Skip to comments.Dr. Tony Campolo and Frank Gaffney debate the role of America in the world.
Posted on 02/20/2007 7:32:44 AM PST by Valin
HH: From Eastern University, Im Hugh Hewitt. Thanks for listening to the Hugh Hewitt Show. Im here joined by a wonderful crowd of Eastern University students, faculty and friends, as well as by two people whom I greatly admire, and I cannot imagine two better people to debate, since they come at it from very different perspectives, the role of America in the world. Please join me in welcoming Frank Gaffney from the Center For Security Policy and Eastern Universitys own Tony Campolo. (applause) Now when we put this together, I knew Tony may be the most persuasive center-left Evangelical in the United States. Certainly, he is as well known as any, and he has a different view on the world than I do. And so I decided I would run away from that fight, and Id bring Frank in to talk to Tony. (laughter) But I want to start early, Im going to very much enjoy moderating this, and I think its an important conversation. Tonys got a new book out called Letters To A Young Evangelical, in which he is very, very blunt about the war, about just war, about what Americas doing in the world, and hes a great exponent of that. And Tony, Im going to begin by asking you first for any opening remarks, and then secondly, is America a force for good in the world. Tony Campolo?
TC: Mixed. I think that there is incredible good that we are doing. I think theres incredible damage that we are doing. We are a powerful nation, the most powerful nation in history, I think, and with that power goes tremendous responsibility. In some respects, were fulfilling it, in some respects, were not fulfilling it.
HH: And would you expand a little bit on the ways that were not?
TC: I think first of all, I feel that in the Middle East, our policy is uneven. I am totally committed to secure borders for the State of Israel, I am absolutely committed to the Israeli state, and justice for the Israeli people. Parents shouldnt worry that their children are going to be blown up by terrorists on the way to school. I am also concerned about the Palestinian people I feel that houses are being leveled by bulldozers unjustly, I believe that theres a land steal in many instances. I feel that there is a everybodys tearing at Jimmy Carter these days. I think hes raised the right question. Are we moving towards an apartheid situation in Palestine? And so thats a place where I think we need to do some reflecting as to what our policy should be. I think that the United States right now, going in debt in ways that stagger the imagination. Heres where I sound conservative. Borrowing billions of dollars from the Peoples Republic of China scares the daylights out of me. I think its an irresponsible thing. We dont have to worry about being conquered by the communists. I think theyre going to own us. I feel that thats another place where were failing. I think that we are not doing what should be done in terms of the environment. I think that there needs to be not a lessening of regulations on carbon emissions, but there ought to be a sustaining of the rules that already existed. I could go on, but thats the gist of this question.
HH: Let me ask you about one quote, and then well go to Frank.
HH: In your new book, Letters To A Young Evangelical, and its a wonderful book, I really would hope that people would read it and reflect on it. Theres lots to disagree with in it, lots to agree with in it. You write, We can see that very little good has come of this war, and much evil has been perpetrated, referring to the Iraq invasion.
HH: All right. Now Frank, sorry, weve got to go to break. No, just a joke. Frank Gaffney, the table is set.
FG: I was kind of hoping you would go to a break, as a matter of fact. I actually find a lot of things that I agree with in what Tony said. I suppose that that will shock some of you here, and some of you listening in, because what I think he said is just basically common sense in a number of respects. There are points of which we diverge, and Im sure well have a chance to discuss those as greater length. But let me just pick up on the last point. Hes concerned about the loss of life in Iraq, and certainly, all of us are concerned about the loss of life, and the costs that have been associated with trying to both deal with a real and I think growing danger in the regime of Saddam Hussein, and help the people of Iraq who had suffered so grievously, for so long under that regime, have something better, a prospect that is now very close to being denied them, thanks to some relatively small numbers of bloodthirsty but very determined people. And those bloodthirsty and very determined people are killing Americans, fortunately not very many of them, but enough, theyre killing large numbers of Iraqis, but make so mistake about it, ladies and gentlemen, they are part of the community of people that wish to kill a great many of us here, as well as around the world. And the loss of life, and the costs, the investment were making in trying to help the people of Iraq have that better future, I think is one of the better things that America has done, and is trying to do. Are we doing it perfectly? No. Is it going really well? Absolutely not. Are the costs of our failure there real and potentially disastrous? I think they are. So just to pick up on one point of perhaps disagreement, I would say that the thing that we need to be focused on, and I hope we will spend some serious time talking about it tonight is, what are the dynamics at work in this world? It may be that were the most powerful country in a lot of ways. Tonys just mentioned one way that were not so powerful, and that is were a debtor nation. Another way is that we are not a profoundly ideological nation at a time when ideologies are rising not only in the Muslim world, but in others as well, that are quite hostile. Indeed, I call this, as Hugh knows, the war for the free world that were involved in, of which Iraq is one theater, and I hope very much, Hugh, that we will be able to explore, perhaps, areas of agreement and disagreement about not only the characterization of that problem, but also what we do about it.
Audio found here
(note you may have to scroll down if you see this at a later date)
bump for later. I respect Gaffney.
Tony just flipped the bozo bit with that comment.
Campola was slick willie's defender and spiritual advisor! LOLOL.......he is considered to be a moral relativist.
I LOVE Hugh, but have NO idea of why he would respect Campola so much....he's a LEFTIST.
Campolo drug out lame platitudes, naive views and old cliches.
He was a lightweight, compared to Gafney.
Two instances stood out: he was honest in saying that his pacifism was protected and made possible by those who took up arms. This is always, to me, where pacifism falls down in hypocritical posturing. This is so like the Human Shields who make a run for it when the real fighting starts.
Just what are they "shielding?"
The other instance was when a woman in the audience challenged his moral equivalency between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
He had clearly stated the there was equal evil on both parts, but when challenged denied that he had said it, and if he did, he did not mean it.
This is where Christian "liberals" loose all credibility, in their insisting that the Israelis bear responsibility for the lack of a solution to the Palestinians' problems.
That is what he has done before, to good effect - I remember my rather conservative church screening a film he made (something like "You Can Make A Difference") and being excited about it.
Once you dig deeper, you find out, there is not much under the surface.
Frank Gafney wiped the floor with him.
It was embarrassing.
Gafney got the only applause during the debate, when he stood up for Israel.
Mind you, Eastern is a liberal Christian college: as the debate was publicized, there were others in addition to students in the audience.
Campolo is, in my opinion, way over rated as a thinker. he has an abundance of compassion, but that will not keep my children safe.
Eastern used to be Eastern Baptist, but that "Baptist" affiliation is soooo embarrassing nowadays.....
Campolo drug out lame platitudes, naive views and old cliches.
As a man of the left, what else does he have.
I do think he made some good points about the MSM however.
Campolo is a smooth deceiver......and will answer to God for his deception & injury.
...but I cannot reconcile 'Christian liberal' as other than an oxymoron.....and I think you see that as well.
To me, those two words are not compatible.
Tony Campolo: The Marxist Delusion and a Christian Evangelist
Tony’s been flipping the bozo bit for a long time.
That would be a proud emergent church-er!
Great analysis. You are so right. Many are still not aware of this movement.
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