In a follow-up to last week’s piece on America’s international efforts for religious freedom, George Weigel lays out some of the reasons for Washington’s placidity while religious minorities suffer in Egypt, Nigeria, China, Indonesia, and around the world:
Lack of strategic integration, such that religious freedom doesn’t “fit” with other U.S. foreign policy objectives; resistance in the Department of State to the very idea of an international religious freedom policy and a special ambassador for promoting religious freedom; little or no leadership from presidents and secretaries of state.
The fundamental problem, though, is that the Obama administration does not really believe in a robust vision of religious freedom. Former Secretary of State Clinton has pushed the international agenda of the gay lobby while giving lip service to “freedom of worship.” As Weigel points out, “This borders on blasphemy; it is certainly idiocy; and it is guaranteed to make America enemies around the world.”
Reducing religious conviction to another lifestyle choice while ignoring the community-forming aspects of religious conviction and those communities’ impacts on civil society is of a piece with broader secularist currents in America. . . . Those misconceptions are making a hash of both domestic policy (witness the HHS mandate and the marriage debate) and foreign policy.
Read the full On the Square here.