Serbia, the United States, and Christianity
The United States, at its inception, under George Washington's leadership, took what came to be called an isolationist stand on foreign affairs. The term "isolationist" position meant a policy on foreign wars, alliances, and politics. But it took a radically different stance on moral and religious issues. As a result, the U.S. was known worldwide as the land of freedom and Christianity.
With World War I, a shift became apparent. Woodrow Wilson believed in world salvation by political and military force, and hence our entry into World War I and our one-world concerns. This has grown steadily since then, and the U. S. now seeks to play the role of world policeman and savior.
Serbia and other Balkan states gained their freedom from Turkey between the Crimean War and World War I. The oppressed peoples of the Balkans hoped for one state to include them all, i.e., a Southern Slav country, with a notable Serbian family to provide the king. This would have created a powerful European state rivaling the great powers, and this was anathema to the latter. The various component groups were each persuaded to have their own kingdoms, and funds were provided toward this end, and German princes provided also to be their rulers.
Serbia's continuing independence toward the European great powers led to World War I, when supposed revolutionaries, probably in foreign pay, assassinated the Austrian prince. World War II followed.
After World War II, Tito, a Marxist, gained power in Yugoslavia (including Serbia) with allied help. Meanwhile, the Danube and the Rhine rivers were united by a great canal, making the Danube-Dardanelles waterway the world's most important one. The industrial development planned by Serbia on the Danube would have made it potentially perhaps the world center for commerce, rivaling the European powers, the U.S. and Japan. Once again, Serbia became a world villain.
Recent reports from Serbia from people who do not favor Milosevic are grim. Not only they, but other peoples of the area actually regard President Clinton as "worse than Hitler" under whom they suffered much in World War II. America has come to mean something radically different from what was the case before World War I.
This development should cause Americans to reassess their position. The U.S. has become a leading and crusading force for salvation by politics with guns. Its position is anti-Christian; nothing in the Bible can vindicate its present course.
The concern of the U.S. for Kosovo is a strange one. The rationale for its stance is an unusual one. The American southwest has many areas with a very high Hispanic population. What if these peoples seek independence from the U.S. a la Kosovo? Should the majority nationality in New York City have the right to demand independence under a foreign flag? How can we apply arguments to Kosovo and Serbia that we do not allow here at home?
The world is full of conflicts and evils. Are we called to try to save the world by guns and bombs? Have we not developed a pagan and evil plan of salvation radically at odds with Christian Faith?
On more than one ground, many Americans are opposed to this and any further foreign salvationist actions. For this, too many Americans are abused and slandered. It seems that dissent from this interventionist faith is immoral to these peoples!
Americans abroad at one time were highly regarded as a godly and helpful people. Now it is unwise in many areas to be identified as an American.
The issue in Kosovo is a religious one. It has to do with one's plan of salvation. It is a moral decision we must make, not a political nor a military one. We have done more than renounce Washington's policy: we have rejected the Faith on which it was based.
Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916-2001) was the founder of Chalcedon and a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical Law to society.