This item is only available as the following downloads:
GOD BLESS AMERICA: HOW PRESIDENTS USE AMERICAN CIVIL RELIGION TO LEGITIMIZE MILITARY POLICY IN THEIR INAUGURAL ADDRESSESBY TM MAWN A Thesis Submitted to the divisions of History/Sociology New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of therequirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Heather White Sarasota, Florida May 2011
ii Dedicated to my Mom, Dad, sister and grandparents. I would be lost without you.
iii Acknowledgements: Thanks to Chad Seales, who helped me to figure out what to write this thesis about. Thanks to Heather White who helped me finish it. Thanks to Bob Johnson, my academic advisor and racquetball partneryour support has meant more to me than you know. Thanks to the boys ofD105 and all the Sociology of Religion crew. Thanks to the boys of D201 for making my fifth year amazing. Thanks to Geoff Vitiello for helping me through some tough times and for reading my thesis even thought he didnt have to. Thanks to Chase Sokolowfor accompanying me on a life changing journey. Thanks to Richard Decal for helping me fight the good fight. Thank you New College for helping me grow in so many ways.
iv Dedication .ii Acknowledgements ..iii Table of Contents .iv Abstract ....v Introduction. Theory of Civil Religion .7 Ronald Reagan .......19 History ..20 Campaign .22 Inaugural Address Bill Clinton ..28 History ......28 Campaign .31 Inaugural Address George W. Bush ..39History ..40 September 11th Attacks .....41 Post September 11th Campaign Inaugural Address ...47 Conclusion ..51 Appendix A Appendix B Appendix C Works Cited ...72
v GOD BLESS AMERICA: HOW PRESIDENTS USE AMERICAN CIVIL RELIGION TO LEGITIMIZE MILITARY POLICY IN THEIR INAUGURAL ADDRESSESTM Mawn New College of Florida, 20011 ABSTRACT This thesis demonstrates the ways in which Presidentsuse civil religious language to legitimize military policy in their inaugural addresses. Specifically, it focuses on the second inaugural addresses of Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Using the theories of Robert Bellah and Jon Pahl, it demonstrates the ways in which these presidents use civil religious language to justify military policy while masking the true reasoning behind and consequences of those policies. Sponsor: Heather White Division of Humanities
1 Civil religion is neither bonafide religion nor ordinary patriotism, but a new alloy formed by blending religion with nationalism 1 IntroductionThe date was January 20, 1961. It was a clear, cold day; a thick layer of snow from the previous night covered the ground. The weather was so bad that there had been talk of canceling the event, but President Elect John F. Kennedy would hear nothing of it. A platform extended across the East Front of the Capitol building, filled with Kennedy's closest supporters. In spiteof the cold, throngs of onlookers filled the grounds around the building; as far as the eye could see, men and women in hats and heavy coats eagerly awaited the inaugural address of the youngest elected president in U.S. history.2 In the center of the platform, Kennedy stepped up to the podium where Chief Justice Earl Warren stood waiting. Raising his right hand, Kennedy recited theoath of office. Each breath was accompanied by a puff of steam, each word crystallized by the cold. After completing the oath, Kennedy shook Warren's hand, stepped up to the podium, and waited for the applauseto subside.3 Once the crowd wasquiet, Kennedy began: Vice President Johnson, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon, President Truman, reverend clergy, fellow citizens, we observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom symbolizing an end as well as a beginning signifying renewal as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago. The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the 1 The Road from Paradise: Prospects for Democracy in Eastern Europe. p. 125, 130 2 "President Kennedy 1961 Inauguration."C-SPAN Video Library. C-SPAN. Web. 3 May 2011.
2 power to abolish all forms of human poverty and to abolish all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forbears fought are still at issue around the globe the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God. 4 In 1967, sociologist Robert N. Bellah used Kennedy's inaugural address as the starting point to introduce his theory of American civil religion in his influential article, Civil Religion in America5 Bellah explainsthat American civil religion has many distinctive characteristics which make it unique, powerful and pervasive and that it is important to understand as an essential element of American identity and political discourse. 6 On an academic level, the concept of American civil religion offers a powerful tool for analyzing and interpreting large parts of American culture. Bellah uses the excerpts from Kennedy's speech above to demonstrate the prevalence of civil religious rhetoric in political discourse, and through further analysis of the speech seeks to demonstrate the importance that language holds. Bellah demonstratesthat Kennedys address provides many excellent examples of American civil religion. Kennedy immediately introducedthe rhetoric of American civil religion in his inaugural address, and civil religious themes permeate the entire speech that follows. He spokeof the revolutionary founders of the United Statesand in the same sentence spokeof the hand of God guiding the United States. According to Bellah, the God Kennedy was speaking about was not 4 Kennedy, John F. "John F. Kennedy: Inaugural Address. U.S. Inaugural Addresses. 1989."Bartleby.com: Great Books Online --Quotes, Poems, Novels, Classics and Hundreds More. Web. 11 Sept. 2010.
3 a Christian God, but rather a God which watches over America a God who guaranteesbasic rights, and whose ever-embattled cause of freedom and democracy the United Stateschampionsaround the globe.7 This type of political rhetoric is common in all inaugural addresses, and has been used to sanction a wide spectrum of policy during different administrations. Bellah and his supporters argue that civil religion is more than a rhetorical tool used by politicians in speaking of America's destiny. American civil religion, as they put it, is a type of national religious identity It is not associated with any sectarian group, but pulling heavily from Protestant tradition, it infuses politics and American identity with a set of symbols and ideals which work together to lend a special authority to the government. 8 It is a binding force between many diverse sets of beliefs present in our pluralistic society. Bellah views The central tradition of the American civil religion not as a form of national self-worship but as the subordination of the nation to ethical principles that transcend it in terms of which it should be judged. 9 This is why civil religion is so prevalent in the rhetoric of politicians, and why it is especially essential for presidents. It allows them to both connect themselves to the established narrative of American history and American values, and also to a higher force which acts as a guide, thereby legitimating their administrations plannedpolicies.10 7 Ibid. 8 Hammond, Phillip E., Amanda Porterfield, James G. Moseley, and Jonathan D. Sarna. "Forum: American Civil Religion Revisited."Religion and American Culture 4.1 (1994): 1-23. Print. 3.9 Bellah, Robert N. "Civil Religion in America."Daedalus96.1 (1967): 1-21.Internet Archive: Wayback Machine Web. 12 Sept. 2010.
4 There are scholars who take issue with this analysis of civil religion, however. In contrast to Bellahs positive understanding of civil religion, Jon Pahl in his book Empire of Sacrifice, focuses exclusively on how civil religion is used as a rhetorical tool to disguise and legitimize acts of violence by the government. According to Pahl, American civil religion has Depended on religious discourses and practices, often in secular guise with the intent of imagining, communicating and enforcing an American identity.11 In Pahls analysis, civil religions power is more of a negative cultural force for legitimating violence it serves as an empty rhetorical tool used by politicians to legitimize their policies and tie them in to American culture. 12 According to Pahl, civil religious language serves two major purposes when dealing with military policies. First, it ties war and military actions in to American culture and values; second, it masks the true intentions behind and consequences of military policies advocated by the presidents.Civil religion is used to hide policy decisions behind a veil of patriotism, gaining acceptance through appeals to cultural values rather than through the presentation of anything but the most basic policies. 13 Civil religious rhetoric is also used simply to justify military action without any policy attached, legitimizing American military policy in general. Typically, presidents use specific civil religious words and ideas when dealing with military policy: the defense of freedom and democracy, and the desire to spread freedom and democracy across the world; human rights and human dignity; 11 Pahl, Jon.Empire of Sacrifice: the Religious Origins of American Violence. New York: New York UP, 2010. Print. 412 Ibid. 27.13 Ibid. 5.
5 combating the forces of evil and tyranny; and the honor, bravery and sacrifice of military service. Using Pahls critical understanding of American civil religion along with a definition of American civil religious rhetoric based on the work of scholars such as Bellah, Phillip Hammond,MichaelAngrosino and Cynthia Toolin, I will examine the ways in which three modern Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have utilized civil religious rhetoric in their second inaugural addresses as a tool for legitimizing military policy. The inaugural address is one of the most important American civil religious events; it represents the reaffirmation of democracy through the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next. It is perhaps the largest ceremony sponsored in honor of the executive branch, usually entailing a week or more of large parties and festivities.The inaugural address itself is one of the most widely publicized and watched events in American life.14 The secondinaugural address affords an especially interestinglook into the way a president justifies policy, as they have to deal with both their past and proposed policies. I will begin with a chapter examining the theory of American civil religion and Jon Pahlstheory of how civil religious language has been tied to military policy, establishing a set of definitions with which I will examine the inaugurals. After establishing this theoretical framework, Iwill follow with three chapters, each examining the second inaugural addresses of the presidents. Each chapter will contain a historical background of issues leading up to the inaugural in order to 14 Toolin, Cynthia. "American Civil Religion from 1789 to 1981: A Content Analysis of Presidential Inaugural Addresses."Review of Religious Research25.1 (1983): 39-48. Print.41.
6 clarify the situations in which military policy was formulated by the presidents. This will be followed by an analysis of the address itself for how instances of civil religious language are used to legitimize military policy, along with pertinent contemporary documents to support the analysis. Each president had a distinct set of issues to deal with during his second term. Knowledge of the historical background surrounding each speech is essential to understanding what military issues were addressed, and will provide contextual material for analysis. Reagan, Clinton and Bush all use American civil religious rhetoric to deal with military policy in their inaugural addresses. The presidents use a specific type of language when referring to their military policy, obscuring their true intentions with a layer of civil religious rhetoric. An understanding of American civil religion, the ideology it represents, the type of language used to convey that ideology, and the way it is interwoven with military rhetoric will be essential to examine for civil religious rhetoric in inaugural addresses. Using this understanding, it will be possible to demonstrate which policies presidents use civil religious rhetoric to legitimize, and to examine how Presidents mask their true intentions for military policy using that rhetoric.
7 Theory of Civil Religion The aim of this chapter is to outline the theoretical basis for American civil religion to be used in the analysis of presidential inauguration speeches. I have chosen to use the lens of American civil religion because it provides a valuable perspective on Presidential rhetoric not afforded by other theories. American civil religion is a broad idea which covers a lot of conceptual ground, so it is important to clearly state that this thesis is not analyzing whether these Presidents espouse or believe in American civil religion, but rather how they use American civil religious rhetoric to legitimize their policies. Using Bellahs conception of American civil religion, I construct a basic definition of American civil religion. Building on this, I use the work of several scholars to define what represents American civil religious rhetoric, with specific examples. With this definition in place, I use the work of Jon Pahl to demonstratethe connection between civil religious rhetoric and the legitimization of military policy. Presidential inaugurations are one of the most important events in American civil religion. They represent the symbolic re-affirmation of democracy in the United States; a re-birth as the system fosters the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next. It is for this reason that they are one of the most studied aspectsof American culture when academics wish to examine American civil religion they are extremely useful because they represent perhaps the most important civil religious ceremony in the United States, representing a renewal of the values of American democracy. When an incumbent president is inaugurated for his second term, he has the opportunity to comment on past policy and to
8 declare the administration's planned trajectory for the coming term.This makes the second inaugural an especially ripe site for civil religious legitimization. Bellah discusses the origins, myths and tenets of American civil religion in his book, The Broken Covenant. Regarding the role of religion in society, he states that: It is one of the oldest sociological generalizations that any coherent and viable society rests on a common set of moral understandings about good and bad, right and wrong, in the realm of individual and social action. It is almost as widely held thatthese common moral understandings must also in turn rest upon a common set of religious understandings that provide a picture of the universe in terms of which the moral understandings make sense. Such moral and religious understandings produce both a basic cultural legitimization for a society which is viewed as at least approximately in accord with them, and a standard of judgment for the criticism of a society that is seen as deviating too far from them. 15 This definition is important because it demonstrates the conception of religion through which Bellah understands American civil religion. Insofar as American civil religion can be a moral guide in a way similar to any other religion, Bellah believes that understanding it and how it works will provide our society with a greater degree of self-awareness in shaping and guiding our national growth toward what we want it to be. This idea drove Bellahs research, and his stances toward American civil religion always reflected his belief that it could be usedfor the benefit of society. Bellah first brought the idea of American civil religion into the academic arena in 1967 with his article Civil Religion in America. He wrote the following to explain his conception of American civil religion: The separationof church and state has not denied the political realm a 15 Bellah, Robert Neelly. The Broken Covenant: AmericanCivil Religion in a Time of Trial. New York: Seabury, 1975. Print. xvi.
