Soccer & Foreign Policy

Three soccer games today. Jill and I coach our three kids' teams. Soccer's a great sport. Perhaps in the future soccer will help foreign policy. Nearly everywhere in the world people goes bonkers for "football." Part of the ugly American in me didn't understand that for many years, but after living in foreign countries I realized how exciting soccer can be.

Maybe someday we'll have a president who played soccer growing up, took a foreign language in school and can begin to fathom the beauty of a simple diversion of most of the rest of the world.

We are powerful and our sports and traditions do catch on somewhat around the world, but that doesn't necessarily mean we should be arrogant and believe what we do is "best." I'm amazed at President Bush's incredulous question, "Why do they hate us?" and differ strongly with his answer.

President Bush claims other nations hate us because they hate freedom and they are evil-doers. “They hate what we stand for,” says Bush. “Our enemies are thugs and evil-doers…” Right now there are people in Iraq who hate us because they hate foreign occupation.

I spoke to Richard T. Hughes the other day in an interview and he said others may believe we’re more interested in commerce, they hate us for much same reason the rest of the world does: because we've divided the world into good and evil and we always come out innocent and the bully. This doesn’t help the cause of peace.

The myth of American innocence, says Hughes, is a claim that runs counter good biblical theology. We all are sinners and stand in God’s judgment, and we are not perfectly executing a godly plan for our nation. God is the ruler of the universe, not American versions of freedom and justice.

I'm glad I'm not the president. The toughest job in the world, but we need someone who can discern and be wise about foreign policy in these days of international business and the shrinking and ever-interacting world.

GeneralGreg Taylor