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Sunday, October 1, 2017

Philippians 2 as American Foreign Policy

Recently, I’ve been reading Bob Woodward’s 1987 book, Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA 1981 - 1987 in which Woodward describes the way that the Central Intelligence Agency expanded its covert and extra-legal activities during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, exerting influence, and power, and supplying weapons and money around the world in the aid of of American interests, and American profits.

Then this morning, I was struck (again) by Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians and I began to wonder what it might look like if an ostensibly, nominally Christian nation used Philippians 2: 3 - 4 as the guiding principle for its foreign policy.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. (NRSV)

Or in the the KJV - Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory…

Would we wage secret wars and fund and arm militant right-wing dictators to benefit the Coca-Cola Company or The Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa). Would we depose government officials, topple democratically elected leaders, crash world economies, and stir up war and revolution around the world if we thought of the interests of others as important as our own, if we thought of the people of Chile, Lebanon, Argentina, Cuba, Iran, Korea, etc… as more important than ourselves?

If we want to “make America great again” we should look to the needs of others and not to our own profits.

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