Super Tuesday is upon us. At the end of the day we might have a better picture of who the Republican nominee could be. At this point it is pretty much a two horse race with Romney and Santorum while the other candidates are just hoping for a miracle. Since these dark horses are still officially in the race I thought I would pick on one of my favorite targets, Ron Paul. Not because I think he has a realistic chance of making it back in the race, but rather because he gives some good opportunities for teaching points while he is still in; especially with regards to today’s topic.
Eric Dondero, a former Ron Paul staffer, has made some pretty enlightening comments about his former boss’ foreign policy stance. In this article he talks about Mr. Paul’s conspiracy theory leanings as well as his position that we should not have intervened in World War II to stop the Holocaust. He has stated elsewhere that it is not as a result of any kind of racism, but rather his extreme Libertarian principles that he refuses to waver from. Of course Ron Paul’s current staff repeatedly dismisses him as just a ranting disgruntled employee. Maybe he is disgruntled, but it does not mean what he is saying is not truthful. The problem the Ron Paul camp has is that the things this disgruntled employee says have been confirmed elsewhere. A reporter from BigGovernment.com gave a similar story (a linked to a blog that has the story embedded in it because BigGovernment is playing some game with its links). What Dondero said is in line with what Ron Paul says and does anyways so the answer to the question below should not come as a surprise. For those not following the link, here is that question:
“And so I asked Congressman Paul: if he were President of the United States during World War II, and as president he knew what we now know about the Holocaust, but the Third Reich presented no threat to the U.S., would he have sent American troops to Nazi Germany purely as a moral imperative to save the Jews?”
And the Congressman answered:
“No, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t risk American lives to do that. If someone wants to do that on their own because they want to do that, well, that’s fine, but I wouldn’t do that.”
So to the question of whether or not America has a moral obligation in this world, Ron Paul clearly answered no. But is that right? Is that what America should be? I would say no. Every time I think of these extreme non-interventionism ideas I am pulled to Obadiah 11. In that verse God rebukes Edom for not helping as foreigners took Jerusalem. God said they were no different than those who attacked. Using systematic theology this position is further supported through a variety of ways. But it really goes back to the Biblical role of civil government, which is to promote good and punish evil (Rom 13, 1 Peter 2) and also its obligation to protect its citizens in the process (Ps 82). Promoting liberty and other Christian values in a multitude of ways only helps this goal. Even more specific for this scenario are the ideas that we are to love our neighbors (Matt 22) and value life (Gen 1 among many). It is hard to reconcile these Biblical ideas with the idea that we should not help stop an atrocity such as the Holocaust when we have the opportunity and ability to do so.
Unfortunately evil seems to be everywhere in this world we live in. We do not have the ability to take on all the issues of the world, but that does not mean we should never intervene. It does not relieve us of all moral responsibility in this world. All I wish for is a little less extreme and a little more balance. Hopefully my overly simplified Biblical basis will give you a starting point to think about it.