American Foreign Policy : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

In posting this theme, I want everybody to listen to my spirit and not my language and take into account that English is my third language. Hence, my selection of words and phrases may not be perfect but I am willing to get back on the Board and clear some of the issues raised here.

These are my personal views and I wish to speak in the first person singular.

The tragic events of September 11th, 2001 still continues on our CNN screens and many a person says that CNN is busy just adding more oil to the fire!

The events were very tragic and I share in the pain and sorrow of all affected human beings, but I want all readers of this Bulletin Board to know that whilst we share in your sorrow, we do not approve of the American Foreign Policy! The rich and the powerful United States of America's dictation and role in the poor and weak third world countries hurts and kills us daily. I thank God for Rev. Fisher and The AME Today.

The AME Church's operating system is an carbon copy of the AMerican Civil Society. In like manner that American politicians prescribe to the rest of the world, so do AME rank-and-file in the US prescribe to the rest of the Connection!!!!

And the reality is that Americans don't get it whatever we say!

Look at what American Foreign Policy has left in Vietnam, Cambodia - no, I am going too far geographically - look at what has been happening in our next door neighbour ANGOLA!! for so many years. Is the death of any national more sad and sorrowful that others??? The American Foreign Policy has sustained Jonas Savimbi in his terrorist attacks against the democratically elected Angolan governments since independence from Portugal. America is involved in conflicts in all oil-rich areas of the world. Angola is one and the Middle east is the other. It is American Foreign Policy that is to be blamed for most of the suffering going on in many, many parts of the world!!

American nationals must pressurised their own government, to revisit the AMerican Foreign Policy!

Americans don't get it! Look at what is happening in the AME Church. The moment someone clearly differs from the mainstream, you are victimised and become an outcast! Why does it hurt our American AME brothers and sisters, when we tell them that the playing field is not leveled in the church for elections. Because we are from poorer countries and because we do not have the money, we are not a major force!!! Our system is monetary and mafia-styled!!We are to become biblical and more spiritual!

And before you try and respond to this posting, pleasse take the time to read the many negative responses one gets when you try and speak up against the injustices taking place in our beloved Zion.

In conclusion, there are people out there, all over this globe, who are suffering daily because of the American Foreign Policy. And here we are in the AME Connection (family) and the only thing we are asking for is our share, rights, responsibilities and priviledges. Is the world asking too much from you?

My heart goes out to people suffering anywhere at this point in time, because I was personally imprisoned by a racist South African government that was supported by the American Foreign Policy.

-- Anonymous, October 01, 2001


My Dear Rev. Hanse, You are my brother, but when you attack my Nation's Foreign Policy you have overstepped the bounds. Your approval is not necesary for US Foreign Policy. We select our leaders and they establish what we believe is best for our nation. Others may disagree with that policy and they have that right. I would suggest that you make corrections at home before you work on others. Am I upset, you bet. I fought in 3 wars (Police Actions) for my country and would do so again except I'm too old. However, I support my leaders 100% as it relates to non- citizens. I do not agree 100% with my Nation's policies but when others are critical of my country's policy, I am four-square behind my country.


Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, October 01, 2001

Like Rev. Paris, I stand behind my country in times such as these. While America has not always been good to my people, it has been fairly good to me. However, unlike Rev. Paris, I am willing to listen to the points of view of others, particularly those of other members of the body of Christ. I believe that the only true allegiance that Christians must profess is to the cross of Christ, and obedience to the Holy Spirit. All else is secondary. I will not blindly stand behind neither my country, nor any other principality or power that man has created. It is this ordering of priorities that allows us to hear and understand what our brother Hanse has to say, and not reject his opinion out of hand.