9 religious dimension.  At the same time, [there are] certain common elements of religious orientation that the great majority of Americans share. These have played a crucial role in the development of American institutions and still provide a religious dimension for the whole fabric of American life, including the political sphere. This public religious dimension is expressed in a set of beliefs, symbols, and rituals that I am calling American civil religion.16 Bellah used this basic description as the framework upon which to fully explain the deeper conceptual meaning of American civil religion. Bellah expanded the concept more fully in his article, citing examples in John F. Kennedys inaugural address and Abraham Lincolns second inaugural address to demonstrate the pervasive nature of civil religion in America. Bellah claimsthat America's civil religion plays a role like any other religion in American society, and that through greater understanding Americans will be able to influence thecultural mores which anchor their society. His definition portrays American civil religion in a decidedly positive light. It focuses on how civil religion ties together disparate elements of American society through a common historical identity, and gives Americans values upon which to judge their national purpose. Bellah traces the origins of American civil religion back to the founding of the country, citing examples of language and ideas which were used by the founding fathers which are still used today.17 Bellah also looks back at his role in discourse surrounding American civil religion in The Broken Covenant. He states that his goal was to emphasize the critical edge that the tradition of civil religion exercised over our national life. 18 16 Bellah, Robert N. "Civil Religion in America."Daedalus134.4 (2005): 40-55. Print.17 Ibid. 18 Bellah, Robert Neelly. The Broken Covenant: American Civil Religion in a Time of Trial.New York: Seabury, 1975. Print. ix.
10 Bellah is saying that he wanted to demonstrate the sway civil religion holds over American values and daily life. He goes on to say how this understanding would enhance Americans ability to take an active role in the growth of our culture. He notes that as different conceptions of American civil religion developed, one of his greatest concerns was the almost inveterate tendency in some quarters to identify what I called civil religion with the idolatrous worship of the state. 19 Bellah did not wish for American civil religion to be defined in the public eye by what he terms as its most perverse historical expressions. 20 Civil religion can contain elements of idolatrous worship and can be used to legitimate extreme ideas,and Bellahs hoped it would not be characterized by those elements, in the same way a sectarian religion should not be judged only by the actions of its most radical adherents. Bellah sets his definition of American civil religion in cultural terms he was a sociologist, and his work reflects a sociological perspective toward religion. As James A. Mathisen notes in an article some twenty years after Bellah introduced the concept, Bellah helped formulate the ground rules for early discourse on American civil religion. 21 His understanding of religion and its role in society was grounded in his sociological background. It is therefore important to set a definition of religion reflective of sociological study in order to understand the basis on which most academic work on American civil religion has taken place. Clifford Geertz presents a useful definition of religion in his piece Religion 19 Ibid ix 20 Ibid ix. 21 Mathisen, James A. "Twenty Years Later: Whatever Happened to American Civil Religion."Sociological Analysis 50.2 (1989): 129-46. Print.130.
11 as a Cultural System,from Michael Banton's Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Religion. Geertz states that a religion is a system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men (sic.) by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality thatthe moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic. 22 Geertzs goal in crafting this definition was to develop what he referred to as the cultural dimension of religious analysis. 23 It notably avoids mention of any supernatural being or concept. Instead, it focuses on the purpose religion serves for people. This allows for a large degree of flexibility in evaluating different practices defined as religious within one broad definition. This can include the supernatural, but it is not a necessary element; the main focus is on people and cultural systems. This definition of religion, dealing explicitly with the cultural aspects of religious practice, provides a good base for further explication. Renowned religious scholar Mircea Eliade's definition of civil religion fits well within Geertz's broader conception of religion: A religious or semi-religious reverence for certain traditions and or figures by a state. A civil religion represents a consistent adherence to these traditions; though they may shift over time, and interpretations may differ, the basic substance of a civil religion is may function as a foundational element of the government which draws on it. 24 This definition can still encompass many varieties of civil religion, which is important because most 22 Geertz, Clifford. "Religion as a Cultural System."Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Religion,. By Michael Banton. New York: F.A. Praeger, 1966. Print. 3.23 Ibid. 3. 24 Eliade, Mircea.The Encyclopedia of Religion. Vol. 11. New York: Macmillan Pub., 1978. Print. 524.
12 governments have some form of civil religion. 25 Emile Durkheim wrote on the concept of civil religion in his book, Elementary Forms of Religious Life He saw religionin generalas a necessary part of the fabric of society; he viewed it as something which sprang from the minds and hearts of the people. In its basic function, however, he saw civil religion as serving the same purpose as any other religion that is, creating meaning and common understanding between citizens. Durkheim asksin ElementaryForms: What essential difference is there between an assembly of Christians celebrating the principle dates of the life of Christ,  and a reunion of citizens commemorating  some great event in the national life?. 26 According to Durkheim, civil religions rites do not differ from other religious ceremonies, either in their object, the results which they produce, or the processes employed to obtain these results. 27 Thus Durkheim claims that civil religious practices are by definition religious, differing from sectarian religions only in a nominal way but serving the same cultural function. Based on this framework, it will be easier to explicate a definition of civil religion to guide this study. While there is still debate regarding American civil religion, most disputes are definitional and cross-disciplinary. The concept itself has settled on firmer ground, with most scholars acknowledging the existence of some form of American civil religion.28 With an ever-growing body of work 25 Ibid 525. 26 Durkheim, Emile,and Karen E. Fields.The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. New York: Free, 1995. Print. 332.27 Ibid. 333. 28 Angrosino, Michael V. "Civil Religion Redux." Anthropological Quarterly75.2 (2002): 239-67. Print. 243.
13 examining civil religion both in the United States and across the world, the relevance and importance of the concept is undeniable, and American civil religions existence is difficult to challenge. The tenets of American civil religion can be difficult to pin down, but withineach school of thought there is a relative consensus on what represents civil religious rhetoric and practice. Although there are valid critiques of American civil religion, they tend to focus not on its existence but rather on its definition, utility anddepth. Leroy S. Rouner gives an excellent description of the most basic functions of American civil religion: American civil religion is not what we believe in our heart of hearts about the destiny of our immortal souls. It is, rather, the beliefs we share with our fellow citizens about our national purpose and about the destiny of our national enterprise. Vague and visceral it may be, but there is an American creed, and to be an American is to believe the creed. America is, in this sense, a religious venture. 29 The point Rouner is making is important: that there exists a set of commonly accepted ideas, feelings, and traditions which shape American thought and identity. Together, these represent the basic tenets of American civil religion. Although he does not provide a set of definite parameters to demonstrate what American civil religion is, his general definition is very usefuland effectively communicates American civil religionsnature. The concept of civil religion is important in America because it explains a part of culture which is not easily analyzed through the lenses of party politics or sectarian religiosity. It is still a difficult concept to quantify, and it has such a significant overlap with what would otherwise be classified as distinct parts of 29 Rouner, Leroy S. 1999. "Civil Religion,Cultural Diversity, and American Civilization." The Key Reporter 64(3): 3.
14 American culture. One especially problematic aspect of dealing with American civil religion is that many Americans affirm civil religious beliefs, but would not characterize their beliefs as such. Many would reject the idea of a civil religion outright because it runs counter to the separation of church and state laid out in the constitution. Fortunately, it is easier to identify the civil religious concepts and rhetorical strategies politicians use than it would be to get an accurate cross-section ofthe American peoples adherence to civil religious concepts. Even as the meaning behind civil religious discourse has shifted many times, and the relationship between politicians and civil religious discourse has changed, the basic structures present in inaugural speeches have remained more or less the same, as has their role in the inauguration ceremony, arguably the most important event in American civil religion. 30 A close examination of several scholarstheories of American civil religion yields a basic rhetorical framework for analysis. It is based around a few key tenets: first, references to concepts which are built up in the public mind to be part of an 'American tradition' an established historical narrative of American identity. Second, references to Americas role as a world leader along a divine path set out by a higher power, guiding Americas actions. Some of the most important rhetorical tools used to represent American civil religion are as follows: 1) Americas founding documents, especially the constitution and the declaration of independence 2) The ideals of freedom (liberty), democracy, justice, charity, peace, 30 Toolin, Cynthia. "American Civil Religion from 1789 to 1981: A Content Analysis of Presidential Inaugural Addresses."Review of Religious Research25.1 (1983): 39-48. Print.41.
15 integrity and sacrifice 3) Important political figures in U.S.history, especially (but not limited to) the founding fathers andAbraham Lincoln 4) The conception of America as nation chosen by God to lead the world toward a betterfuture.31 These are some of the most common and the most important elements of American civil religious rhetoric. As is the case with many religions, there is room for interpretation of these symbols, and interpretations vary widely. For the most part these tenets can be tied back to the American foundational myth; it is based around the American Revolution and the foundation of a new form of government, American democracy. Important figures and ideas in subsequent American culture are also part of American civil religion. These ideas function as part of a conception of what it means to be an American The most contentious debates regarding the concept have been definitional, and in spite of decades of discussion of the issue, no consensus on a definition has been reached across all academic disciplines. This is due largely to the different understandings of civil religions existence and its intersection with popular culture. Bellahs analysis comes from an anthropological and sociological base and not a historical or theological one. As Mathisen notes, The discussion of [American civil religion] has been largely shaped by a distinct sociological 31 Angrosino, Michael V. "Civil Religion Redux." Anthropological Quarterly75.2 (2002): 239-67. Print. Bellah, Robert Neelly. The Broken Covenant: American Civil Religion in a Time of Trial. New York: Seabury, 1975. Print. Hammond, Phillip E., Amanda Porterfield, James G. Moseley, and Jonathan D. Sarna. "Forum: American Civil Religion Revisited."Religion and American Culture 4.1 (1994): 1-23. Print. Roof, Wade C. "American Presidential Rhetoric from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush: Another Look at Civil Religion." Social Compass 56.2 (2009): 286-301. Print.
16 perspective following Bellahs introduction of the idea in his original paper.32 This is significant because his academic background shaped the growth of discourse on American civil religion, and many of the biggest conflicts about the subject have been cross-disciplinary and definitional. Discourse expanded rapidly based on Bellahs ideas soon after the publication of his article. The definition built here is based on the sociological perspective of civil religion. Although the existence of an American civil religionis not widely disputed, Bellahs claims about its nature are. Many scholars view civil religion as an empty rhetorical tool, devoid of a real impact outside of the rhetorical patterns of American politicians. In his book Empire of Sacrifice: The ReligiousOrigins of American Violence,Jon Pahl examines how civil religious justifications are used to legitimize military policy decisions to the public. According to Pahl, civil religious rhetoric serves two main purposes: first, it ties policies into American culture through association with civil religious symbols. Second, it masks the real life implications of those policies, hiding the true costs of military policy through exclusive discussion in terms of civil religious rhetoric. Pahl discusses how Americans are capable of accepting policies which will lead to violence and oppression, and because of the rhetoric employed by politicians when discussing policy, they are kept ignorant of the repercussions of military action. He refers to this mindset as 'innocent domination. 33 Pahl explains how Americans have constructed a myth of innocence which masks the violent actions taken by the U.S. 32 Mathisen, James A. "Twenty Years Later: Whatever Happened to American Civil Religion."Sociological Analysis 50.2 (1989): 129-46. Print.135.33 Pahl, Jon. Empire of Sacrifice: the Religious Origins of American Violence. New York: New York UP, 2010. Print. 4.
