Religion in American foreign policy

Generally, American citizens respect the rule of law and the will of the people. They strive for justice and freedom around the world. Sadly, some people tend to use this as a religious tool to create unnecessary divisions everywhere. A case in point, the Cold War was more or less a struggle between ‘God-fearing society and atheists’ society.’ Christians did their best to prod the government to put more effort in its quest to see that ‘godlessness’ is not spread around the world.

We believe that public debate driven by logic and truth (not emotion) plays a vital role in shaping foreign policy, because it discourages the decision makers from taking risky actions for the fact that any unpopular policy could get them voted out of office. For example, the coverage and public opinion of the Vietnam War is credited with the shift in government’s decision to withdraw troops sooner than anticipated (CliffsNotes, n. d.). But when it comes to religious issues, you hardly observe any public debate, especially the one in opposition to religion-driven apocalyptic views. Any concerned citizen who disagrees with their unrealistic vision, is denounced, and labeled. “With Christianity and patriotism intertwined, patriotism became suspect for those who deviated from American religious norms” (Magee, 2017x).

Another sad reality about the danger of religion in our midst is that any lawmaker who cares about his or her election or re-election must prove that he or she is a Christian (not in name only) and comply with these hardcore Christians. You know what they say: If you fight for God, he will let you come to heaven; thus, you must carry on “his” conflict-prone narrow views, and disregard your commonsense and pleasant disposition. It doesn’t look like many of them care about America’s image. All they care about is to elect a person who could help them push their agenda forward by any means necessary. To them, that is what the person is supposed to do because they feel America was founded on Judeo-Christian values –the values that are much better than other people’s values.  

Once you believe your religion is the good one and people in other religions are worshipping the devil, or that some groups of people have moral standards while other groups have little or none, reality is most likely out of your reach. First, the values Christians espouse as theirs, are not theirs; they are universal values. The only values they can claim for themselves are the false beliefs in the Bible and the Tanakh, and their fervent pursuit to realize those beliefs. Second, America is not only for Christians and Jews, so the president should be allowed to govern fairly.

The rise within American fundamentalism, was a theological view called Dispensational Premillennialism, which considers the Jews to be God’s chosen people and ascertains the state of Israel has to be established in the land of Palestine in order for the prophecies regarding the end of the world to materialize (Magee, 2017x). After the Jews have returned to Israel, Jesus would suddenly appear to rapture Christians to heaven where they would be kept away for seven years because of the seven-year bloody tribulation that would take place on earth. Then Jesus would return to defeat Satan in the battle of Armageddon. Thereafter, the glorious millennium would begin.

Wait. Why is it that each time the God in the Bible plans to select and save his brand-new chosen people, there is often a sacrificial lamb or catastrophic events? Why was there the need for him to get the Jews scattered away from the land in the first place, and why did millions of them have to be slaughtered and dehumanized to pave the way for him to start fulfilling his promise to the Christians. Why was there a need for some people to be displaced? He wouldn’t be able to accomplish this new undertaking any other way?

To talk further about the influence of religion in government, we are not able to see any meaningful justification why religion is allowed to take the center stage in the state department of a country that is supposed to honor the separation of church and state. What initiative or policy a career diplomat wouldn’t be able to handle and therefore requires the help of religious ‘geniuses’? “Today, offices or centers focused on engaging religious communities can be found within multiple departments and agencies including Commerce, Education, Labor, and the United States Agency for International Development” (Mandaville, 2017x).

Almost every Western and Middle Eastern government, which allows religion to run its foreign policy (or domestic policy, for that matter) all bets are off when it comes to Jerusalem. Christians regard it as the cradle of Christianity; millions of them flock the city every year to walk the same path Jesus is said to have walked before he was crucified. They believe Jesus died and resurrected in Jerusalem and they built a tomb for him there. Muslims claim Jerusalem as one of their holy cities, and they built Dome of the Rock there where they believe Muhammad had allegedly ascended to heaven. Jews say Jerusalem was where King David established his throne and they want to rebuild Solomon’s Temple there. Everybody keeps fighting and hating his fellow humans over some fictitious stories—just a complete headache for nothing.

The heart of the matter regarding the invasion of Iraq wasn’t about oil. If it were about oil, Saddam Hussein would have smoothly negotiated oil for a penny to secure his brutal regime. The world wouldn’t have been hit with a precipitous hike in oil prices at the time. People in the government all knew that such a negotiation would have been a win-win situation for everybody, except those who were suffering under Hussein, whose plight some people were happy to contribute to. The invasion wasn’t about 9/11. Some credible intelligence showed that Saddam Hussein had no weapon of mass destruction. He hated ISIS. So, who cooked up the intelligence that was presented as evidence with which America invaded Iraq? As much as American public and the whole world was against it, the reason American soldiers were used to invade Iraq and oust Saddam Hussein was that Christians felt Saddam Hussein was supporting terrorism against Israel, because of his concern that Palestinians were being mistreated. “Much of the religious right-wing backed the war in Iraq not because they wanted to democratize the Middle East but precisely because Iraq’s Saddam Hussein had threatened Israel, which they are determined to protect in preparation for the end times” (Judis, 2005x).

