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Journal of Religion and Violence

Volume 5, Issue 1, 2017

Kelly Denton-Borhaug
Pages 5-26
DOI: 10.5840/jrv201742538

Sacrificial U.S. War-Culture
Cognitive Dissonance and the Absence of Self-Awareness

This article explores the potent sacrificial sacred canopy that shrouds rhetoric, practices, and institutions of post-9/11 war-culture in the United States. Analyzing examples from popular culture, presidential rhetoric, and military history, especially Andrew Bacevich’s America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History, I show how the depth and breadth of sacrificial rhetoric and logic result in a highly disciplined practice of framing and decision-making about militarism and war in the United States. Sacrificial linguistic patterns profoundly ignite and transcendentalize militarization and war, even while simultaneously mitigating conscious awareness, concern, and protest.