By Rick L. Nutt, Randall Balmer
A historic research of the how numerous American spiritual teams spoke back to the Vietnam conflict, either in aid and in competition.
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Extra resources for An Historical Study of United States Religious Responses to the Vietnam War: A Matter of National Morality
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986), 10. 16 Department under Dean Acheson supported the French as a means of developing a responsible nationalism (as opposed to Ho's nationalism) in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos as a prelude to gradual independence2° Thus, the United States' policy toward Vietnam did not have to be determined by Cold War attitudes toward communism. S. policy in Vietnam as the Soviets expanded their power in Europe, China was "lost" to the Communists, and war broke out in Korea. S. any idea that nationalism motivated the Vietnamese insurgents21 The French defeat at Dien Bien Phu and the Geneva Accords solidified the United States' determination to stop communism in Southeast Asia.
He received help and counsel from Francis Cardinal Spellman and became acquainted with Senator John F. Kennedy. Capps, The Unfinished War, writes: "At home, his status was contested from the first. S. government officials made choices that led to our involvement in the "quagmire" of Vietnam, observes of Diem: "His political base, always narrow, became over the years narrower than ever.... S. aid. He became more rigid, more isolated than ever, while ironically, the United States was becoming more committed to him....
For a treatment of this question from other than a specifically civil religion perspective, see Ernest Lee Tuveson, Redeemer Nation: The Idea of America's Millennial Role (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1968). 57See, for instance, DeBenedetti and Chatfield, An American Ordeal, passim, but particularly p. 402. SBThe amorphous nature of the God of civil religion sometimes leads to treatments of the nation as self-transcendent and, perhaps, the object of worship itself. The close links of civil religion to the dominant Christianity of the colonial and early national period make this question of God a tricky one.
An Historical Study of United States Religious Responses to the Vietnam War: A Matter of National Morality by Rick L. Nutt, Randall Balmer