Campus Access Only

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of University of the Pacific. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.

Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Jon F. Schamber

First Committee Member

Shawn Batt

Second Committee Member

Qingwen Dong


This thesis investigates the worldview of six rhetors of the far-right using the rhetorical method of fantasy theme analysis. The specific rhetors examined in this study are Peter J. Peters, Dan Gayman, Edward Fields, Fred Phelps, Jeny Falwell, and James Dobson. In order to understand the discourse of the six rhetors, five research questions were developed to guide the study: (1) What are the images portrayed of homosexuals and gay rights advocates in the fantasy themes of the rhetors examined in this study? (2) What are the images portrayed of Christians in the fantasy themes of the rhetors examined in this study? (3) How do the fantasy themes differ in extremity among the rhetors of the far-tight with regard to homosexuality and supporters of gay lights? (4) How do the fantasy themes of the rhetors work together to create a rhetolical vision for the far-light regarding homosexuality? (5) How do the collective fantasy themes of the far-right rhetors potentially influence actions against and aggression towards homosexuals? In order to answer these questions, a fantasy theme analysis was conducted on various artifacts of the six rhetors chosen for examination in this thesis. The analysis indicated that the fantasy themes of the rhetors work together to create a rhetorical vision in which a drama is played out. In this drama, homosexuals and supporters of gay rights are depicted as villains and fundamentalist Christians are characterized as heroes. Through the depictions of these characters and their actions the ultimate ideal of America as a country is provided. This ultimate ideal focuses on a setting where homosexuals do not exist and gay rights is not an issue. Through these fantasy themes the rhetors encourage America's patriots and fundamentalist Christians to remove homosexuals from society. In addition, the collective rhetorical vision of the six rhetors provides motives for aggressive actions against homosexuals, including acts of violence.



To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid email address and log-in to Scholarly Commons.

Find in PacificSearch



If you are the author and would like to grant permission to make your work openly accessible, please email


Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).