Publication Date

Spring 2016

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Angela M. Jerome (Director), Holly J. Payne, and Helen Sterk

Degree Program

Department of Communication

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Ideology is a powerful means of persuasion in contemporary audience appeals. Through the means of ideographic and fragmentary analyses provided by Michael Calvin McGee (1980, 1990) and Saindon (2008), I examine the rhetorical appeals made by the Liberty Counsel, an evangelical Christian organization, which provides legal counsel for cases regarding “religious liberty.” Through an ideographic and fragmentary analysis, I conclude that the Counsel utilizes the ideograph as a superseding means of denoting its ideology. Further, I argue that is the ideograph that represents the ontological nature of the organization’s philosophy and serves as the guiding principle for many of the other ideographs that the organization employs. Further, the ideograph displays relative influence for the Liberty Counsel with and from other organizations, as illustrated when is compared to competing ideologies, such as that from the Southern Poverty Law Center. The importance of the ideograph is incumbent upon its utility in understanding a “snapshot” of the rhetorical situation. Rather than attempting to draft ideological archetypes, as the initial ideographic form attempted, this new ideographic form accepts the relativistic cultural influences and accounts for them synchronically.


Communication | Critical and Cultural Studies | Organizational Communication | Speech and Rhetorical Studies