No one appreciates more than I the commitment and sacrifice Rev. Paris has made to the United States. He is deserving of as much honor and respect as is due a veteran of distinguished military service. If this present circumstance should degenerate into full- scale war and a draft is reinstated, I would probably not wait to be called. But I would certainly like to know whether the cause that I am fighting for is just. We cannot have a balanced view of the world condition if we do not hear from other citizens of the world. We in the United States take for granted that the citizens, or even the governments, of other sovereign nations, welcome our intervention in their affairs. So I welcome Brother Hanse’s comments. I pray that he will continue to share his points of view. I pray that neither he nor Rev. Paris will be discouraged when the individual parts of their arguments are held up to scrutiny.

-- Anonymous, October 01, 2001

While I won't comment on the intracacies of AME interaction, I will say that American foreign policy is determined by Americans. Not Namibian, not Angolans, not Cambodians, not Vietnamese. Foreigners can't vote here. They must try diplomacy, economic pressure, or violence. The last two are extremely hazardous, so I recommend you make yourself the friend of America. The reason is, even with its imperfections, it is by far the best system in the world.

American foreign policy is based on the same thing as any other nation: self-preservation. During the cold war we saw communism as a threat, and we fought it. If we could find a democratic movement to support, we did. But sometimes there was only the likes of Savimbi and Thieu. At least they were friendly when we needed them, so I don't apologize for supporting them. We had to survive, and we did. Our Soviet enemy didn't. For that I'm glad.

Our foreign policy now is no different. We seek to survive and prosper. No apologies are needed. Only now we are the strongest nation in the world and we can act more independently. We don't need the help of other nations against the Soviets, so we can go a separate way when our interests diverge. Don't get mad, become our ally. We are the winning team. All others are losers.

That may anger some, but I say get to the point where we can respect you. Build a respectable military, get away from the stupidity of socialist economics, put off your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th world ways that will hold you down forever. Emulate us in the areas we're strong.

I'll bet in your own country Rev Hanse there is a long line at the US Embassy of people wanting to become Americans. Who can blame them? Even at our worst we beat other nations in virtually every area.

If you want your nation to prosper, support parties that want to ally with the United States. Support those that want to build a US style economy, form a military alliance with ours, and institute US style government. Reject any ideas of one-world socialist government under the UN, which will be the goal of the anti-christ. Reject our enemies, and reject socialism.

-- Anonymous, October 01, 2001

Brother Richardson, I do not "blindly" support my Nations Foreign Policy. After much research and study, I conclude that this nation, These United States of America, with all it faults and failures is still the greatest nation in the world and worthy of my support. This land is MY land.


Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, October 01, 2001

I want to thank everybody who has participated thus far. And I want to make further comments.

Namibians are a very proud nation, and I must admit that not everything is OK given that we are probably the youngest nation in the world. There are those who differ on some political issues within the ruling party, and we have unemployment and many other socio- economic issues. BUT our nationals do not que in front of any embassy, including the American Embassy. I have been to many parts of the world, including the USA and was never tempted to apply for for residential permit (Green Card) and I believe overwhelming Namibians share my sentiments. Namibia is home sweet home for almost 99,9% of our population.

On becoming friends with United States of America, our government has good bilateral relations with your government and former Vice President Al Gore also visited us. The two countries have established diplomatic relations and we have a fully fledged embassies in New York (UN) and Washington (US).

What I have appreciated is that American Foreign Policy does not have permanent friends and permanent interest, almost to the point that many interpret it that the USA use and abuse anyone. This policy did not ratified the Global Environmental Treaty at Rio de Janeiro (hope spelling is correct) and just a couple of weeks ago, the US left the International Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa.

In my mind, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, with its international character and connection, should be at the front, leading dialogues concerning the American Foreign Policy. I am a member of this denomination, and I have differences with this policy, and so could there be many hundreds or even thousands of AME's all over the globe. Hence, the relevance of the discussion.

My view is that we owe ultimate allegiance and loyalty to our Creator and Sustainer through His Son, Jesus Christ our Redeemer. It is my humble view that the theology of the AME Church is best displayed by the motto: :"God our Father, Christ our Redeemer, Man our Brother". It is in that spirit that many of share the pain of the destructive events of September 11th, 2001.

