Development Site - Changes here will not affect the live (production) site.
Donate

The American Civil Religion, and the Dangers That Would Follow Its Demise

Revisiting his 2004 essay “The Soul of a Nation,” Wilfred McClay describes the importance of civil religion—from holidays like Thanksgiving, to such symbols as the flag, to the sense of a unique American mission—in the life of the United States. He explores American civil religion’s origins in the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and New England Puritan thinkers, its roots in the Judeo-Christian tradition, its relevance in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, and his fear that it is disintegrating in the face of deep political and cultural divisions. (Interview by Jonathan Silver. Audio, 46 minutes. Options for download and streaming are available at the link below.)

Read more at Tikvah

More about: 9/11, Civil religion, Religion & Holidays, Religion and politics, U.S history, U.S. Politics

The Trump Administration Has Said the Right Things about Syria, but Words Are Not Enough

Jan. 30 2018

While praising the White House for recognizing that Iran poses a major threat to American interests in Syria, Jennifer Cafarella argues that Washington still needs a strategy for countering the Islamic Republic and its allies:

The Trump White House identifies Iran as a primary threat. It has verbally committed to the departure from power of Bashar al-Assad. It claims to prioritize repairing relations with Turkey, seeks to destroy al-Qaeda, and wants to refocus the U.S. on Syria’s humanitarian catastrophe. These are the correct goals toward which American policy should strive. . . . The problem is that the strategy Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has outlined [in a January 17 speech] will not accomplish these goals. . . .

American policy in Syria, regardless of any tough administration statements, is to accept Assad and his regime de-facto. . . . The “de-escalation” agreement that President Trump signed in November 2017 with Russia is a surrender not only to Russia, but also to Iran. It heavily favors Assad. In that deal, Russia promised to compel Iran to withdraw its forces from southern Syria. It never happened. Pro-regime forces violate the de-escalation zone with impunity. . . .

Tillerson uses vague terms like “deny their dreams” to describe our strategy against Iran in Syria. He identifies no clear goal against which the U.S. can measure success. He states that the U.S. must deliver an “enduring defeat” to al-Qaeda—and we certainly must. Yet the U.S. Defense Department has offered no vision of how to do that. The strategy Tillerson outlines—and that the U.S. is pursuing—amounts to outsourcing the problem to Turkey, which is actually working with al-Qaeda in Syria. . . .

Two administrations have sought to substitute rhetoric for action and to outsource American interests to local partners. The U.S. must abandon this approach and recognize Syria’s importance to American security.

Read more at Fox News

More about: Al Qaeda, Donald Trump, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, Rex Tillerson, Syrian civil war, U.S. Foreign policy