Diplomacy in an Age of Faith: How Failing to Understand the Role of Religion Hinders America's Purposes in the World
Recorded on April 18, 2008
Location: The Heritage Foundation's Allison Auditorium
While Americans are a highly religious people, U.S. foreign
policy practitioners have not taken religion very seriously, argues
Tom Farr in a recent Foreign Affairs article. The
problem is rooted in a kind of secularism that fails to understand
religion's continued relevance in America's constitutional order
and the relationship between religion and liberty abroad.
Rather than being inimical to the advance of freedom, religious
ideas and actors can promote and strengthen ordered liberty.
The U.S. foreign policy community, supported by civil society
resources, must overcome a lack of vocabulary and imagination to
fashion remedies that recognize the significant role of
religion. U.S. policy must continue to advance religious
liberty as a universal, fundamental freedom. It must also
present a positive vision for religion's contribution to a liberal
order, addressing the balance between the overlapping authorities
of religion and state, and in particular how religiously grounded
norms can legitimately influence public policy.