17 government, and how this image is maintained using a specific type of religious language which also encourages Americans tosacrifice their lives in the service of state. Sacrifice is also a central tenet of American civil religion.34 Pahl offers a compelling argument for the importance of civil religious rhetoric in legitimating military policy. Although his main focus is on acts of violence, he does devote a significant amount of attention to the militaristic aspects of American civil religious speech and how they are closely tied to exhortations to violence and callsfor sacrifice. For his analysis, Pahl divides religious operations in American society into three groups: Traditional religion, civil religion, and cultural religion. 35 He notes that the distinction between these are as difficult to delineate as a definition for religion itself, but that the three categories are necessary to overcome what he terms as the fictional dichotomies of religion and politics 36 In his examination of thesefalse dichotomies, Pahl looks at civil religion and the role it plays in legitimating violence, stating that American civil religion is Behind some cases of extreme violence that match some of the marks of religious violence identified by leading theorists. 37 By this he means that civil religion is responsible for legitimating acts of violence as extreme as many of those legitimated by sectarian religion. Presidential inaugural addresses are filled with civil religious language. Although they vary in degree, every speech contains numerous references to American civil religion. Different presidents who propose reforms and policies that 34 Ibid 5. 35 Ibid 27 36 Ibid 27 37 Ibid 32-33
18 are completely contradictory use the same ideals, figures and historical events to support and legitimize their claims. Civil religious language usually takes up more of an inaugural speech than actual discussion of issues. An anecdote about the founding fathers or about the place of freedom and democracy in the country is often used to transition from one topic to the next, or to tie the speech back into the larger historical narrative within which American civil religion is constructed.38 With a clear definition of civil religious rhetoric laid out, it will be fruitful to examine the inaugural addresses of Presidents Reagan, Clinton and Bush. 38 Toolin, Cynthia. "American Civil Religion from 1789 to 1981: A Content Analysis of Presidential Inaugural Addresses."Review of Religious Research25.1 (1983): 39-48. Print.40.
19 Ronald Reagan Ronald Wilson Reagan was sworn in for his second term in front of a small audience of 97 people on Sunday, January 20th 1985. Because the inaugural ceremonies fell on a Sunday, the large celebrations were postponed until the next day. That Monday, however, the weather was so bitterly cold that medical experts said the temperature and wind would 'cause significant risks to the well-being of many of the thousands who would attend and work at these events.' 39 As a result, the ceremony was moved to Capitol rotunda. Onlookers who had come from across the nation and braved the cold packed in to the crowded space to hear the President speak. 40 This chapter will begin with a discussion of Ronald Reagans political career and an analysis of the campaign which led to the Reagan's election. The historical analysis will give a brief overview of Reagans early career with a focus on military policy. The last section analyzesReagans speech for American civil religious language and its use in the legitimization of military policy. Reagan delivered a powerful inaugural address at the beginning of his second term. The language he used in his speech was reflective ofhis position on military policy. Although toward the end of his first term Reagan began to soften his uncompromising stances toward the Soviet Union, his strong military image had been cultivated based on his polarizing position against the Soviet Union in the Cold War. His military policy revolved around the destruction of communism, and along with it the defeat of the Soviet Union, the United States largest 39 Clines, Francis X. "REAGAN SWORN FOR 2D TERM; INAUGURAL PARADE DROPPED AS BITTER COLD HITS CAPITAL." The New York Times21 Jan. 1985: 1A. Print. 1A.40 Ibid. 1A.
20 contemporary rival. Reagan called upon the imagery of the forces of good, democracy, and freedom battling and evil, communism and tyrannyallwith the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Using this rhetoric, Reagan advocated and sought to legitimize a massive military buildup, fueling an arms race with the Soviet Union in an effort to defend America from the threat of communism.41 Understanding Reagans election campaign how he ran and the period when he campaigned is essential to gaining an understanding of his second inaugural address, the capstone to his victory. His inauguraladdress representedthe culmination of years of promises to the American people. It was a break from the bitter partisanship of the campaign, but also reaffirmed hiscampaign promises. Appreciating what led up to each inaugural address, and how promises made in an inaugural speech are carried out, are essential to fully appreciating the way civil religious rhetoric is used by Presidents to legitimize their military policies.History Ronald Wilson Reagan began his careerin the public eye as an actor in Hollywood. He first became politically active as a Democrat. He even went on the campaign trail for Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956. 42 While he was president of the Screen Actors guild, he was accused of having communist sympathies, and it was around this time that his political views began to shift from liberal to conservative. In 1960, Reagan campaigned for Richard Nixon, and in 1962 he officially changed his party registration to Republican.43 Through movies, 41 Wilentz, Sean.The Age of Reagan: a History, 1974-2008. New York, NY: Harper, 2008. Print.373.42 "Ronald Reagan." The White House Web. 13 Oct. 2010.
21 radio and television, he rose in the public eye, taking a more and more active role in politics. With his televised address in 1964 entitled 'A Time for Choosing', he began his career as a politician. He won the gubernatorial race in California in 1966 with a margin of over one million votes. His strong victory put him in a good position for higher political aspirations, and following a second successful term as Governor in California, he embarked on his quest for the Presidency.44 After unsuccessfully pursuing the Republican presidential nomination in 1968 and 1975, Reagan managed to win first the primary in 1979 and then the Presidency in 1980, with George H.W. Bush as Vice-President. His subsequent term was turbulent, and he faced many challenges, from a severe economic recession to a deadly assassination attempt. 45 He experienced a dip in popularity at the beginning of his term, whenthe economy in shambles. He brought the economy back from the recession, however, and survived the attempted shooting making him the first president to be shot and survive. He also stepped up his aggressive policies toward the Soviet Union, implementing huge boosts in military spending and causing an unprecedented arms buildup. This stemmed from his position of extreme hostility toward communism. 46 Reagans military policy was one of the most popularpoints of his presidency during his first term in office, and he was unwavering in his pursuitof increased military spending, in engineering the downfall of communism, and Library, National Archives and Records Administration. Web. 13 Oct. 2010.
22 antagonizingthe Soviet Union specifically. His characterization of the conflict was always very black and white, with the United States representing the forces of good and the Soviets those of evil. He was inflexible in his views on the conflict, and his mentality seemed to be that there could be only one winner and one loser in the war. Toward the end of his first term, however, his resolve seemed to weaken slightly as he took a less aggressive stance toward the Soviets. 47 This did not prevent him, however, from continuing to use the same rhetoric of good vs. evil in his presidential campaign, echoing the tone of his first term. Campaign Following his initial loss of popularity during his first term, Reagan found himself in a strong position as the election of 1984 approached. As a popular incumbent he was in a nearly unassailable position politically, and he took advantage of every opportunity his successful policies afforded him to bolster his position further. He gained the Republican nomination without serious opposition, and immediately focused his attention on his national campaign. Walter Mondale was the democratic contender for the Presidency against the incumbent Reagan in 1980. Mondale had served as a Senator from Minnesota for 12 years and as Vice President under Jimmy carter between 1977 and 1981. He selected Geraldine A. Ferraro as his Vice Presidential running mate, making her the first woman nominated for the position by a major party. From the beginning of the primaries, Mondale faced stiff opposition there were eight other contenders for 47 Glad, Betty. "Black and White Thinking: Ronald Reagan's Approach to Foreign Policy."Political Psychology4.1 (1983): 33-76. Print. 37.
23 the party nomination, many of whom were strong. 48 Even following his initial primary victory, the chances of unseating the popular President seemed slim, and the campaign dragged on for him and his democratic supporters.Mondale himself even commented at one point: This campaign is glacial. 49 Paul F. Boller notes in his book Presidential CampaignsThemes, not issues, dominated the contest in 1984. 50 Accordingly, there was much more focus by both the candidates and the media on ideas and overarching themes than on specific topicsmeaning that they focused more on rhetorical talking points than hard policy. According to William Shade, Reagan based his platform around the themes of 'peace and prosperity' and not surprisingly some of his strongest campaign planks were his stances on national defense and military spending. 51 Reagan advocated the continuation of many of his policies from his first term during his second campaign for President. Defense was a big issue for him, and he frequently cited the ongoing conflict with the Soviet Union. He noted how much stronger the United States military had become under his leadership while continuing his characterization of the U.S. as good and its enemies as evil. 52 He portrayed himself and his policies as strong, especially in contrast to his opponents proposed policies, noting how he had demonstrated his own leadership ability over the last four years. Reagan wielded his political and military adventures in foreign policy 48 Boller, Paul F.Presidential Campaigns: from George Washington to George W. Bush. New York: Oxford UP, 2004. Print. 369.49 Ibid. 369.50 Wilentz, Sean.The Age of Reagan: a History, 1974-2008. New York, NY: Harper, 2008. Print.370.51 Shade, William G., and Ballard C. Campbell. American Presidential Campaigns and Elections. Vol. 3. Armonk, N.Y: Sharpe Reference, 2003. Print. 959.52 Ibid. 966.
24 extremely effectively during the election; as Lewis L. Gould notes in his book, The Modern American Presidency, Reagan used the techniques of the celebrity presidency to sharpen the contrast with the Soviets. 53 Reagan had a flair for the dramatic, and his contrasting of the United States with the evil empire of the Soviet Union, so prevalent during his first term, continued into his re-election campaign. Reagan's victory was considered to be a largely personal one; his charisma and the apparent prosperity he had brought through his policies were strongly supported by the American people. Reagan won with a massive margin, taking 49 states and 525 electoral votes along with 59% of the popular vote, a margin which was the largest which had ever been seen in an American presidential election.54 Reagan's victories were not carried over into the House or Senate, however; this showed that although he had won the hearts of the populace, his party was not equally supported. 55 Inaugural address Reagan is considered to be something of an enigma as far as his personal feelings and motivations. Even those closest to him had difficulty deciding on the nature of his presidency and often found his decision-making process inscrutable. It is difficult to determine whether Reagan put any stock in the ideals which underlie American civil religion. 56 Whether or not he believed in them personally, however, 53 Gould, Lewis L. The Modern American Presidency. Lawrence: University of Kansas, 2003. Print. 200.54 Shade, William G., and Ballard C. Campbell. American Presidential Campaigns and Elections. Vol. 3. Armonk, N.Y: Sharpe Reference, 2003. Print. 968.55 Ibid. 960-65.56 Gould, Lewis L. The Modern American Presidency. Lawrence: University of Kansas, 2003. Print.191192.
25 he made brilliant use of them in his inaugural address. Reaganspokeof making American a safer and more reliable community for its citizens. He introduces his discussion of increasing defensive capabilities with an affirmation of Americas desire for peace: Today, we utter no prayer more fervently than the ancient prayer for peace on Earth. He immediately followedthis with a statement that peace is not easily maintained: Yet history has shown that peace will not come, nor will our freedom be preserved, by good will alone. There are those in the world who scorn our vision of human dignity and freedom. 57 With this, he setup the United States as a reluctant defenderof peace and freedom from unwarranted aggression. Every mention he madeof increasing military buildup was similarly presented in terms of peacemaking and defending freedom, drawing on civil religious ideology to legitimize his positions. After his introduction, Reagan movedon to voice his support for the augmentation of US defensive capabilities. Initially he spokein general terms of the conflict between democracy and communism the battle between good and evil. Half-way through his address, however, he made it explicitly clear that he was talking about the threat posed bythe Soviet Union when he spokeof defending the United States. His discussion of this point indicates a desire to increase military capabilities. Spread throughout, however, was continuing talk about the possibility negotiating with the Soviets and the prospect of peace and nuclear disarmament. He spokeof the constant threat imposed by two massively armed nuclear powers, 57 The Avalon Project : Inaugural Address of Ronald Reagan."Avalon Project -Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy. Yale Law School, 2008. Web. 04 Apr. 2011.
