Religious Politics of New Media
In the 21st century the use of new media is expanding to reach over practically every aspect of daily life. Pastors, teachers, politicians, police departments, etc., all used to stay away from the usage of new media and left it to be taken by youth and people who may not have had anything better to do with their time. Now, in 2016, many of the above mentioned are no longer distancing themselves from new media because it is a way that they are able to connect with any and every generation, quickly spread messages regarding safety or crisis situations, and also get feedback about their own leadership or opinions on positions that they take. As the religious and political discussions through various forms of new media turn closer to uneducated, ill-informed and/or closeminded banter, the legitimacy of many societal leaders is falling every day and they seem to be distancing themselves from the message they may have been created to spread or protect. With the continued pressure on individuals and organizations throughout the United States from the 2016 Presidential Election, the separation of religion and politics is hard to come across. As considered in many elections, religion is one of the key factors that separates individual’s opinions on many hot topics and political issues. There are many that either simply do not care to have any tie between their religion and politics and other that believe that the nation should be run specifically based off of their religious beliefs and teachings. The main form of new media that this paper will focus on will be Facebook. Facebook is the selected media for this paper because of how far reaching it is and continues to be. Facebook has been present for around a decade now and evolves every day in ways that individuals and organizations can bring it into their daily lives and practices. In the U.S. alone, there are thousands, if not millions, of accounts engaged daily in arguments stemmed from religious and political views. This paper will dissect different forms of posts and discussions that can occur on Facebook and how they impact communities and individuals alike. The specific case study that I will focus on will be the satirical Facebook group named, “God”, and it’s associated social media sites.