Do religion and politics mix?
Dr. Dov S. Zakheim is a vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton where he is a leader in the firm’s global defense business, working with U.S. Combatant Commanders and allied and coalition ministries of defense worldwide.
Former United States government official Dov Zakheim was the Undersecretary of Defense and Comptroller from 2001-2004 in the George W. Bush administration, and was a foreign policy advisor to that administration during the 2000 election campaign. From 1985-1987, during the Regan administration, Zakheim was Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Planning and Resources. An Orthodox Jew, he helped to end the IAI Lavi Israeli fighter program. Previous to his work with the Bush administration, from 1987-2001, Zakheim served as a consultant to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and sat on a number of Defense Department panels, including the Task Force on Defense Reform, in 1997, and the Board of Visitors of Overseas Regional Centers, from 1998-2001. During those years he was also CEO of SPC International, a subsidiary of System Planning Corporation. Zakheim is on the editorial board of The National Interest Journal and has published a multitude of articles and monographs on defense issues. Zakheim earned his BA in government from Columbia University in 1970 and his PhD in economics and politics from St. Antony's College, Oxford University. He was an Adjunct Scholar at the Heritage Foundation, and an adjunct professor at the National War College, Yeshiva University, Columbia University and Trinity College, where he was also Presidential Scholar. He has been a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the United States Naval Institute. Zakheim has received many awards for government and community service, including the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal, its highest civilian award.
Dov Zakheim: Well they should co-exist alongside each other, and they shouldn’t intertwine. I think part of the difficulty is that one man’s faith is another man’s hearsay. Or one woman’s faith is another woman’s hearsay. The chief rabbi of England recently called a book called “The Dignity of Difference”, Jonathan Sacks. He was actually a contemporary of mine at Oxford. And he wrote something that has stuck with me: “There is only one truth in heaven, but there are many truths on earth.” Well, you know, truth is supposed to be indivisible. You know, it’s binary. Either it is or it isn’t. But once you accept that there is more than one truth on earth, then you can’t say, “It has to be my way.” I believe there’s a divine power. There’s a God. And you know, God will figure it out. But that’s in heaven. And so mixing religion and politics is a pretty dangerous mixture in my view.
Recorded on: 7/2/07
Zakheim firmly believes in the separation of church and state.
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