26 and his desire to do away with relying on mutually assured destruction as a deterrent. In the same breath, however, he spoke of a missile defense shield. He describedit as a defensive weapon, stating that it wouldn't kill people, it would destroy weapons. 58 The implications of thissystem were far from peaceful, however. It changedthe status quo from mutually assured destruction to assured Soviet destruction, with a defensive weapon tipping the scales of power toward the United States. This was another demonstration of how the American civil religious idea of peace wasused as a veil to disguise the true implications of military policy, which were further arms buildup and war. These wereinteresting and effective tactics for tying an arms race into American civil religious values. Peace and freedom are core parts of American civil religious ideology, and by setting up the U.S. as defenders rather than aggressors, it was much easier to legitimize military buildup. He characterizedthe Soviet Union as a nation of people who scorn our vision of human dignity and freedom  [and who] have conducted the greatest military buildup in the history of man, further differentiating the United States from the Soviet Union, making the Soviets the aggressors while aligning the United States with human dignity and freedom. This tactic also served to build upon his established imagery of a battle between good and evil in the conflict between the U.S. and the Soviets. 59 Reagan also directly portrayedhis policy as an obligation to remain faithful to American values: America will meet her responsibilities to remain free, secure, 58 Appendix A59 Appendix A
27 and at peace. 60 These themes wereechoed throughout the speech. By positioning himself as the defender of American values, he legitimizedhis policies and his actions in one fell swoop. Fromthis point forward, Reagan didnot deal with any more military policy. He brings his speech together with more civil religious language and references to the founding fathers and American principles. It is clear,however, that military policy was an important part of his speech.He does discuss specific issues, and they are almost always couched in civil religious terms. Using civil religious language, Reagan portrays his policies as defenses of freedom and democracy, without reference to more the concrete implications of his proposed plans. Thus, Reagan legitimized his policies in civil religious terms, tying his military aims to American values and masking the deeper meaning of those aims. 60 Appendix A
28 Bill Clinton It was a beautiful day, without a cloud in the sky as William Jefferson Clinton stepped up to take the oath of office for his second term as President. Crowds packed the Washington Mall, all hoping to catch a glimpse of the President as he was sworn in. Many people brought binoculars just to get a look at the large screens scattered around the Mall. Nonetheless, the excitement was palpable, as the first Democratic president in more than a decade prepared to make his inaugural address. A New York Times article covering the event describes the experienceof a typical attendee: President Clinton looked like a dot with waving hands from Ms. Kleinberg's spot on the Capitol lawn, but she was still thrilled with the excitement of being part of history.61 In spite of the crowded atmosphere, people were excited as Clinton prepared to deliver his inaugural address as the capstone to a week of celebrations. Clinton found himself in a distinct position regarding military policy as he approached his second term as President. Although he had been involved inseveral military actions, none were very popular. He was also not involved in any extended occupation or war, and so he did not have to commit as much energy as he would have to legitimizing his military policy had he been involved in a more lengthy conflict. Nonetheless, Clinton used U.S. troops on several occasions to intervene in foreign countries. With Clintons military action during his first term in mind there are many clear references to military policy in his second inaugural address. In his inaugural address, Clintonfocusedon the United States role as a world leader, and its responsibility for defending freedom, democracy and human decency across the world 61 Meheil, Dennis. "Inauguration, Up Close (Sometimes)." The New York Times31 Jan. 1993: 8A. Print. 8A.
29 against the forces of tyranny and terror. Using this type of rhetoric, Clintonlegitimized military intervention in foreign countries to defend the interests of the United States.History Bill Clinton came from a humble background in a town named Hope, Arkansas in 1946. In 1974, he made his first run for public office in an attempt to win the congressional seat in Arkansas Third District, but he didn't manage to take victory. Two years later, however, he was elected to the office of Attorney General of Arkansas, and in 1978, he won the governorship of the state. Clinton made several unpopular decisions during his first term as governor, and he was defeated by the Republican candidate in the next general election. He staged a comeback in 1982, and he then held the office for the next ten years with notable success in reforming education. Clinton was known for his centrist tendencies, and his positions made him popular across a wide portion of the political spectrum this predisposition proved to be one which would be emblematic of his style throughout his political career. Although there was somespeculation of him running for President in the 1988 campaign, he instead endorsed Michael Dukakis.62 He did finally decide to run in 1992, and managed a successful campaign. Clinton was involved in many military actions during his first term. American troops were deployed in Somalia, Rawanda, Haiti, and Iraq to influence the outcome of conflicts in those countries. Clintons administration exercised its authority in many other countries though skilled diplomacy. Clinton also personally oversaw peace talks between warring factions in many foreign conflicts. For the most part, Clintons military policies proved to be relatively unpopular domestically, but he bolstered the United States 62 "William J. Clinton."The White House. Web. 14 Oct. 2010.
30 position globally through his shrewd political maneuvering. Clintons intervention in Haiti illustrates the nature of his military policies during his first term.63 In 1994, Clinton took direct military action against Haiti under the auspices of restoring the democratically elected government following a coup in 1993. Although congress was opposed to U.S. intervention, Clinton sent in troops anyway, and negotiated the return to power of the former president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, just before troops landed on Haitian soil, avoiding a direct military conflict. As part of the exchange, the returning government was forced to accept economic policies favorable to the United States. 64 This is an example of how Clinton effectively used military force, or the threat of force, to secure U.S. interests abroad while simultaneously defending democracy. Clintons military policy proved to be one of the least successful aspects of his first term. Dealing with the aftermath of George Bushs foreign adventures, one of which began just weeks before Clinton took office, proved to be a difficult task. His handling of domestic issues proved to be more salient to voters, and so in spite of the unpopularity of his military policy, he came to his re-election campaign from a strong position.Campaign Having recovered strongly from an initial drop in public opinion during his first two years in office, the political landscape was still somewhat hostile for the President in spite of his personal popularity. Republicans had gained majorities in both the house and senate during the midterm elections in 1994,when Clinton's popularity had been at an alltime low. By the time Bill Clinton was making his second run for the White House, his 63 Haass, Richard N. "Fatal Distraction: Bill Clinton's Foreign Policy."Foreign Policy108 (1997): 112-23. Print. 118. 64 Rosendorff, B. Peter. "Locating the Proper Authorities: The Interaction of Domestic and International Institutions." Perspectives on Politics2.02 (2004). Print. 121.
31 political fortunes had reversed almost completely from the disaster of the 1994 election. Robert Joseph Dole was the Republican contender for the Presidency in 1996. In spite of long odds at winning the election for Republicans, there was no shortage of contenders for the nomination among Republicans. Dole had begun his political career in 1950, running for the Kansas House of Representatives and winning a seat. After serving one term, he didn't run for office again until 1960, when he was elected to the US house of Representatives. He was re-elected every election between then and 1968, when he ran for US Senate and won. He served from then until he resigned in 1996 to work on his political campaign. During his time in the senate, he served twice as the Majority Leader and once as the Minority Leader.65 Dole's campaign faced problems from the start, running out of money early in the primary process due to the number of contenders vying for the Republican nomination. Even when it became clear that he would win primary, Dole had trouble keeping his campaign abreast of Clinton's due to a lack of funding, and so when he officially received the nomination at the Republican National Convention, he was already several points behind in the polls. 66 Reform Party candidate Ross Perot also made a run during the 1996 campaign, following up on a relatively successful showing during the 1992 election. His behavior between the elections had earned him a bad reputation, however.67 There were questions raised regarding the fairness of the nomination process of his party which hurt his position further. His strong anti-deficit message was also critically weakened by the 65 Roberts, Robert North., and Scott J. Hammond.Encyclopedia of Presidential Campaigns, Slogans, Issues, and Platforms. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2004. Print.118. 66 Shade, William G., and Ballard C. Campbell. American Presidential Campaigns and Elections. Vol. 3. Armonk, N.Y: Sharpe Reference, 2003. Print. 1018.67 Roberts, Robert North., and Scott J. Hammond.Encyclopedia of Presidential Campaigns, Slogans, Issues,and Platforms. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2004. Print.115.
32 strong economic conditions created by Clinton's administration. Although still drawing a significant portion of the vote, Perot did not make nearly as strong of a showing as he had previously, and never proved to be a serious contender.68 Unsurprisingly, defense and foreign policy were not the most important planks in Clintons 1996 platform.69 He maintained the importance of keeping Americas influence in the world strong, but with no specific enemy to rally against, the tone of his rhetoric was significantly weaker and less focused than that of both his predecessors and his successors. He advocated diplomacy and peace, and intervention only when deemed absolutely necessary. Due to a lack of serious contention, the election was not closely followed by the media, which served to weaken Dole through lack of national exposure. In the end, the final counts came in with Clinton holding 49% of the vote, while Dole had 41% and Perot only 8%. In terms of electoral votes, Clinton won 379, and Dole took 159, while Perot again failed to capture the majority in any state, winning no electoral votes. While this was a clear victory for Clinton, in order to gain it he had crafted a campaign around moderate stances and had distanced himself from both parties to appeal to the broadest possible base among the American people. As William Shade says, candidate Clinton's effectiveness may have come at the expense of President Clinton's influence.70 Inaugural Address Clinton was not at war during his presidency; nonetheless, his civil religious rhetoric appealed to the same terms and ideas as Ronald Reagan before or George W. 68 Shade, William G., and Ballard C. Campbell. American Presidential Campaigns and Elections. Vol. 3. Armonk, N.Y: Sharpe Reference, 2003. Print. 1019.69 Wilentz, Sean.The Age of Reagan: a History,1974-2008. New York, NY: Harper, 2008. Print. 35770 Shade, William G., and Ballard C. Campbell. American Presidential Campaigns and Elections. Vol. 3. Armonk, N.Y: Sharpe Reference, 2003. Print. 1024-5.
33 Bush after. Clintonusedcivil religious rhetoric to reaffirm Americas military history and its strong position in the world. He didall of this without reference to a specific enemy; rather, he focusedalmost exclusively on civil religious language. With an understanding of Clintons history of military action, the way he usedcivil religious language to legitimize his military policy is clear. Clintons language matched his diplomatic style; he usedadept verbal maneuvering to mask the real military implications of his policies, speaking only of the importance of American power, the necessity of spreading democracy and freedom, and thetriumph of human decency without addressing any specific conflict.His wording also often supportedhis other methods than direct military intervention, but which dealtdirectly with military policy and diplomatic issues. Clintonbeganspeaking about theUnited States role in world affairs with the affirmation that Where it can stand up for our values and interests around the world,  Government should do more, not less. 71 During Clintons administration, military spending had continued to grow as it had during Reagan and Bushs administrations. The United States had not been involved in a large-scale conflict during Clintons first term, but this did not deter Clinton from increasing spending on defense. In this instance, Clintons claim is fairly straightforward. He stateddirectly that the government has a responsibility to defend American values and interests globally. Upon further elaboration later in the speech, it becomes clear that those values are the same ones which are frequently used to legitimize military policy freedom, democracy, human decency, and the battle against tyranny and the forces of terror. 71 The Avalon Project : Inaugural Address of WilliamJ. Clinton."Avalon Project -Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy. Yale Law School, 2008. Web. 04 Apr. 2011.
