Get access

A U.S. Holy War? The Effects of Religion on Iraq War Policy Attitudes


  • *Direct correspondence to Paul Froese, Department of Sociology, Baylor University, One Bear Pl., Box 97326, Waco, TX 76798 〈〉. Dr. Froese will share all data and coding information with anyone wishing to replicate the study. The authors thank the John Templeton Foundation for its generous support of the Baylor Religion Survey.


Objective. Throughout the course of the Iraq War, the Bush Administration has consistently framed its war policy in religious language. Therefore, we investigate the extent to which public religiosity predicts neoconservative foreign policy attitudes.

Method. We use the 2005 Baylor Religion Survey to estimate OLS models predicting the effects of religious measures on support for a neoconservative Middle East foreign policy.

Findings. We find that support for U.S. Iraq policy is partially an outcome of what we call “sacralization ideology,” as measured by the belief that religious and secular institutions should be more closely in collaboration.

Conclusion. We argue that the religious framing of U.S. foreign policy appeals to a certain religious type who is not fully Republican or conservative evangelical.