Bramlett, Brittany and Ryan P. Burge
Bramlett, Brittany H., and Ryan P. Burge. 2020. “God Talk in a Digital Age: How Members of Congress Use Religious Language on Twitter.” Politics and Religion: 1–23. doi: 10.1017/S1755048320000231.
Publication year: 2020

This article analyzes the use of religious language on Twitter by members of the U.S. Congress (MOCs). Politicians use various media platforms to communicate about their political agendas and their personal lives. In the United States, religious language is often part of the messaging from politicians to their constituents. This is done carefully and often strategically and across media platforms. With members of Congress increasingly using Twitter to connect with constituents on a regular basis, we want to explain who uses religious language on Twitter, when, and how. Using 1.5 million tweets scraped from members of Congress in April of 2018, we find that MOCs from both major political parties make use of a “religious code” on Twitter in order to send messages about their own identities as well as to activate the religious identities of their constituents. However, Republicans use the code more extensively and with Judeo-Christian-specific terms. Additionally, we discuss gender effects for the ways MOCs use “religious code” on Twitter