34 Clintons continuedhis general talk about defense and Americas leading role in the world through discussion of Americas successful role in past wars. He spokeof how America Saved the world from tyranny in two World Wars and a long cold war, and time and again reached out across the globe to millions who, like us, longed for the blessings of liberty.72 This is fairly standard rhetoric reinforcing Americas role as a world leader and defender of liberty and freedom, and builds on the existing historical narrative that supports that claim. Clintonspecifically referredto the last three wars where America was a clear victor, and where the ideological stakes were pitted democracy against other ideologies fascism and communism respectively. Again, Clintonwas legitimizing foreign intervention though references to defending liberty. Stating that the United States saved the world from tyrannyportrays the United States as a both a leader and a savior. Of course, the impact of United States military intervention is much more complex than simply spreading liberty as is illustrated by the case in Haiti. He then wenton to expound on the power of the economy, political systems and ideology ofthe United States as a world power: Growing connections of commerce and culture give us a chance to lift the fortunes and spirits of people the world over. And for the very first time in all of history, more people on this planet live under democracy than dictatorship. 73 The protection of the United States interests in both commerce and culture had been the justification for military intervention in countries such as Haiti during Clintons first term, when the U.S. negotiated the return of a democratic government following a coup, and imposed an economic policy favorable to the U.S in the resulting change of power. This reference to promoting American values, and 72 Appendix B 73 Appendix B
35 especially democracy over dictatorship was another defense of Clintons military policy using civil religious rhetoric. This once again casts the United States in the role of defender of peace and freedom. Clintoncontinuedhis theme of leading the world in democracy, stating that We will stand mighty for peace and freedom and maintain a strong defense against terror and destruction. And the world's greatest democracy will lead a whole world of democracies. 74 This language echoes the rhetoric of defense espoused by previous presidents as a justification for military action. Defense against terror and destruction are again general ideas rather than specific enemies, continuing Clintons tendency in this inaugural not to address a specific threat while defending the U.S.s military interventions around the world. The second line is another reference to leading the world toward democracy, once again re-affirming its leading role. Without historical background, this may seem like empty rhetoric, but as with all references to military policy throughoutthe speech, they contain veiled allusions and vague justifications for Clintons military policies. Clinton closedhis speech with the call to help the cause of America's bright flame of freedom spreading throughout all the world. 75 This follows Clintons language up until that point, casting America as a leader in spreading freedom and using its influence to spread its ideology around the world. He closedhis speech using the same style of rhetoric he had employed throughout the address, tying his military policies together in the end under the auspices of American values. Clintonendedhis speech by calling on God to lend strength so America can pursue its mission: May God strengthen 74 Appendix B 75 Appendix B
36 our hands for the good work ahead, and always, always bless our America.76 With this sentence, Clintonwas calling on God to aid America in following its divine destiny. All this civil religious language helps to bolster the image of America as a leader, guiding a world striving toward democracy and fending off the attacks of tyrants, dictators and supporters of terror. It also serves to reinforce the idea that Americawas justified in interfering in the affairs of other countries, legitimated by its divine mission to spread freedom, democracy and human decency across the globe. 76 Appendix B
37 George W. BushAs the date of George Walker Bush's second inaugural ceremonies approached, critics were not sure what to expect. Massive, lavish events were planned for the celebration, but there was also a huge security buildup. Bush's inauguration ended up having the heaviest security of any presidential inauguration in U.S. history. With regular searches, secret service patrols, and snipers on the tops of surrounding buildings at every event Bush participated in, the festive atmosphere had a certain shadow cast over it. Amid this atmosphere, Bush's inaugural address aroused fears --including among some prominent conservatives --that he meant to launch an aggressive effort to reshape foreign governments.77 The language he used had an almost crusading tone, and it reflected the policies he had implemented during his first term and those he would continue during his second. Bushs second inaugural address was filled with civil religious rhetoric legitimizing his military policy. Bushs first term saw the beginning of two major foreign campaigns, Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, and his reelection campaign was focused largely on the wars. He uses language which portrays the United States as the defender of freedom and democracy acrossthe world, securing its interests by changing the global situation which supposedly led to the September 11th terrorist attacks. He madealmost no reference to any specific military policy or combatant group, and he madeno mention of Afghanistan or Iraq,the two countries with the largest major campaigns during his presidency. He 77 Richter, Paul. "The Nation; Bush Tries to Clarify Inaugural Message; The President Works to Calm Fears, Even among Some Republicans, That the Foreign Policy Goals Outlined in His Address Had a Crusading Tone." Los Angeles Times27 Jan. 2005: 20A. Print. 20A.
38 instead spentmost of his time focused on strong civil religious themes coupled with the most vague and general references possible to justify military action in general. Using this method he effectively maskednot only the consequences, but the very nature of his military policy using civil religious rhetoric. In his inaugural address, Bush calledheavily on the ideals of freedom and democracy, and to a lesser extent on sacrifice, to justify American intervention in other countries. He also characterizedAmerica's enemies, who remain unnamed, as the allies of tyranny and oppression around the world. His address beganwith a reference to the September 11th terrorist attacks, and movedon to lengthy justification for military action around the world. He talkedrepeatedly about the importance of maintaining democracy and freedom around the world, and stated that the United Stateswouldbe the ally of any power or people who wish to live by those ideals. He portrayedthis as the most effective way to ensure peace and safety at home and abroad. History George W. Bush came from a family with a history of involvement in politics. His father, George H.W. Bush, served in many political offices, including a term as President preceding Bill Clinton. Bushs grandfather had served as a senator in Connecticut. As a result, Bush had been exposed to politics from a very young age. His public persona and his political experience were very different from his father's however. Bush's first foray into public service was in 1978, when he ran for a seat in the House of Representatives. 78 He was defeated, and decided to then 78 Shade, William G., and Ballard C. Campbell. American Presidential Campaigns and Elections. Vol. 3. Armonk, N.Y: Sharpe Reference, 2003. Print. 1035.
39 to take on running an oil company. After that also proved unsuccessful, he sold the company to Halliburton, a company run by Dick Cheney, who would later be Bush's vice president. He went on to work for his father's election campaign in 1988, during which he gained useful political experience. In 1994, he made a successful bid for the governorship of Texas. He was re-elected in 1998and in 2000 he made the decision to run for President. 79 Bushs campaign prior to his first term was highly centrist. Running against Al Gore, Bush gravitated closer and closer to the political center which Bill Clinton had so effectively seized. There were some serious voting irregularities during the 2000 election which cast a shadow over Bushs entry into office. After he entered, he proved to be far more conservative than he had claimed in his campaign.Bush washighly unpopular as a result. Prior to the September 11th attacks, Bushs popularity was not very high just 51%, according to a Gallup poll from September 10, the day before the attack. The same poll showed that his approval rating had been in steady decline for months, as had satisfaction with the economy.80 With the advent of the September 11th attacks, however, everything changed. September 11th Attacks The September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon had a huge impact on civil religious discourse in the United States. Theyalso 79 "George W. Bush."The White House. Web. 21 Oct. 2010.
40 changed the course of Bushs presidency. The people of the United States were faced with a demonstration of the power terrorism. Political rhetoric in general changed following the attacks, with more examples of civil religious language than had been seen in decades. 81 Most analysts who examine American civil religion agree that there was a sharp increase in civil religious rhetoric immediately following the attacks; in the long term, there is more debate. 82 It is undeniable, however, that popular perceptions of American civil religion were brought to the fore, and rhetorical patterns followed suit. Following the attacks, a particularly civil religious rhetorical style became common among politicians. The response can be seen immediately, in President George W. Bushs address to the nation on the day following the attacks: The deliberate and deadly attacks which were carried out yesterday against our country were more than acts of terror. They were acts of war. This will require our country to unite in steadfast determination and resolve. Freedom and democracy are under attack This attacked not just our people, but freedom-loving people around the world This will be a monumental struggle of good versus evil. But good will prevail. 83 Bush took the opportunity to turn the attacks to his advantage. Theywere immediately characterized as an assault on American values of freedom and democracy, and then were extended from the United States to all freedom-loving people across the world. Bush also portrayedthe attacks as an act of war, immediately justifying the U.S. taking militaryaction in the future. This putthe United States in a position to attack an unknown enemy with full force legitimized 81 Angrosino, Michael V. "Civil Religion Redux." Anthropological Quarterly75.2 (2002): 239-67. Print. 242. 82 McCartney, Paul T. "American Nationalismand U.S. Foreign Policy from September 11 to the Iraq War."Political Science Quarterly119.3 (2004): 399-423. Print. 400.83 Ibid. 399.
41 in the name ofAmerican civil religious values which are under attack. The echoes of Reagan era good versus evil rhetoric are immediately visible as well, although there is no specificenemy. Appeals to civil religion like Bushs became common as politicians united behind the president. The affirmation of American values became an important tool for communicating with a populace which felt their way of life had been attacked, and American civil religious rhetoric became much more common. Politicians channeled a powerful desire to deal with the trauma of the attacks using rhetoric which affirmed the power and importance of the American way of life. Standing against the rhetorical onslaught became a politically dangerous move when doing so would be pitting oneself against American values. This popular rhetoric began prior to any group claiming responsibility or giving reason for the attacks. As Paul T. McCartney states: The terrorist strikes provided a rare clarifying moment in the nation's collective consciousness, when both American national identity and U.S. foreign policy were reinvigorated separately and in relation to each other and a national focus and sense of mission, absent since the end of the Cold War, reemerged.84 The method Bush began using with such effectiveness was not new; in fact, it was one employed by many of his predecessors. His method of doing this was going to war as can be seen, prior to even recognizing any specific enemy, he declared war against Americas unseen opponents, illuminating the path he planned to take, if not where it would lead. Americas civil religion was used to address the pain of the attacks on the United States and to reaffirm the strength of the American way of life. The call for 84 Ibid. 400.
42 unity in the face of an impending threat proved to be a powerful and ultimately successful strategy. The September 11th attacks have been called the defining moment of ageneration a tragedy which shaped the way Americans view the world. The radical shift in foreign policy launched based almost entirely on the civil religious rhetoric and the feeling generated by the attacks is a demonstration of the powerful influence they exerted on American consciousness.85 Post September 11th Using the September 11th attacks as a springboard, Bush launched what he termed the global war on terror.86 Although the conflict did not have a specific enemy, Bush begantwo campaigns underits scope. The first was known as Operation Enduring Freedom, which included military operations in Afghanistan, the Philippines and Djibouti, and was launched immediately following the attacks. 87 In addition to Enduring Freedom, in 2002 the United States launched Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. The move was unilateral, and the United Nations opposed the U.S. intervention in the country. The circumstances surrounding the invasion were questionable as well, and the justification provided by the Bush administration that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq proved to be incorrect and based on unreliable information. 88 The United States entered Iraq looking for weapons of mass destruction and seeking to remove the countrys leader, Saddam Hussein, from power. After 85 Wilentz, Sean.The Age of Reagan: a History, 1974-2008. New York, NY: Harper, 2008. Print.439-44.86 McCartney, Paul T. "American Nationalism and U.S. Foreign Policy from September 11 to the Iraq War."Political Science Quarterly119.3 (2004): 399-423. Print. 410.87 Belasco, Amy. "The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since9/11 The Lift Legal Issues in the Fight against Terrorism."The Lift Legal Issues in the Fight against Terrorism. 28 Sept. 2009. Web. 15 Mar. 2011.
43 toppling Saddams government, the United States retained a significant presence in the country for stability and counter-insurgency operations while helping to foster the election of a new government. Although a new, democratically elected government was established, the United States has continued to take an active role in Iraq. 89 Bush was seen as a strong and decisive leader during both military campaigns, and his popularity during his first term was due largely to that fact. Even as some began to grow dissatisfied with his handling of the war in Afghanistan, a new war began in Iraq, and again his popularity jumped. Although this boost began to flag near the end of his first term, it was still enough to be an important factor in his re-election. Campaign Bush came into the 2004 election with a strong position. As a wartime incumbent president who was viewed as a strong in troubled times, he had an advantageous position from the beginning. Although many of his policies were unpopular and his ratings were flagging, the Iraq war was still fresh in the minds of the public and allowed Bush to overcome many of the challenges presented by his opponent, John Kerry. John Forbes Kerry was Bush's challenger in the 2004 race. His father was an officer in the Foreign Service, and he traveled with him during his youth. Kerry served as an officer in the Vietnam war, and upon his return he was an outspoken anti-war activist. In 1984, he ran for a seat in the Senate, and in spite of the 89 Leitz, Lisa. "Oppositional Identities: The Military Peace Movement's Challenge to Pro-Iraq War Frames." Social Problems58.2 (2011): 235-56. Print. 236.
