A rhetorical analysis of Justice Sunday: Critiquing a person of faith symposium through the rhetoric of social intervention

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2008-05

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Brown’s Rhetoric of Social Intervention (RSI) model is utilized to analyze a person of faith symposium. I argue that Focus on the Family Action and Family Research Council Action hosted the event, Justice Sunday, in order to shift the evangelical Christian audience’s attention from the micro-political issues that divided their energies toward a communicative system that named them “a person of faith.” The RSI model illuminates the interveners’ strategies, tactics, and maneuvers employed as they transition the attention of their audience from micro-political issues defined by local groups to the macro-political issue of Supreme Court adjudication, more specifically the adjudication employed concerning issues of the First Amendment. The holographic nature of RSI allows for a critique that addresses not only the rhetorical attention shift but the power and need struggles present when church and state roles are rhetorically negotiated.

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