Thursday, November 10, 2016

Discrediting the Authenticity of Conservative Lived Religion

As I’ve said previously, my case study is focusing on how members of the liberal left use memes to point out points of contradiction between Republican/Conservative ideology and Christianity. Obviously when considering these images the offline religious and political culture play a large part in how these memes can be analyzed in terms of authenticity.

In the first meme we see a depiction of Jesus Christ preaching the so-called “golden rule”, love others as you love yourself. However, underneath the original poster (OP) has added the phrase “as long as he’s the same race, religion, and not a homo”. What this person is doing is drawing on the fact that, from a cultural standpoint, the majority of Republicans are Christians. He or she is criticizing the stereotypical right-wing bigot by pointing out how the way they live in real life is not authentic to the lived religion they supposedly subscribe to.

In the second meme the offline religious and political culture are important to consider when attempting to decode the message. In this image the OP is taking the stereotypical gun-toting, pro-life Christian Republican and pointing out how supporting gun rights, opposing healthcare, and being pro-life is humorously contradicting.

Obviously in each of these images the offline culture is portrayed in a new context online in an effort to decrease the authenticity and legitimacy of conservative Christians’ lived religion in an offline world. This re-framing of the offline lived religion and political leanings in an online context is a blurring of ideas.

These memes are created by liberals about Christian conservatives. They attempt to discredit the Republican voter by communicating the contradicting nature of their religion online, lived religion, and political affiliation.

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