Nationalizing Christianity and Hijacking Religion on Facebook
By Mona Abdel-Fadil
Yes to wearing the cross whenever and wherever I choose (YWC) is a Facebook group that was established in November 2013 to campaign for the right of a television news anchor to wear a cross pendant. YWC with its more than 100,000 likes, swiftly became a locus for discussing religion in society in general.
A range of participants, with various agendas and modes of interaction are drawn to YWC: conservative Christians, nationalists, humanists, fervent secularists, and ardent atheists - ‘hijacking religion’ in multiple ways. Among those positive to Christianity, it is for the most part construed as either a religion of ‘identity’ or ‘compassion’.
This chapter builds on ethnographic research and focuses on the generic positions, repetitive patterns of communication, writing styles, and modes of enacting the conflict(s). There is a particular emphasis on how people’s emotions, narratives, and worldviews shape the way they engage with mediatized conflict and play into the internal group dynamics.
This chapter is part of the book "Contesting Religion. The Media Dynamics of Cultural Conflicts in Scandinavia"