Friday, October 31, 2014

Blog 3 - Interpretations

For this week, I chose three memes that challenged Christian views of being the "right" religion, or idea that one would be morally correct. Each meme keeps with the theme seen in the samples — that this particular Facebook atheist group uses memes to contradict monotheistic interpretations of God in a sarcastic and humorous way.


I've already discussed where "Advice God" originated from. However this meme above, incorporates a mix of repackaging and mimicry of  "Scumbag Steve" and "Advice God" in which God wear Steve's hat. In a nutshell, the Scumbag hat is supposed to represent someone letting down another person or inconveniencing someone in a "jerk like" fashion. The first line of image text refers to the idea that each monotheistic religion has a belief that they are the group ordained and blessed by God and will prevail in the end. The second line of image text, sarcastically mentions how each major monotheistic religion will essentially kill themselves for not agreeing with one another.

Above, is a twist on the Advice Animal meme, only a bible is in the center and the multi-colored wheel normally seen, is in shades of tan. It's suggesting how the biblical interpretation of God's origination is a paradox that can't be explained solely through scripture. The added "LOL," is meant to add sarcasm and the atheist's view that intelligent design is contradictory.  

Once again on this group, we see Advice God presented with a scumbag hat. The meme is discussing homosexuality, a discussion that is both commonly discussed and argued among many people. The underlying argument: God must hate his creations when they do not align with certain biblical scriptures. The atheist on this comment thread would argue that it is contradictory or evil for a divine creator to hate something supposedly made in his image. God's hat would symbolize the insensitivity and ego-laden God that many Atheists seem to object. 

Each of the above memes utilizes repackaging to incorporate an original meme, but alter the message and form in a certain way. In the cases above we can see the Scumbag hat utilized with Advice God as well as a bible used as an Advice Animal. The hat implies that God as a insolent puppeteer who imparts various interpretations to anger people. These techniques impart religion is lofty because without its legalism, it wouldn't hold. 

My samples use referential communication as a stance. As defined by Shifman, this kind of communication is "oriented towards the outside world" (41). The memes address issues like religious tensions, intelligent design/evolution and homosexuality, which has been a weighty topic of discussion in the last couple of years. Those who post on the atheist meme page are looking to discredit or paint an unrealistic picture of how religion functions. These memes also stand as emotive communication because the issues presented target some difficult inward reflection, such as "What do I believe?" or "Are my sentiments rational?"

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