Religion and US Foreign Policy Wow… another smart-a$$ historian beat me to the punch. This is exactly the kind of…
Religion and US Foreign Policy
Wow… another smart-a$$ historian beat me to the punch. This is exactly the kind of work I hope to be doing someday. Here’s a little of what Preston says regarding the broader subject and it’s relevance for today:
“I think a lot of Americans believe that, and I think it provides a very strong motivation for people calling for America to act the way it does in the world,” he says. “You can see it in the rhetoric around quite a few wars. You could see it in the rhetoric in George W. Bush’s language in justifying the war in Iraq. Whether that decision was right or wrong … I don’t take a stand on that, but that sort of idea — that America is chosen … was all over Bush’s rhetoric. But Bush was certainly not an aberration in American history. He was actually quite typical.”
My current Masters thesis is titled “American Religious Nationalism during World War I, 1914-1918”. This fits really well with Professor Preston’s work. He was fascinated by how often Presidents of the U.S. relied on religious rhetoric to justify war against other countries. WWI was a particularly moral war for the U.S. We stayed out of it for quite a while because most American’s didn’t feel that it was “our” war. We eventually entered it because of the progressive Protestant vision of President Wilson who believed that this would be the war to end all wars and bring the world to a lasting peace. Of course that was short-sighted, but it was imbued with this Protestant understanding that the U.S. is God’s hand in the world.
I’m just going to consider that Preston is just whetting the world’s appetite for this subject. Then by the time I’m done studying (say roughly 2020!!!) they’ll be dying to get their hand on my stuff. Right, friends!?