And we can't give blessings to any retaliation by the American Government on any nation of the world, without any proof. The Taliban has asked for proof, but the US government has found a scapegoat in Bin Laden and all Americans are now "instigated". Take note that I do not know Bin Laden or any other terrorist, but what America and civil society has advocated for all centuries is "innocent until proven guilty!!" What has happened to that.

Who can tell me why American governments would not limititself to retaliation, but would always strive to replace national leaders. The American attempts to dethrone Sadam Hussein failed, and now we hear political advisors on CCN saying that the Taliban is illegal and that the US must impose a new government on the people of Afghanistan. The fact of the matter is that the United States of America intially failed to curbed/prevent the attacks and now is failing to proof beyond doubt who to blame.

What is the role of the AME Church as the single oldest black church in the USA, in the American government Foreign Policy. How informed and how representative (of the Connection) is the AME Church's position on the American Foreign Policy? Doesn't the views of those residing outside continental USA count or not, when we discuss such issues?

The Saviour says, "If I be lifted up, I'll draw all men unto me!"

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2001

Rev. Hanse, I applaud your love and loyalty for your country, Nambia. That is the same way I feel about my country, the USA. "On becoming friends with United States of America" - When an administration changes, the policy of the USA may also change. Mr. Gore and Mr. Clinton are private citizens and have the voice of a private citizen in establishing policy. "Global Environmental Treaty at Rio de Janeiro" - Our leadership considers that this treaty is not in the best interests of the American People and we choose not to ratify it. Case clsoed, our decision. "the International Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa" - Again, we chose not to participate. That is our decision based on the best interests of the USA. You may disagree of course. But as we do not establish Nambian policy, neither can you establish US policy.

You said: "In my mind, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, with its international character and connection, should be at the front, leading dialogues concerning the American Foreign Policy." - In the USA, we have adher to "separation of Church and State". That is not to say that the individual Church members cannot influence policy, they can as private citizens. However, as a denomination, we (AMEs) do not, indeed, cannot establish policy. As a non-profit corporation under US Corporate law, we are limited in our involvement in politics as "AME Church". You will remember that Martin Luther King, a Baptist minister, did not speak for "The Baptist Church" during the Civil Rights movement; he spoke for himself and the SCLC. He also did not speak for "The Black Church", a quasi organization that exist in the mind of the beholder. Therefore, being amember of this denomination does not give you the right to establish US Foriegn Policy. Tha comes with citizenship. Your government in its relations with my government is the vehicle you use to influence US policy.

You wrote: "My view is that we owe ultimate allegiance and loyalty to our Creator and Sustainer through His Son, Jesus Christ our Redeemer." - I agree but that is as an individual only, not "The AME Church". My loyalty and allegiance is priortized thusly: (1) My God, My Country/Family, My Denomination (The AME Church). Country and Family are co-joined. The AME Church as a denomination is NOT our Lord and savior. God forbid, but if the US were to declare war against Nambia or any nation where AMEs are counted among its citizens, I, as a citizen of the US, owe allegiance to my country. Therefore, a US citizen, member of the AME Church, would be called upon to support and defend the US, in spite of denominational lines that cross state borders. The fact that the AME Church is the oldest "black" church gives it no priorty. In spite of the reality of discrimination and racism that exist in the US, most black US citizens and white US citizens when called upon during wartime. That has been true in all our wars. Many nations have attempted to divide the US along color lines but all have failed. Some individuals may align themselves with another country but the majority of black folk are Americans first, and people of African descent second. That is why I do not refer to myself as "African-American". I am an American, first last and always. Many others feel the same way also. Rev. Hanse wrote: "And we can't give blessings to any retaliation by the American Government on any nation of the world, without any proof." - When a nation is attacked and declares war, there is no LEGAL obligation to provide proof to any other nation or individual. Public opinion may lead to providing proof. Sadly, in war, Might makes Right.

