There are a few issues where the difference between right and wrong — good and evil — are so stark that the wrong answer reveals not merely error but a fundamental defect in moral reasoning — in the very ability to discern truth. Domestically, abortion is the cardinal example. That some Christians believe women should have a legal right to hire a doctor to dismember her child in the womb is nothing short of mind-boggling. It’s a symptom of a deep moral decay and frequently spills over into a potpourri of other issues — where self-indulgence and personal autonomy trump all other values.
In the realm of foreign policy — of war and peace — the Israeli/Arab conflict represents another example of a stark divide between good and evil. That some Americans (and perhaps most Europeans) side with the virulently racist, openly genocidal culture of the modern Arab Middle East over a vibrant, pluralistic democracy is — again — nothing short of mind-boggling. Israel has faced attempted genocide again and again — in 1948, in 1967, and in 1973 armies mobilized for the express purpose of destroying the Jewish state. Iranian officials openly threaten a nuclear holocaust, and stadiums full of “Arab Spring” Egyptians act more like young Nazis in a Nuremberg rally than they do like the Facebooking hipsters of popular legend:
It is against this backdrop that Mitt Romney’s Jerusalem speech was so clarifying. I agree with Daniel Pipes, it was significant that Mitt emphasized the moral bonds between America and Israel. By doing so, he reminds us that American foreign policy — indeed, American national purpose — is about more than naked self-interest. He reminds us that not all international conflicts are about mere shades of gray.
In the West we seem to be plagued by the faux sophistication of post-colonial, post-modern, post-Christian relativism — to the point where Israel’s occasional excesses in self-defense place it on the same (or inferior) moral plane to those who wish to end its very existence. Barack Obama seems to view the state of Israel as a geopolitical annoyance. Mitt Romney sees it as a modern miracle.
Like Dr. Pipes, I was moved by Mitt’s closing line: “May God bless America, and may He bless and protect the Nation of Israel.”
We need that kind of clarity in the oval office.
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