The Undergraduate Journal of Social Studies


The Cold War is frequently remembered as a battle for technological supremacy between two international superpowers: the Soviet Union and the United States of America. Often overlooked is the underlying spiritual battle in which the United States competed with the Soviet Union on a spiritual plane, trying to establish an international set of religious symbols throughout the world to combat the godless atheism associated with Communism. This establishing of an international civil religion failed for two reasons: first, the United States failed to overcome Communism, which was acting as an alternative to the civil religion that the U.S. sought to establish internationally; and second, the U.S. found itself alone and in a stalemate with the Soviet Union on the spiritual plane, and shifted the conflict to material accomplishments instead, where victory was more assured.