44 nationwide Republican sweep which followed Ronald Reagan's successful first term, he was elected to office. He maintained his position in the Senate,and still holds his seat. He was not originally favored to win in the Democratic primaries, but he managed to pull ahead and win in the end. He selected John Edwards as his running mate, and they mounted their campaign against the incumbent President Bush. 90 The central thrust of Bush's campaign in 2004 was focused the war in Iraq and the issues of military buildup and national defense. His firm military leadership was perhaps the strongest aspect of his first term in the public eye, and in spite of the growing unpopularity of the wars leading up to the 2004 election, Bush managed to hold on to his wartime popularity long enough to win another term. Not surprisingly, much of Bushs campaign was centered on the war effort his leading role was one of the most popular aspects of his presidency.91 Bush advocated a continued, strong presence in both Afghanistan and Iraq. He cultivated his image as a wartime leader, and continued to use the same rhetoric he had employed successfully during his first term remaining strong and steadfast, and seeing Afghanistan and Iraq through to the successful implementation of democratic and stable governments. In the end, the election was not nearly as close as 2000 had been. Although there were still some voting irregularities, the controversy was nothing compared to the issues around the 2000 election. Bush won 50.7% of the vote, while Kerry took 48.3%. Bush won 286 electoral votes to 251 for Kerry. Although this was not an 90 Wilentz, Sean.The Age of Reagan: a History, 1974-2008. New York, NY: Harper, 2008. Print.432.91 Ibid. 433.
45 overwhelming victory for Bush, he took it as a mandate from the American people to further his agenda. 92 Inaugural Address Bushs second inaugural was filled with civil religious rhetoric. Following the revival of civil religious rhetoric following the September 11th attacks, Bush utilized civil religious rhetoric at every opportunity, and his 2005 inaugural was no exception. He tiedhis policy to theattacks immediately, and usedcivil religious language to justify Americas wars in the name of defense of American values and the spread of democracy across the world. The majority of the speech was devoted to the legitimization of military policy both the justification of already existent foreign wars, and for the continued growth of military spending. His main tactic was calling Americas enemies the enemies of freedom.Through this approach, he madegeneral statements about preserving freedom coupled with specific calls to action, including commending the bravery and sacrifice of those employed in military service and those making laying down their lives for American valuesand interests. Bush did not wait long to bring up military policy in his speech. After a brief introduction, Bush referencedAmericas military history, and the September 11th attacks: For a half a century, America defended our own freedom by standing watch on distant borders. After the shipwreck of communism came years of relative quiet, years of repose, years of sabbaticaland then there came a day of fire. 93 He usedthis as the launching point to discuss why the attacks occurred, and 92 Ibid. 433.93 "The Avalon Project : Inaugural Address of George W. Bush."Avalon Project -Documents in Law,
46 how we neededtake a proactive stance to fend off the forces of evil if we wantedto defend ourselves at home. He startedby tying his administration to Americas military history, and the success of the United States in the cold war,leading up to the attacks. He was speaking of America's tradition of defending freedom through foreign wars, and how after the cold war there was a period of relative peace before we were called back to war by the attacks of September 11th 'a day of fire'. Following his introduction, he spokeabout the genesis of terrorism around the globe. After talking aboutthe evils of tyranny, he statedthat there is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, andreward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom. 94 The United Statesstood for human freedom, and was committed to defending it across the globe. Here, Bush was setting up a reason for the United Statesto fight as the defenderof freedom, the United Stateswas bound to take up the battle and fight for its mostbasic values. Who the forces of hatred and resentment are, who the tyrants are, remainvague, but one thing is clear: that they attackedthe most basic Americanvalues. All of this buildttoward Bush's next point, a justification for foreign wars. Bush next began his explanation of why it was necessary for the United States to take an active military role around the world: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best History and Diplomacy. Yale Law School, 2008. Web. 04 Apr. 2011.
47 hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world. 95 The best defense for our way of life, for liberty and freedom, was to expand liberty and freedom to the rest ofthe world, using force to help democracy's allies if necessary. The best hope for peace was through spreading the American way of life. According to Bush, it was our duty to defend our interests across the world, for our interests are in fact our most basic beliefs as Americans: Americas vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one  Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nations security, and the calling of our time.96 Here, he was essentially stating that Americans belief in freedom and democracy was coupled inseparably to spreading freedom and democracy across the world. This wouldhelp the world move toward a better future underour leadership and to ensure the nation's safety, security and continuing prosperity. Bush was legitimizing his military policyby linking the defense of American values necessarily to foreign military action. Bush also spokedirectly about the glory of military service. He paid homage to those killed in the wars with the statement that we will always honor their names and their sacrifice. 97 He was speaking of military service in terms of honoring of American ideals The dangerous and necessary work offighting our enemies. 98 This was tied to his previous call to arms in order to defend American values at home by keeping fighting for them abroad. Thus, it wasa high honor to 95 Appendix C 96 Appendix C 97 Appendix C 98 Appendix C
48 serve, and it was our countrys destiny to lead the world to freedom and democracy, by force when necessary. Soldiers wouldbe doing the work of fulfilling our countrys destiny by serving in the armed forces, spreading freedom, democracy, and human decency while fighting the forces of tyranny and evil. Bush's inaugural address demonstrateda willingness to interfere in global affairs to an almost unprecedented extent. Although he never referred to any specific power, he used civil religious language to justify direct intervention in other governments in order to bring them closer in line with Americanvalues and interests. He spokeof these interventions only in terms of their civil religious consequences, concealing the destabilizing effects of U.S. military intervention demonstrated in the United States' ongoing wars.
49 Conclusion American civil religion played a vital role in the rhetoric used by Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush in their inaugural addressesto legitimize military policy. The specific conflicts each president faced differed, but through an examination of the events of each presidents first term and their promises during their re-election campaigns, a clear pattern emerges which demonstrates the regular and specific uses of American civil religion when dealing with military policy. After reviewing the second inaugural addresses of each of these presidents through the lens of civil religion as characterized by Jon Pahl, a clear pattern has emerged. Presidents rely heavily on civil religious rhetoric to legitimize military policies in their inaugural addresses. Civil religion plays a double role in these instances. It ties military policy to American values, making it difficult to attack the policies; and it obscures direct military objectives, disguising the consequences of military actions. Through each of these presidents' inaugurals, the themes of freedom, democracy, human decency, good and evil, tyranny and oppression are tied regularly to military policy. An examination of future presidential inaugural speeches for examples of this type of rhetoric will be quite revealing. In a brief look at President Barack Obama's first inaugural address, civil religious language is immediately evident. Regarding military policy, he calls on familiar tropes: the United States leading the world toward freedom and democracy, aiding those in need of assistance toward that end, and battling the forces of hatred and tyranny. He also reaffirms America's
50 way of life, stating that We will not apologize for our way of life nor will we waver in its defense. 99 Thus, Obama has used the same strategies of his predecessors to justify his planned military policies. This was his first inaugural address, however; should he be re-elected, his second inaugural address will be even more telling, as he deals with broken promisesof peace and failure to withdraw from America's foreign wars. Moving forward, looking for how presidents use American civil religious language to legitimize military policy will be easier. The implications of using civil religion as a rhetorical tool are serious, and being able to identify them will give Americans a better understanding of the true meaning of policies proposed by presidents. 99 CQ Transcriptions. "Barack Obamas Inaugural Address."The New York Times. 20 Jan. 2005. Web. 7 Apr. 2011.
51 Appendix ASecond inaugural address of Ronald ReaganThis is a copy of Ronald Reagans second inaugural address evaluated for instances of civil religious rhetoric and discussion of policy. Civil religious rhetoric is underlined, while policy is set in italics. Senator Mathias, Chief Justice Burger, Vice President Bush, Speaker O'Neill, Senator Dole, Reverend Clergy,members of my family and friends, and my fellow citizens: This day has been made brighter with the presence here of one who, for a time, has been absent--Senator John Stennis. God bless you and welcome back. There is, however, one who is not with us today: Representative Gillis Long of Louisiana left us last night. I wonder if we could all join in a moment of silent prayer. (Moment of silent prayer.) Amen. There are no words adequate to express my thanks for the great honor that you have bestowed on me. I will do my utmost to be deserving of your trust. This is, as Senator Mathias told us, the 50th time that we the people have celebrated this historic occasion. When the first President, George Washington, placed his hand upon the Bible, he stood less than a single day's journey by horseback from raw, untamed wilderness. There were 4 million Americans in a union of 13 States. Today we are 60 times as many in a union of 50 States. We have lighted the world with our inventions, gone to the aid of mankind wherever in the world there was a cry for help, journeyed to the Moon and safely returned. So much has changed. And yet we stand together as we did two centuries ago. When I took this oath four years ago, I did so in a time of economic stress. Voices were raised saying we had to look to our past for the greatness and glory But we, the present-day Americans, are not given to looking backward. In this blessed land, there is always a better tomorrow Four years ago, I spoke to you of a new beginning and we have accomplished that. But in another sense, our new beginning is a continuation of that beginning created two centuries ago when, for the first time in history, government, the people said, was not our master, it is our servant; its only power that which we the people allow it to have That system has never failed us, but, for a time, we failed the system. We asked things of government that government was not equipped to give. We yielded authority to the National Government that properly belonged to States or to local governments or to the people themselves We allowed taxes and inflation to rob us of our earnings and savings and watched the great industrial machine that had made us the most productive people on Earth slow down and the number of unemployedincrease.(Note: This is not speaking of Reagans actual policy, but of the issues he strove to fight against. It is a lead in to his successes, but I think it qualifies as policy talk; after all, defining what one is
52 NOT is almost as important as defining what one IS in American politics) By 1980, we knew it was time to renew our faith to strive with all our strength toward the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with an orderly society. We believed then and now there are no limits to growth andhuman progress when men and women are free to follow their dreams. And we were right to believe that. Tax rates have been reduced, inflation cut dramatically, and more people are employed than ever before in our history. We are creating a nation once again vibrant, robust, and alive. But there are many mountains yet to climb. We will not rest until every American enjoys the fullness of freedom, dignity, and opportunity as our birthright It is our birthright as citizens of this great Republic, and we'll meet this challenge. These will be years when Americans have restored their confidence and tradition of progress; when our values of faith, family, work, and neighborhood were restated for a modern age; when our economy was finally freed from government'sgrip; when we made sincere efforts at meaningful arms reduction, rebuilding our defenses, our economy, and developing new technologies, and helped preserve peace in a troubled world ; when Americans courageously supported the struggle for liberty, self-government, and free enterprise throughout the world, and turned the tide of history away from totalitarian darkness and into the warm sunlight of human freedom My fellow citizens, our Nation is poised for greatness We must do what we know is right and do it with all our might. Let history say of us, "These were golden years-when the American Revolution was reborn, when freedom gained new life, when America reached for her best." Our two-party system has served us well over the years, but never better than in those times of great challenge when we came together not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans united in a common cause. Two of our Founding Fathers, a Boston lawyer named Adams and a Virginia planter named Jefferson, members of that remarkable group who met in Independence Hall and dared to think they could start the world over again, left us an important lesson. They had become political rivals in the Presidential election of 1800. Then years later, when both were retired, and age had softened their anger, they began to speak to each other again through letters. A bond was reestablished between those two who had helped create this government of ours. In 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, they both died. They died on the same day, within a few hours of each other, and that day was the Fourth of July. In one of those letters exchanged in the sunset of their lives, Jefferson wrote: "It carries me back to the times when, beset with difficulties and dangers, we were fellow laborers in the same cause, struggling for what is most valuable to man, his right to selfgovernment. Laboring always at the same oar, with some wave ever ahead threatening to overwhelm us, and yet passing harmless ... we rode through the storm with heart and hand." (This whole reference is a deep CR reference. Reagan is tying himself and his