Rev. Hanse: "What is the role of the AME Church as the single oldest black church in the USA, in the American government Foreign Policy?"

The AME Church has no role in the American government Foreign Policy. Individual members of the AME Church who are US Citizens exercise the Right to Vote, choosing leaders who then establish policy. Then we fight and die if necessary to defend that policy.

Lastly, the Savior came to save all individual members of the human family. He did not come to save "nations" and/or establish foreign policy.


Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2001

Pastor Hanse...

Thanks for your honesty. In a time of tragedy many Americans do not see the injustices that this nation has inflicted upon the world. National backed terrorism (AKA Foreign policy) goes by various euphemized names: Covert Operations, War, Colonization and Democracy. All are as lethal as the vicious attack upon the trade center.

You're absolutely correct to call it like you see it! The policies of this nation need a massive OVERHAUL. Starting with the BLIND support of Israel. I don't know what Israel has over the head of US, but it is very powerful. I know what goes on in third world countries at the mighty hands of the US…and folks it not pretty. We dump toxic waste in Africa (the very lethal kind we don't want at home) *Send defective flammable baby clothes to less the fortunate (let their children burn up it is better than being naked). *Send outdated food that we will not eat but it is still good *Finance terrorist regimes that kill any one who doesn't agree with faction in charge *Finance arms with drug money that raped and destroyed families *Treat people in their home countries like second class citizens (I lived in Panama for five years…ask someone about the gold and silver bathrooms. It was so bad that the Panamanians had to get permission to cross the isthmus) *Do you really think that AIDS came from a spider green monkey who lived on the continent for years till the WHO started giving a certain type of vaccine. Now poof a wide spread of dis-ease. I will not mention the transatlantic slave trade (AKA African Holocaust, which the Jews are the only ethnic allowed to mention the word and they remain us every chance they get) where millions died along the journey to HELL!

I feel badly for the families of the people who transition during the WTC attacks. However, I think that US can not continue its blatant use of force to the peoples of the world without retribution. What goes around comes around. I also believe that people of the US must start making politicians accountable for the injustices imposed upon other nations. (For interesting reading study Papa Bush.)

It is not being anti-patriotic to point out the injustices of this nation. I think true healing starts we can admit to your problems….

Peace, Brenda

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2001

Rev. Paris,

My comments were not meant to suggest that you had blind faith in the leadership of this country, but that you dismiss Rev. Hanse's comments out of hand. I agree that American foreign policy is to be determined by America. However, I find it difficult to create foreign policy if we don't listen to the "foreigners" to some degree.

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2001

Dear Rev. Hanse,

I repectfully take issue with your statements which imply that the US foreign policy is to be blamed for the Sept. 11, 2001 murder of 5000 plus people. It is certainly acceptable for people to disagree but it is unacceptable for people to murder one another. When sovereign nations have disagreements, diplomacy is the loftiest avenue towards resolution that can be taken. War is a complete failure of human intelligence. Unfortunately, I think that the events of that day have changed the course of world history and have set us on a course to world war III in the near future.

In my opinion, the Islamic clerics and theologians are the ones to blame for the Sept. 11, 2001 tragedy. Investigators have shown that the 19 terrorists involved had detailed religious rituals and prayers relating to the Islamic religion prior to executing those innocent people in the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. It is also known that in the past that Islamic clerics have prayed over bombs before they were used to kill people. Where is their exegesis of the Koran which gives them the authority to execute people? Yet we hear today that Islam is a religion of peace. If Islam is a religion of peace, then out of a 1 billion worldwide population of muslims why haven't muslims denounced terrorism in the past? Why is there so much sympathy for Osama bin Laden in a muslim country like Indonesia?


-- Anonymous, October 02, 2001

"…Lee Hamilton, a former Democratic congressman who recently served on a national commission on terrorism, noted that members of the commission visited 28 countries and encountered "a deep resentment about what the United States stood for and were told that managing that resentment will be one of the major foreign policy challenges" for the United States. None of the members of the committee asked Hamilton to expand upon this. Instead, the lawmakers mostly wondered about which agencies were best prepared to respond to terrorist attacks and how much much authority would be granted to Tom Ridge, who's been appointed by Bush to a new Cabinet-level counter terrorism position."

