Here’s an interesting column by Nicholas Kristof about missions-driven evangelical international humanitarianism. He mentions Freeing God’s Children, by Allen Hertzke. You can find a summary of Hertzke’s argument here, in a pdf file.
Here’s a snippet of Kristof:
Members of the Christian right, exemplified by Mr. Brownback, are the new internationalists, increasingly engaged in humanitarian causes abroad - thus creating opportunities for common ground between left and right on issues we all care about.
So Democrats should clamber down from the window ledges, roll up their sleeves and get to work on some of these issues. Because I’m embarrassed to say that Democrats have been so suspicious of Republicans that they haven’t contributed much on those human rights issues where the Christian right has already staked out its ground.
Hertzke’s argument is ultimately more interesting, and much more subtle than, say, Ann Coulter’s advice regarding what to do in the Middle East. He contends that the explosive growth of global Christianity, rooted in both theology and social conditions, threatens despotic governments, since Christians are not easily intimidated. And since Christians in the West have abundant contacts with these potential martyrs elsewhere, there’s the basis for a movement to protect religious liberty and promote human rights the world over. The Bush Administration gets it, as do Congressional Republicans. I wonder where African-American Democrats stand.