The Bush administration believed that invading Iraq would reduce extremism and set off a chain reaction that would lead to democratic regimes in Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, the marginalization of Palestinian militants, and the end of the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries (Judis, 2005x). It didn’t materialize as expected because you can’t solve the problems in the Middle East if you keep picking one group over another due to religious identity or who is more influential.

The religious overtone in the Trump administration was also alarming. Donald Trump, adored by Christians, campaigned on scrapping the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was the nuclear deal signed between Iran and six nations, including the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia, and Germany, during the Obama administration. The UN also participated in the deal too. (We are not taking sides whether the deal was good or not, all we are saying is that it is reckless, in many ways, for religious people to push any administration to go rogue.) As promised, when President Trump came to power, he recommenced penalties on US companies doing business with Iran and reimposed penalties on non-American banks, energy, and other industries that were dealing with Iran. But that approach mainly hurt American companies because companies of other nations continued to do business with Iran. Furthermore, Iranian government didn’t see the need to comply with the agreement. Many people believed President Trump made the situation worse.

The unbalanced position, which Christians keep prodding the American government to take when it comes to the plight of poor Christians and Muslims in the Middle East, is shocking. They don’t seem to understand that it is necessary for these poor Christians to live in peace here on earth before they all move to heaven and live together over there. “Such a blatant religious bias is actually harmful to Christians, Jews, and other minorities living in the Middle East. They live amid Muslims who are also suffering persecution and violence. Muslims are, in fact, the main targets and victims of terrorism in the Middle East” (Schake, 2017x). How are people supposed to learn compassion and forgiveness from these Christians? This is one more reason religion cannot bring peace to the world. Actually, it is the cause of unrest, because it is all about division, and fomentation of resentment. You will see what we mean the moment people no longer see themselves as Christians, Hindus, Muslims, or any other religious sect, but instead see themselves as one people dwelling in peace and oneness. We believe that such a reality is not out of our reach.

Religious leaders have systematically pushed some of our political leaders to assume that God put them in the positions they are, to keep fighting through the way they narrowly view the world. The Trump administration ignored all the pleas from world leaders to reconsider moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “By speaking only of Israel’s claims and underscoring their religious basis, the Trump administration demonstrated its indifference to the religious and political claims of Palestinians. The president could easily have also spoken of an embassy for Palestine to be located in East Jerusalem, as Martin Indyk has recommended. But he did not” (Schake, 2017x).

Any US administration that allows itself to be tainted with any form of religion is bound to make a blunder in the Middle East, because, naturally, it will seek only the governments that will protect and be sympathetic to its preferred religions. Inevitably, it will tend to be undemocratic in dealing with any regime that supports the religious beliefs of its people. Any government over there that doesn’t support the will of its people will be regarded as an American puppet, and things could only get worse from there. You can see why different religious points of view do nothing but perpetuate contempt and chaos everywhere.

It is important we let everyone know that we are not trying to open old wounds in any shape or form; we are only trying to let people recognize the common enemy in our midst. The enemy is the philosophy of I’m-this-you’re-that, and by far religion is its major weapon. From time immemorial, religion has produced nothing but irrational thoughts and misbehaviors, which have led and continue to lead to so many cataclysmic outcomes. Please, envision a world without religion but consideration for others. Usually, if you believe in complete fallacy and act on it, everybody suffers. For that reason, a government cannot afford to wrap itself around any religion, unless it doesn’t believe in the rule of law and equal treatment. So, we appeal to the United States government and other governments to stop entangling themselves with antiquated views; please, stay far away from religion—don’t touch any of them, don’t hug any of them.

Modern Age Movement (MAM)

      –Universal Cordial Beliefs (UCB)


CliffsNotes. (n. d.). Making Foreign Policy. Retrieved from

Judis, J. B. (2005x, March). The chosen nation: The influence of religion on U.S. foreign policy. Retrieved from 

Magee, M. (2017x, Dec.). U.S. foreign policy and religion. Retrieved from

Mandaville, P. (2017x, March 7). The future of religion and U.S. foreign policy under Trump. Retrieved from

Schake, K. (2017x, Dec.). Religious bias is distorting American foreign policy. Retrieved from

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