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2001

I am an American and proud to be. I am also A.M.E. and proud to be. I thank God for both the A.M.E. Church and great nation in which we live. But most of all I thank God that He has called me to be know by the name of Christ. I am first and foremost a member of the people of God who are called Christians.

Each Sunday as a part of my Christian duty I am called to deliver a Youth Message, which is derived from the Revised Common Lectionary reading of the day. The Gospel readings for the past few weeks have come from the parables on stewardship found in Luke chapters 15 and 16. This past Sunday it was specifically the parable of the rich man whom we call Dives and the poor man whom Jesus referred to as Lazarus. It not only calls us to account for our stewardship on earth but also reminds us of the ultimate and real consequence of what we do or fail to do with the blessings God provides.

While I cannot speak for America, Africa or the A.M.E. Church, the Gospel of Jesus the Christ admonished us to go and do likewise. As one hymn writer has fittingly said, God through Jesus Christ, calls the A.M.E. Church, America, Africa, and indeed all mankind to "Look and Live".

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2001

Dear Hanse and All

I want to, first of all, thank you Rev. Hanse for raising your opinion with regards to the US foreign policy and speaking your mind without loosing the very essence of ubuntu. I join you and the many who have been shocked and angered by the inhuman acts of terrorism that the world has ever witnessed.

The responses that I seen have come forth to the issues that you have raised are really worrying but can also understood, they are coming from hurt people. But I am say that whatever the case is, they need to be said.

I pray that God would help our brothers and sisters in the US, of all colours and creeds, to seek out the untold misery that the US foreign policy has caused and continues to cause to billions of people, especially those in the poor and developing countries. In fact, it also my prayer that God would help our very own brothers and sisters in the US to realise how much of the propaganda they are fed is affecting them to be blind to what is happening to their neighbours. Once people begin to boast of theirs is the best, then, pray that God's revelation comes. May God bless and keep you Brenda and WJ Richardson to remain aware of what is going on around you.

Your statement has really helped, if anything, to expose to degree to which people can be consistent with their own faith, which they claim to profess. What I heard is captured very well by Brenda Fassie, in her very derby album; "Weekend Special."

Over and over again, the abhorrance and condemnation of terrorism has been stated by world leaders of all sorts. I join all those voices. Everything humanly possible should be done to bring to a halt such actions which will only help to harm life in whatever its form.

Blessings and Peace,

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2001

The terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 are rejected with the contempt it deserves. Believe me, diplomacy is the answer and the proper strategy for dissolving (minimising differences). We reject violence.

But there are two issues I want to raise:

What is the role of the AME Church universally, especially on humanitarian issues? What is the prophetic voice of the Church? What is happening to the legacy of Richard and Sara Allen? on our social involvement? IN southern Africa, during the heat of apartheid, the Church spoke out against evil in all its form and sided with the poor and the disadvantaged. Has the Church lost her vitality?

What are our priorities? Country, Family, Church and Christ? Is that the order? Of what used is the traditional annual conference literary "state of the country report?" if we have nothing to say about the political futures of our respective countries? Now that disaster has strucked America should everything else and all principles be wiped from the board? What has happened to the biblical principle of "loving your enemies"? I thought we are all humna beings first, Christians next, then comes the denomination and country thereafter?

Those in Africa calling for a more meaningful participation in the AME Connection with a sense of patriotism are told that the AME Church is one big family. Our episcopal boundaries ARE NOT according national boundaries. As a Christian I have the right of conscientious objection to military conscription in many democracies, including the USA I believe.

The Saviour says: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!"

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2001

Rev. Hanse, I may be wrong, but right now I will pray that prayer as I send them on thier way to hell or heaven as the case may be.


Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2001

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