegality of the foreign policy of Santorum, Gingrich and Romney, and the disaster that would be unleashed on the world if one of them were to become president, but the reasons above are sufficient to show that none of the candidates other than Ron Paul can be said to comply with the Biblical mandates quoted above; indeed the other candidates advocate the exact opposite of those commands.
What about Israel? Isn’t Ron Paul’s foreign policy against Israel’s interests? Actually, Ron Paul’s foreign policy would benefit Israel. First, he wants to end all foreign aid (because it is not authorized in the Constitution and is therefore illegal). Given that Israel’s enemies receive seven times more foreign aid from the US than Israel, this would be a net benefit to Israel. Moreover, Ron Paul advocates allowing Israel greater sovereignty. Currently, Israel must obtain the permission of the United States government before implementing any plans to deal with the Palestinians internally or Israel’s enemies externally. That is not sovereignty. Ron Paul would allow Israel to deal with internal and external matters without obtaining permission from the United States, and far from opposing Israel, he would advocate friendship and peaceful trade with it, as he would with any other country.
For those who are not yet convinced about the foreign policy argument, please watch the following videos. The first is Ron Paul talking about a Biblical basis for foreign policy. The second is a striking video of Ron Paul’s predictions in 2002 about the consequences at home and abroad of the prevailing U.S. interventionist foreign policy – and how they have largely come true.
Christians, it is not sufficient to say that the world is a violent place, that there are wicked people who are intent on the destruction of the United States, and that our country must destroy them before they destroy it. That view ignores what the U.S. government has been doing in the world for the last 70 (or more) years, and it is more akin to the Golden Rule according to Boss Hogg (“Do unto others before they do unto you.”) rather than the Golden Rule according to Jesus. If you are going to support an interventionist foreign policy, you must find Biblical support for it. I submit to you that there is none.
Thanks to BrotherJohnF