The Language of ‘Sacrifice’ in the Buildup to War: A Feminist Rhetorical and Theological Analysis

The language of “sacrifice” in official U.S. government communications was strategically utilized to generate support for the Iraq war in the American public following Sept. 11, 2001. I explore victimage rhetoric and framing, and feminist theological criticisms of Christian atonement metaphors to argue that familiar religious connotations of sacrificial language created a frame with deep emotional resonance that encouraged quietistic support for war.