Institutional Scholarship

"May God Continue to Bless the United States of America": Christian Logics in Rhetorical Justifications for Humanitarian Military Missions

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Farneth, Molly B.
dc.contributor.author Schmidt, Sonia E.
dc.date.accessioned 2021-07-15T17:25:40Z
dc.date.available 2021-07-15T17:25:40Z
dc.date.issued 2021
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10066/23697
dc.description.abstract Wars require rhetorical justification, and this justification often comes from the mouths of politicians. Humanitarian military missions– wars conducted with the expressed intentions of helping or saving the people who are being invaded – require particular justification. In the case of the United States, when analyzing these justifications, it becomes clear that U.S. politicians rely on Christian ideas and logics – that is, logical justifications based on Christian theological concepts – in order to give their arguments rhetorical might, even when these logics are couched in apparently secular terms. In this thesis, I contend that Christian logics have remained pervasive as parts of justification for humanitarian military missions, though their articulation has transformed through time from overt calls for the conversion of others to Christianity, to a conversion to the values of Human Rights. I focus on three Christian logics at work in these justifications: conversion through a type of loving violence, calls on the dignity of humans, and a paradigm of good and evil, wherein whomever the United States is working against is evil, and the United States is good. To demonstrate how these logics work in practice, I analyze the rhetoric surrounding two different humanitarian military missions conducted by the United States, one hundred years apart: the annexation of the Philippines, and the war in Afghanistan. Ultimately, acknowledging the pervasiveness of these Christian logics must encourage thought about the ethical validity of these types of military missions.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of Religion
dc.language.iso eng
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
dc.title "May God Continue to Bless the United States of America": Christian Logics in Rhetorical Justifications for Humanitarian Military Missions
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Tri-College users only


Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Search


Browse

My Account