As stated before, this case study will focus on the intersection of Christianity and politics through memes. Donald Trump has targeted the Christian demographic throughout his campaign. For this reason, Christianity will be the main focus of the study. Before thoroughly analyzing the chosen memes for this case study, it is important to have a basic understanding of the Christian religion. Christianity professes a belief in Jesus Christ (the son of God) and his teachings. It is through this belief that a Christian (a believer in Jesus Christ) can be saved from judgment and eternal damnation. So what are these beliefs and where do they come from? A good starting point for understanding Christian beliefs is the Ten Commandments. The commandments are:
- You shall have no other gods before Me.
- You shall not make idols.
- You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
- Honor your father and your mother.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet.
So where did these commandments come from? Christianity teaches that a man named Moses was the recipient of these laws from God himself. Not only was Moses the recipient of these laws, but he also transcribed the first five books of the Bible (the Christian text). These law will be continually referenced throughout this case study. Further context will be provided for each meme.
The seventh commandment tells God’s people to not commit adultery. Adultery is the act of sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not his or her spouse. In Luke 16:18, it is stated, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” The negotiation processes presented through this meme brings forth a contradiction in Trump’s values. If Trump believes in traditional marraige (marraige between a man and woman), then he is only contradicting his Christian values because of his breaking of the seventh commandment.
During Trump’s campaign he was asked if he had asked God for forgiveness. Trump responded that he wasn’t sure he had. This presents a contradiction to Christian beliefs. 1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”. This verse tells Christians to confess their sins. Again, Trump is contradicting Christian beliefs.
From the given examples, the Christian religion is supportive of the viewpoints presented by the Ten Commandments. This can be seen from the criticism Trump has received from these memes. Trump does not completely reflect Christian values.