A Fatal Addiction: War in the Name of God
America, one of the most religious countries in the world, is also the most violent. Do God and war define the American spirit as much as apple pie and baseball? This unsettling book illustrates how bellicose, war-like language is used to explain the spiritual quest. It explores the violence of God tradition as it exists in all religions (including Buddhism), and then examines how this dynamic is flipped, with political leaders using spiritual and religious language to sell war to the general public. Although God and religion have often been used to sell war in the United States, this has been especially true since 9/11. After surveying the relationship of war and the spiritual quest in the major world religions, this study concludes with an overview of how that dynamic has affected the contemporary American public discourse on war. Does this intermingling of war and spirituality prepare the population for the coming of war? The institutional blending of the sacred and human aggression appear to be fundamental to human society. The second section of the book concentrates on the political language and speeches of American politicians since 2002, following the run-up to the Iraq war and its continuation over the past decade, showing how this mystical/war conflation permeates American society.
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