53 administration to the founding fathers) Well, with heart and hand, let us stand as one today: One people under God determined that our future shall be worthy of our past As we do, we must not repeat the well-intentioned errors of our past. We must never again abuse the trust of working men and women, by sending their earnings on a futile chase after the spiraling demands of a bloated Federal Establishment You elected us in 1980 to end this prescription for disaster, and I don't believe you reelected us in 1984 to reverse course. At the heart of our efforts is one idea vindicated by 25 straight months of economic growth: Freedom and incentives unleash the drive and entrepreneurial genius that are the core of human progress. We have begun to increase the rewards for work, savings, and investment; reduce the increase in the cost and size of government and its interference in people's lives. We must simplify our taxsystem, make it more fair, and bring the rates down for all who work and earn We must think anew and move with a new boldness, so every American who seeks work can find work; so the least among us shall have an equal chance to achieve the greatest things--to be heroes who heal our sick, feed the hungry, protect peace among nations, and leave this world a better place. The time has come for a new American emancipation --a great national drive to tear down economic barriers and liberate the spirit of enterprise in the most distressed areas of our country. My friends, together we can do this, and do it we must, so help me God.--From new freedom will spring new opportunities for growth, a more productive, fulfilled and united people and a stronger America--an America that will lead the technological revolution, and also open its mind and heart and soul to the treasures of literature, music, and poetry, and the values of faith, courage, and love. A dynamic economy, with more citizens working and paying taxes,will be our strongest tool to bring down budget deficits. But an almost unbroken 50 years of deficit spending has finally brought us to a time of reckoning.We have come to a turning point, a moment for hard decisions. I have asked the Cabinet and my staff a question, and now I put the same question to all of you: If not us, who? And if not now, when? It must be done by all of us going forward with a program aimed at reaching a balanced budget. We can then begin reducing the national debt. I will shortly submit a budget to the Congress aimed at freezing government program spending for the next year. Beyond that, we must take further steps to permanently control Government's power to tax and spend. We must act now to protect future generations from Government's desire to spend its citizens' money and tax them into servitude when the bills come due. Let us make it unconstitutional for the Federal Government to spend more than the Federal Government takes in. We have already started returning to the people and to State and local governments responsibilities better handled by them. Now, there is a place for the Federal Government in matters of social compassion. But our fundamental goals must be to reduce dependency and upgrade the dignity of those who are infirm or disadvantaged. And here a growing economy and support from family and community offer our best chance for a society where compassion is a way of life, where the old and infirm are
54 cared for, the young and, yes, the unborn protected, and the unfortunate looked after and made self-sufficient.(This is not really explicit, but it has references to several key planks of Reagans platform, so I felt it would be good to note it and elaborate on it) And there is another area where the Federal Government can play a part. As an older American, I remember a time when people of different race, creed, or ethnic origin in our land found hatred and prejudice installed in social custom and, yes, in law. There is no story more heartening in our history than the progress that we have made toward the "brotherhood of man" that God intended for us Let us resolve there will be no turning back or hesitation on the road to an America rich in dignity and abundant with opportunity for all our citizens. Let us resolve that we the people will build an American opportunity society in which all of us--white and black, rich and poor, young and old--will go forward together arm in arm. Again, let us remember that though our heritage is one of blood lines from every corner of the Earth, we are all Americans pledged to carry on this last, best hope of man on Earth I have spoken of our domestic goals and the limitations which we should put on our National Government. Now let me turn to a task which is the primary responsibility of National Government-the safety and security of our people. Today, we utter no prayer more fervently than the ancient prayer for peace on Earth. Yet history has shown that peace will not come, nor will our freedom be preserved, by good will alone. There are those in the world who scorn our vision of human dignity and freedom One nation, the Soviet Union, has conducted the greatest military buildup in the history of man, building arsenals of awesome offensive weapons. We have made progress in restoring our defense capability. But much remains to be done. There must be no wavering by us, nor any doubts by others, that America will meet her responsibilities to remain free, secure, and at peace. There is only one way safely and legitimately to reduce the cost of national security, and that is to reduce the need for it. And this we are trying to do in negotiations with the Soviet Union We are not just discussing limits on a further increase of nuclear weapons. We seek, instead, to reduce their number. We seek the total elimination one day of nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth. Now, for decades, we and the Soviets have lived under the threat of mutual assured destruction; if either resorted to the use of nuclear weapons, the other could retaliate and destroy the one who had started it. Is there either logic or morality in believing that if one side threatens to kill tens of millions of our people, our only recourse is to threaten killing tens of millions of theirs? I have approved a research program to find, if we can, a security shield that would destroy nuclear missiles before they reach their target.It wouldn't kill people, it would destroy weapons. It wouldn't militarize space, it would help demilitarize the arsenals of Earth. It would render nuclear weapons obsolete. We will meet with the Soviets, hoping that we can agree on a way to rid the world of the threat of nuclear destruction. We strive for peace and security, heartened by the changes all around us. Since the
55 turn of the century, the number of democracies in the world has grown fourfold. Human freedom is on the march, and nowhere more so than our own hemisphere. Freedom is one of the deepest and noblest aspirations of the human spirit. People, worldwide, hunger for the right of self-determination, for those inalienable rights that make for human dignity and progress. (Spread the freedom!) America must remain freedom's staunchest friend, for freedom is our best ally. And it is the world's only hope, to conquer poverty and preserve peace. Every blow we inflict against poverty will be a blow against its dark allies of oppression and war. Every victory for human freedom will be a victory for world peace. So we go forward today, a nation still mighty in its youth and powerful in its purpose. With our alliances strengthened, with our economy leading the world to a new age of economic expansion, we look forward to a world rich in possibilities. And all this because we have worked and acted together, not as members of political parties, but as Americans. My friends, we live in a world that is lit by lightning. So much is changing and will change, but so much endures, and transcends time. History is a ribbon, always unfurling; history is a journey. And as we continue our journey, we think of those who traveled before us. We stand together again at the steps of this symbol of our democracy --or we would have been standing at the steps if it hadn't gotten so cold. Now we are standing inside this symbol of our democracy. Now we hear again the echoes of our past: a general falls to his knees in the hard snow of Valley Forge; a lonely President paces the darkened halls, and ponders his struggle to preserve the Union; the men of the Alamo call out encouragement to each other; a settler pushes west and sings a song, and the song echoes out forever and fills the unknowing air It is the American sound. It is hopeful, big-hearted, idealistic, daring, decent, and fair. That's our heritage ; that is our song. We sing it still. For all our problems, our differences, weare together as of old, as we raise our voices to the God who is the Author of this most tender music And may He continue to hold us close as we fill the world with our sound--sound in unity, affection, and love--one people under God, dedicated to the dream of freedom that He has placed in the human heart, called upon now to pass that dream on to a waiting and hopeful world. God bless you and may God bless America.
56 Appendix BBill Clintons second inaugural addressThis is a copy of Bill Clintons second inaugural address evaluated for instances of civil religious rhetoric and discussion of policy. Civil religious rhetoric is underlined, while policy is set in italics. My fellow citizens, at this last Presidential Inauguration of the 20th century, let us lift our eyes toward the challenges that await us in the next century. It is our great good fortune that time and chance have put us not only at the edge of a new century, in a new millennium, but on the edge of a bright new prospect in human affairs, a moment that will define our course and our character for decades to comes. We must keep our old democracy forever young. Guided by the ancient vision of a promised land, let us set our sights upon a land of new promise The promise of America was born in the 18th century out of the bold conviction that we are all created equal. It was extended and preserved in the 19th century, when our Nation spread across the continent, saved the Union, and abolished the awful scourge of slavery. Then, in turmoil and triumph, that promise exploded onto the world stage to make this the American Century And what a century it has been. America became the world's mightiest industrial power, saved the world from tyranny in two World Wars and a long cold war, and time and again reached out across the globe to millions who, like us, longed for the blessings of liberty. Along the way, Americans produced a great middle class and security in old age, built unrivaled centers of learning and opened public schools to all, split theatom and explored the heavens, invented the computer and the microchip, and deepened the wellspring of justice by making a revolution in civil rights for African-Americans and all minorities and extending the circle of citizenship, opportunity, and dignity to women.Now, for the third time, a new century is upon us and another time to choose. We began the 19th century with a choice: to spread our Nation from coast to coast. We began the 20th century with a choice: to harness the industrial revolution to our values of free enterprise, conservation, and human decency. Those choices made all the difference. At the dawn of the 21st century, a free people must now choose to shape the forces of the information age and the global society,to unleash the limitless potential of all our people, and yes, to form a more perfect Union When last we gathered, our march to this new future seemed less certain than it does today. We vowed then to set a clear course to renew our Nation. In these 4 years, we have been touched by tragedy, exhilarated by challenge, strengthened by achievement. America stands alone as the world's indispensable nation Once again, our economy is the strongest on Earth. Once again, we are building stronger families, thriving communities, better educational opportunities, a cleaner environment. Problems that once seemed destined to deepen, now bend to our efforts. Our streets are safer, and record numbers of our fellow citizens have moved from welfare to work. And once again, we have resolved for our time a great debate over the role of Government. Today we can declare:
57 Government is not the problem, and Government is not the solution. Wethe American peoplewe are the solution Our Founders understood that well and gave us a democracy strong enough toendure for centuries, flexible enough to face our common challenges and advance our common dreams in each new day. As times change, so Government must change. We need a new Government for a new century, humble enough not to try to solve all our problems for us but strong enough to give us the tools to solve our problems for ourselves, a Government that is smaller, lives within its means, and does more with less. Yet where it can stand up for our values and interests around the world, and where it can give Americans the power to make a real difference in their everyday lives, Government should do more, not less (Defense talk?). The preeminent mission of our new Government is to give all Americans an opportunity, not a guarantee but a real opportunity, to build better lives. Beyond that, my fellow citizens, the future is up to us. Our Founders taught us that the preservation of our liberty and our Union depends upon responsible citizenship And we need a new sense of responsibility for a new century. There is work to do, work that Government alone cannot do: teaching children to read, hiring people off welfare rolls, coming out from behind locked doors and shuttered windows to help reclaim our streets from drugs and gangs and crime, taking time out of our own lives to serve others. Each and every one of us, in our own way, must assume personal responsibility not only for ourselves and our families but for our neighbors and our Nation Our greatest responsibility is to embrace a new spirit of community for a new century. For any one of us to succeed, we must succeed as one America. The challenge of our past remains the challenge of our future: Will we be one Nation, one people, with one common destiny, or not? Will we all come together, or come apart? The divide ofrace has been America's constant curse. And each new wave of immigrants gives new targets to old prejudices. Prejudice and contempt cloaked in the pretense of religious or political conviction are no different. These forces have nearly destroyed our Nation in the past They plague us still. They fuel the fanaticism of terror And they torment the lives of millions in fractured nations all around the world. These obsessions cripple both those who hate and of course those who are hated, robbing both of what they might become. We cannot, we will not, succumb to the dark impulses that lurk in the far regions of the soul everywhere. We shall overcome them. And we shall replace them with the generous spirit of a people who feel at home with one another Our rich texture of racial, religious, and political diversity will be a godsend in the 21st century Great rewards will come to those who can live together, learn together, work together, forge new ties that bind together. As this new era approaches, we can already see its broad outlines. Ten years ago, the Internet was the mystical province of physicists; today, it is a commonplace encyclopedia for millions of schoolchildren. Scientists now are decoding the blueprint of human life. Cures for our most feared illnesses seem close at hand. The world is no longer divided into two hostile camps. Instead, now we are building bonds with nations that once were our adversaries. Growing connections of commerce and culture give us a chance to lift the fortunes and spirits of people the world over And for the very first time in all of history, more people on this planet live under democracy than dictatorship My fellow Americans, as we look back at this remarkable century, we may ask, can we hope not just to follow but even tosurpass the achievements of the 20th century
