Thursday, November 3, 2016

Criticizing Figures of Authority with Religious Authority

This week I will be discussing online authority and how two new memes commenting on the 2016 Presidential Race are related to this topic.

In the first image we see a depiction of Jesus flipping the bird to Christian Trump supporters. The critique here is that the Republican presidential candidate, though he professes a belief in Christianity, is not at all the type of person true members of the Church would want in the White House, and, that "Christian conservatives" have done wrong by other members of the church that feel differently about Trump. The authority in reference here is obviously Jesus Christ whose teachings are the pillar of Christian ideology. Of course, this religious figure comes from an offline context, the Bible to be specific (obviously), however the creator of this meme is using a "logic of dialectics and paradox" in an effort to subvert Trumps alleged religious affiliation and ultimately discredit his presidential credibility. The image references the conflicting nature of Christianity and Donald Trump as a person to effectively undermine the man's religious authority.

The second meme uses this exact type of logic for the same reason with a more humorous example of the point attempting to be made. The authority being referenced is broader than the previous example. Instead of referring to Jesus specifically the creator has decided to appeal to Christian evangelical ideology. He/she then combines the the offline context of this type of thinking with a contrasting piece of information that also comes from the offline realm; Donald Trump used to own a strip club. Obviously from a conservative Christian standpoint this is not ideal behavior for a person that subscribes to their specific code of morals. Both memes attempt to discredit conservative Christian voters and their preferred Presidential candidate by comparing the two subjects to contrasting elements of their political leanings humorous (and condescending) ways.

Image result for donald trump religious meme

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