Thursday, November 10, 2016

Blog 5: Authenticity

Digital culture is used to challenge offline ideas of authentic religion. These memes do so by drawing attention to the irony between what is professed and the way religion ought to be played out, versus what is actually being done. It is through an online medium that the meme-makers are challenging offline contexts, like public policy and rhetoric surrounding policy issues.

For example, "Mike Pence calls Trump's ban on letting muslims enter the United States 'offensive and unconstitutional'". By reporting this quote, through an online medium meme-makers are discussing the hypocrisy between Pence's passion for religious freedom, and his pairing with Trump, who claims he does not wish to allow Muslims enter the U.S. This was an event said offline, but was then translated online, which makes for a bridged connection between the online and offline realities.
Meme from: {link}
Another example of the online context challenging what happens in the online is the below meme:
Meme from: {link}
By connecting "religious zealot" with a "train wreck," his identity as a Christian is being attacked. His unwavering belief toward his religion counted as a negative, because it communicates a dogmatic personality that does not bring new ideas to America, but rather takes it back in time to a less inclusive country. 

Both of these memes are criticizing authentic religion by pointing out the ways in which beliefs contradict. One aspect of Christianity is to "do unto others as those who do unto you," as seen in a previous meme, is dichotomous to "discrimination against LGBT," from a previous meme, because it does not foster an environment of love.

These contexts of these memes are bridging the online and offline contexts, because they are challenging offline culture through an online medium. It bridges the two by way of sarcasm, humor, and reporting. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Blog 4: Authority

There are three different types of logic which shape religious authority online. While the availability of the internet, it allowed anyone to say anything about any topic without censorship. This greatly undermined the role of authority in a traditional sense. In my study, the logic of disjuncture and displacement is most applicable because media is used to undermine religious authority and argue against traditional religious authority.
It cannot be the logic of continuity and complentarity, because that suggests that offline authority uses the internet to reassert their authority. It asserts that offline authority still holds the power to communicate religious ideologies and beliefs. My memes are not designed by religious authorities. In fact, they are the opposite. They are designed by people who either do not understand religion, or have a negative and incomplete view of it.
My memes also cannot be the logics of dialects and paradox, because that involves empowering religious authority. It suggests more of a competition between the two, however my memes are not so much in competition and communication with religious authority, as they are criticizing it.

These memes are undermining Mike Pence's authority, but not necessarily that of religious leaders. They are not criticizing the church, but this individual in particular. It could be argued, however, that he is under religious authority, and therefore his religion itself is silly.

The two following memes are examples of people disturbing the status quo.

"Oh you want religious freedom, did you try giving it first?"
This is a sarcastic comment made toward Mike Pence, which shows that his authority is silly and unfounded. It suggests he does not understand what he is fighting for, and is ironic in his way of going about protecting religious freedom.

"Excuses give by Gov Mike Pences for signing his religious freedom law... 5"
This greatly undermines his actions because of the claim that he is simply giving excuses, and his reasons for signing the law were invalid.

While these are not directly attacking religious authority in a traditional sense, they are putting themselves in a position of power to criticize and point out laws in reasoning.