58 in America and to avoid the awful bloodshed that stained its legacy ? To that question, every American here and every American in our land today must answer a resounding, "Yes!" This is the heart of our task. With a new vision of Government, a new sense of responsibility, a new spirit of community, we will sustain America's journey The promise we sought in a new land, we will find again in a land of new promise In this new land, education will be every citizen's most prized possession. Our schools will have the highest standards in the world, igniting the spark of possibility in the eyes of every girl and every boy And the doors of higher education will be open to all. The knowledge and power of the informationage will be within reach not just of the few but of every classroom, every library, every child. Parents and children will have time not only to work but to read and play together. And the plans they make at their kitchen table will be those of a better home, a better job, the certain chance to go to college. Our streets will echo again with the laughter of our children, because no one will try to shoot them or sell them drugs anymore. Everyone who can work, will work, with today's permanent under class part of tomorrow's growing middle class. New miracles of medicine at last will reach not only those who can claim care now but the children and hard-working families too long denied. We will stand mighty for peace and freedom and maintain a strong defense against terror and destruction Our children will sleep free from the threat of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons Ports and airports, farms and factories will thrive with trade and innovation and ideas. And the world's greatest democracy will lead a whole world of democracies. Our land of new promise will be a nation that meets its obligations, a nation that balances its budget but never loses the balance of its values a nation where our grandparents have secure retirement and health care and their grandchildren know we have made the reforms necessary to sustain those benefits for their time, a nation that fortifies the world's most productive economy even as it protects the great natural bounty of our water, air, and majestic land. And in this land of new promise, we will have reformed our politics so that the voice of the people will always speak louder than the din of narrow interests, regaining the participation and deserving the trust of all Americans Fellow citizens, let us build that America, anation ever moving forward toward realizing the full potential of all its citizens. Prosperity and power, yes, they are important, and we must maintain them But let us never forget, the greatest progress we have made and the greatest progress we have yetto make is in the human heart. In the end, all the world's wealth and a thousand armies are no match for the strength and decency of the human spirit Thirty-four years ago, the man whose life we celebrate today spoke to us down there, at the other end ofthis Mall, in words that moved the conscience of a nation. Like a prophet of old, he told of his dream that one day America would rise up and treat all its citizens as equals before the law and in the heart. Martin Luther King's dream was the American dream. His quest is our quest: the ceaseless striving to live out our true creed. Our history has been built on such dreams and labors. And by our dreams and labors, we will redeem the promise of America in the 21st century. To that effort I pledge all my strength and every power of my office. I ask the Members of Congress here to join in that pledge. The American people returned to office
59 a President of one party and a Congress of another. Surely they did not do this to advance the politics of petty bickeringand extreme partisanship they plainly deplore. No, they call on us instead to be repairers of the breach and to move on with America's mission. America demands and deserves big things from us, and nothing big ever came from being small. Let us remember the timeless wisdom of Cardinal Bernardin, when facing the end of his own life. He said, "It is wrong to waste the precious gift of time on acrimony and division." Fellow citizens, we must not waste the precious gift of this time. For all of us are on that same journey of our lives, and our journey, too, will come to an end. But the journey of our America must go on. And so, my fellow Americans, we must be strong, for there is much to dare. The demands of our time are great, and they are different. Let us meet them with faith and courage, with patience and a grateful, happy heart. Let us shape the hope of this day into the noblest chapter in our history. Yes, let us build our bridge, a bridge wide enough and strong enough for every American to cross over to a blessed land of new promise. May those generations whose faces we cannot yet see, whose names we may never know, say of us here that we led our beloved land into a new century with the American dream alive for all her children, with the American promise ofa more perfect Union a reality for all her people, with America's bright flame of freedom spreading throughout all the world From the height of this place and the summit of this century, let us go forth. May God strengthen our hands for the good work ahead, and always, always bless our America.
60 Appendix CGeorge W. Bushs second inaugural addressThis is a copy of George W. Bushs second inaugural address evaluated for instances of civil religious rhetoric and discussion of policy. Civil religious rhetoric is underlined, while policy is set in italics. Vice President Cheney, Mr. Chief Justice, President Carter, President Bush, President Clinton, members of the United States Congress, reverend clergy, distinguished guests, fellow citizens: On this day, prescribed by law and marked by ceremony, we celebrate the durable wisdom of our Constitution, and recall the deep commitments that unite our country. I am grateful for the honor of this hour, mindful of the consequential times in which we live, and determined to fulfill the oath that I have sworn and you have witnessed. At this second gathering, our duties are defined not by the words I use, but by the history we have seen together. For a half a century,America defended our own freedom by standing watch on distant borders After the shipwreck of communism came years of relative quiet, years of repose, years of sabbaticaland then there came a day of fire. We have seen our vulnerabilityand we have seen its deepest source. For as long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyrannyprone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murderviolence will gather, and multiply in destructive power, and cross the most defended borders, and raise a mortal threat. There is only one force of history thatcan break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom. We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands.The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world. Americas vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one (yowza!). From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth.Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of selfgovernment, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers Now it is the urgent requirement of our nations security, and the calling of our time. So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world. This is not primarily the task of arms, though we will defend ourselves and our friends by force of arms when necessary Freedom, by its nature, must be chosen, and defended by citizens, and sustained by the rule of law and the protection of minoritie s And when the soul of a nation finally speaks, the institutions that arise may reflect
61 customs and traditions very different from our own. America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their ownway .(Sort of ambiguous where this falls) The great objective of ending tyranny is the concentrated work of generations.The difficulty of the task is no excuse for avoiding it. Americas influence is not unlimited, but fortunately for the oppressed, Americas influence is considerable, and we will use it confidently in freedoms cause.My most solemn duty is to protect this nation and its people from further attacks and emerging threats Some have unwisely chosen to test Americas resolve, and have found it firm. We will persistently clarify the choice before every ruler and every nation: The moral choice between oppression, which is always wrong, and freedom, which is eternally right America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies. We will encourage reform in other governments by making clear that success in our relations will require the decent treatment of their own people Americas belief in human dignity will guide our policies yet rights must be more than the grudging concessions of dictators; they are secured by free dissent and the participation of the governed. In the long run, there is no justice without freedom, and there can be no human rights without human liberty Some, I know, have questioned the global appeal of libertythough this time in history, four decades defined by the swiftest advance of freedom ever seen, is an odd time for doubt.Americans, of all people, should never be surprised by the power of our ideals. (Not exactly civil religious, but damn! What a Thing to say)Eventually, the call of freedom comes to every mind and every soul. We do not accept the existence of permanent tyranny because we do not accept the possibility of permanent slavery. Liberty will come to those who love it. Today, America speaks anew to the peoples of the world: All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you Democratic reformers facing repression, prison, or exile can know: America sees you for who you are: the future leaders of your free country. The rulers of outlaw regimes can know that we still believe as Abraham Lincoln did: Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it.The leaders of governments with long habits of control need to know: To serve your people you must learn to trust them. Start on this journey of progress and justice, and America will walk at your side And all the allies of the United States can know: we honor your friendship, we rely on your counsel, and we depend on your help. Division among free nations is a primary goal of freedoms enemies. The concerted effort of free nations to promote democracy is a prelude to our enemies defeat. Today, I also speak anew to my fellow citizens:
62 From all of you, I have asked patience in the hard task of securing America, which you have granted in good measure. Our country has accepted obligations that are difficult to fulfill, and would be dishonorable to abandon Yet because we have acted in the great liberating tradition of this nation, tens of millions have achieved their freedom And as hope kindles hope, millions more will find it. By our efforts, we have lit a fire as wella fire in the minds of men. It warms those who feel its power, it burns those who fight its progress, and one day this untamed fire of freedom will reach the darkest corners of our world. A few Americans have accepted the hardest duties in this causein the quiet work of intelligence and diplomacy the idealistic work of helping raise up free governments the dangerous and necessary work of fighting our enemies. Some have shown their devotion to our country in deaths that honored their whole lives and we will always honor their names and their sacrifice All Americans have witnessed this idealism, and some for the first time. I ask our youngest citizens to believe the evidence of your eyes. You have seen duty and allegiance in the determined faces of our soldiers. You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real, and courage triumphs. Make the choice to serve in a cause largerthan your wants, larger than yourselfand in your days you will add not just to the wealth of our country, but to its character.America has need of idealism and courage, because we have essential work at homethe unfinished work of American freedom. In aworld moving toward liberty, we are determined to show the meaning and promise of liberty.In Americas ideal of freedom, citizens find the dignity and security of economic independence, instead of laboring on the edge of subsistence This is the broader definition of liberty that motivated the Homestead Act, the Social Security Act, and the G.I. Bill of Rights. And now we will extend this vision by reforming great institutions to serve the needs of our time. To give every American a stake in the promise and future of our country, we will bring the highest standards to our schools, and build an ownership society. We will widen the ownership of homes and businesses, retirement savings and health insurance preparing our people for the challenges of life in a free society. By making every citizen an agent of his or her own destiny, we will give our fellow Americans greater freedom from want and fear, and make our society more prosperous and just and equal. In Americas ideal of freedom, the public interest depends on private character on integrity, and tolerance toward others, and the rule of conscience in our own lives. Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of the self. That edifice of character is built in families, supported by communities withstandards, and sustained in our national life by the truths of Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount, the words of the Koran, and the varied faiths of our people Americans move forward in every generation by reaffirming all that is good and true that came beforeideals of justice and conduct that are the same yesterday, today, and forever. In Americas ideal of freedom, the exercise of rights is ennobled by service, and mercy, and a heart for the weak. Liberty for all does not mean independence from one another.Our nation relies on men and women who look after a neighbor and surround the lost with love. Americans, at our best, value the life we see in one another, and must always remember that even the unwanted have worth And our country must abandon all
63 the habits of racism, because we cannot carry the message of freedom and the baggage of bigotry at the same time From the perspective of a single day, including this day of dedication, the issues and questions before our country are many. From the viewpoint of centuries, the questions that come to us are narrowed and few. Did our generation advance the cause of freedom? And did our character bring credit to that cause?These questions that judge us also unite us, because Americans of every party and background, Americans by choice and by birth, are bound to one another in the cause of freedom. We have known divisions, which must be healed to move forward in great purposesand I will strive in good faith to heal them. Yet those divisions do not define America. We felt the unity and fellowship of our nation when freedom came under attack, and our response came like a single hand over a single heart. And we can feel that same unity and pride whenever America acts for good, and the victims of disaster are given hope, and the unjust encounter justice, and the captives are set free. We go forward with complete confidence in the eventual triumph of freedom. Not because history runs on the wheels of inevitability; it is human choices that move events. Not because we consider ourselves a chosen nation; God moves and chooses as He wills We have confidence because freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul. When our Founders declared a new order of the ages; when soldiers diedin wave upon wave for a union based on liberty; when citizens marched in peaceful outrage under the banner Freedom Nowthey were acting on an ancient hope that is meant to be fulfilled History has an ebb and flow of justice, but history also has a visible direction, set by liberty and the Author of Liberty. When the Declaration of Independence was first read in public and the Liberty Bell was sounded in celebration, a witness said, It rang as if it meant something. In our time it means something still. America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world, and to all the inhabitants thereof. Renewed in our strength tested, but not wearywe are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom.May God bless you, and mayHe watch over the United States of America.
64 Works CitedAngrosino, Michael V. "Civil Religion Redux." Anthropological Quarterly75.2 (2002): 239-67. Print. Belasco, Amy. "The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11 The Lift Legal Issues in the Fight against Terrorism."The Lift Legal Issues in the Fight against Terrorism. 28 Sept. 2009. Web. 15 Mar. 2011.
66 Oct. 2010.