How to read deep fake news by the Damascus Dropbear

Our mission is to help people laugh and think about theology, culture, church and politics from a biblical worldview.  This includes facilitating deeper engagement with the Bible, providing exploratory questions around religion, and encouraging Christian principles and ethics that inform our society.

To achieve this mission the Damascus Dropbear publishes satirical news that ‘holds the Bible in one hand and the newspaper comics in the other’. There are, however, varying levels of engagement within each story that readers should be aware of:

Level 1 – Meme

Most engagement with our material will be at a ‘surface level’ when users (particularly on social media) will see only the ‘meme’ version of the articles involving only the picture and headline, without going into the full story. Even at this level however, there is potentially a wide utilisation and the memes have already been used as a resource in stoking online discussion on issues, church sermons, and even lectures in higher education.

Level 2 – Article

There will be a section of people who follow through to the full article. This enables an expansion on the headline including background news and context,  biblical imagery and stories, theological and doctrinal exploration, cultural commentary, and of course – more jokes. Although humourous, this utilisation actually provides a range of deeper and more thoughtful ideas that help readers engage with important religious worldview discussions.

Level 3 – Links

The final level of engagement is through multiple links through each article which allow further reading into other contextual news stories, specific biblical verses, and even historical and theological articles on the surprisingly complex ideas raised. An example is shown below on the various layers of intended interpretation that may be utilised.