The Obama Admins' Rainbow Interventionism: Homosexual Rights the Major Goal of US Foreign Policy?

Wallace Henley Portrait
Wallace Henley is an exclusive CP columnist. |

An administration that wanted to reduce American interventionism is making amazingly interventionist sounds.

We may now be experiencing the great set-up to barge into more than 30 African nations whose worldview does not align with what the Administration has told us is the most important social issue of our time – homosexual rights.

Let me be clear, I am not condoning the persecution of homosexuals in Africa or anywhere else. But is the Administration moving to press its view of homosexual rights at the expense of religious beliefs as a primary U.S. foreign policy?

The orchestration has been mounting, and reached its highest volume June 24 when Vice President Joe Biden declared, in the words of a Christian Post report, "that protecting gay rights trumps national cultures and social traditions." The Vice President even declared that homosexual rights is now "a defining mark of a civilized nation."

Could this turn into action? It has happened before in Democratic administrations. In the Clinton administration, the U.S. used the power of foreign aid to pressure nations who do not approve of abortion into conforming with "civilized" U.S. pro-abortion policy. And the so-called Reagan Mexico City policy, which bans foreign aid for abortion, was reversed by Clinton, reinstated by George Bush and then rescinded by Obama.

That this interventionism is now relevant to Democrats for homosexual rights was first signaled back in 2011 when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, reflecting the New-Think of our age, told an audience in Geneva – and the world – that religious and cultural beliefs are the obstacles to the freedom of homosexuals.

Clinton called for fresh activism when she said "there is still, as you all know, much more to be done to secure that commitment, that reality, and progress for all people."

So President Obama has declared the global struggle for homosexual rights a major goal of American foreign policy. Will he use the "big stick" of American power to cudgel nations into conformity by diplomatic activism and/or economic blackmail?

Some 19th century plutocrats, reflecting the regrettable and embarrassing arrogance of the age, called the effort to "civilize" the "untamed" nations the "white man's burden." Now, in light of Joe Biden's new "defining mark" for a civilized nation, will the "civilizing" mission become the "rainbow person's burden"?

That is the context under which Obama's new foreign policy priority and Hillary Clinton's calls for action must be understood.

This is sweeping interventionism, like that undertaken by the most totalitarian societies. It is not merely geopolitical, but extends into the internal institutions of society itself –
family, church, mosque and temple, education, governing bodies up and down the chain, and business.

In Houston, for example, the city's LGBT-Rainbow mayor is crusading for a new policy of genderless restrooms that could stretch to private as well as public institutions. Here is an imperialism that respects no borders. Thus Biden says, "I don't care what your culture is," and Clinton specifies religious and cultural institutions as the culprit.

In Nanaimo, British Colombia, the city council nixed a video workshop in the Vancouver Island Conference Center because its sponsor was Chick-fil-A, whose chief executive, Dan Cathy "has a rich history of homophobia and other divisive practices."

This is part of that sequence that I described in a recent column by which our society is becoming increasingly anti-Christian: caricaturization to marginalization to vilification to villainization to criminalization to elimination. Hillary Clinton's accusation leveled at the biblically conservative church signals movement toward villainization. The imposition of laws restricting traditions viewed as sacred is a leap toward criminalization.

Actually the biblical worldview on sexual behavior is quite rational. God creates the world, puts us in it, tells us the optimal "operating conditions" (the Torah), the outcomes of violating the principles, and also gives us the freedom to violate them. Then God comes in the Person of Jesus Christ, takes the ultimate penalty for our violations, and transfers to us His holiness, placing us into a de jure compliance of the Law of God, even if we are not de facto innocent (otherwise known as "grace").

That means biblically minded Christians understand that "all have sinned" (not just homosexuals), but that all people, including homosexuals, are candidates for God's grace.

It also means that Bible-shaped Christians respect freedom of choice. If God does not force our obedience to Him, how dare we tread on anyone else's freedom? So the biblical Christian will defend the right of a person to choose his or her lifestyle, as long as it is not injurious to others, and even fight for that right—as many have done—while merely asking in return for the right to believe and speak in opposition to some of those choices.

In the biblically formed Christian mind it would be as important to free homosexuals from Hitler's concentration camps as rescuing Jews, Gypsies, the crippled and elderly. Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe, a conservative Christian, demonstrates this. A frequent traveler to Uganda, as a "Jesus thing," Inhofe has said he hopes the African nation will abandon its laws against homosexuality, which he regards as unjust and harsh.

In a political culture that devoutly embraces the doctrines of equivalency, rainbow interventionism is somewhat hypocritical. If we are establishing homosexual rights as a cause "defining civilization" and possibly justifying foreign intervention, what about religious freedom and the protection of the rights of Christians and other faiths around the world who are the primary targets of terroristic and sometimes state-sanctioned mass killings? Aren't freedom of belief and worship, speech and expression "definers" of civilization?

The state should not dictate lifestyle and sexual preference. But neither should it obstruct the free thought and speech of institutions that hold a different view from the official position of the regime.

And especially should we not use the lack of theological-philosophical-jurisprudential alignment between other nations and current American policy to spark a new wave of interventionism and a new colonialism of political correctness.

Wallace Henley, a former Birmingham News staff writer, was an aide in the Nixon White House, and congressional chief of staff. He is a teaching pastor at Second Baptist Church, Houston, Texas. He is a regular contributor to The Christian Post.

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