Thursday, November 10, 2016

Religion in Politics; Blog #5

          Offline culture, in my case study, has been one of the main driving factors in the creation of the memes I am using. The case study I am using is a Facebook page named, “God” that is a satirical and comical page that is used with the intentions of highlighting the contradictions and hypocrisy of many Christian conservatives. The memes that I have taken from that page are more politically and religiously intertwined than most of the posts but the page, as a whole typically will either align with either political views or religious views and how they may contradict what was actually taught from that religion. 

          Offline religious culture and political culture set the basis and create standards for what should be considered authentic/accurate/orthodox expressions online in my case study simply based on the fact that the memes and ideas explained or made fun of are directly drawn from offline contexts. The memes themselves were created online but were inspired completely by the ideas and teachings of many Christian conservatives in the offline context. Many churches, religious and political groups, that align with most Christian and conservative values will argue, many times, against their own religious teachings and not even realize it. Since in most cases the ties from online to offline in meme culture is typically used to attack opposing ideas and values, most individuals or groups that do not agree with the memes will see them as a threat and/or meaningless and offensive. This is what makes it very difficult to dictate or define what, in the online world, can be considered authentic, accurate, and/or orthodox. When the lines between offline and online contexts are so typically blurred by the many millions of individuals and representatives that have very polarized opinions on very similar issues, it only continues to weaken the legitimacy of many authority figures in any context. 
          The memes used for the week five blog all look to be screen shots of the Twitter page linked to the Facebook page used in this entire case study. The Twitter handle is, "@TheGoodGodAbove". The three screen shots/memes/Twitter posts all took place while the presidential election was occurring on November 8th, 2016. The first image shows "God" saying, "There has never been more proof that I don't exist than there is right now". This post is driven by the victory that Donald Trump experienced in his presidential run. Many Americans are angry about the outcome of the election and the person who handles both the Facebook and Twitter page in this case study, is one of those that is angry with President-Elect Trump. The next meme says, "I regret giving you free will", which also is in direct response to the victory that Donald Trump had in the presidential race and that the owner of this account is trying to say that not even God would approve of Donald Trump being a leader of the free world. Lastly, the final meme in this blog that supports the above discussed tie between the online and offline for reference to the authenticity of authority reads, "That's it. Time to destroy humanity". That meme could either be claiming that a Donald Trump presidency will destroy the world/humanity or that because "God" is so opposed to and angry with the results of the presidential election, that "God" will now actively destroy humanity.

Links to memes used:

Thursday, November 3, 2016

God in Politics #4

One of the images in this week’s blog shows an image of Mary and Joseph holding baby Jesus after being welcomed into the world. They were welcomed into a stable to give birth to Jesus and the meme says, “Don’t forget to hate refugees as you set up a nativity scene celebrating a middle eastern couple desperately looking for shelter. This meme plays on the contradiction that some would hold the birth of Jesus in such high regard as the son of refugees while Christians today in the U.S. want to completely deny the ability to help refugees from Syria.
The other meme in today’s blog post shows an image that originally depicted Jesus in the market that used to be a church and he was flipping tables and whipping people. The meme reads, Voting for the socialist Jew who condemns bankers is literally the Christian thing to do”. Instead of Jesus’ head on the body in the picture it is the head of Bernie Sanders.
The source of authority in this week’s blog post referred to in the images below is the authority of ideology. The religious authority of ideology is based on faith, beliefs, ideas, or shared identity; i.e. theologies or doctrines (Campbell 2016). The source of authority is ideology because the memes presented in this week’s blog post directly refer to stories and teachings in the Bible that are held to a Holy liking in the Christian faith but are said, by the meme, to not be applied in culture today by those who claim to follow it most closely.
The Logic that seems to be at work in this case study regarding the ideological religious authority is the logic of disjuncture and displacement. This logic states that traditional authority is eroded by the Internet and new patterns and systems that run counter to traditional authorities, disturb the status quo. This is exemplified by the pasting of current leaders’ heads on the faces of religious figures and creating an irony that they people of today that claim to hold Christianity dear to their heart, is not actually following simple stories from the Bible.
The definitions and framing authority impact the message being communicated about religion in politics in the memes presented in today’s blog by bringing up irony in the logic of current, political, conservatives and people who also claim to be Christian conservatives.