Tuesday, August 10, 2004

This Has To Be A Bad Joke

The Christian apparel industry never ceases to amaze me. My store is currently running a sale on Kerusso t-shirts. The one that caught my eye is bright red and with the phrase "Heavy Drinker" in large letters. The biblical reference John 7:3 appears in smaller type below the uplifting message. The back of the shirt displays the verse as a quote credited to Jesus: "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink."

Many will recognize that Jesus is speaking in a spiritual context. Whether or not you believe he is correct, is a debate for another time. My question is why would a Christian t-shirt have the phrase "Heavy Drinker" on the front? I don't know about you, but when I see a bright red shirt that says "Heavy Drinker," I think drunken frat boy not spiritual enlightenment. While there are many things about the Christian culture that make me wish I was a heavy drinker (including this t-shirt), I'm not going to declare it on my chest. (And please don't use the argument that Christians are trying to co-opt a phrase with negative connotations and turn it into a label of empowerment. This is not African-Americans using the n-word. This is Christians aligning themselves with the frat boys on MTV's Spring Break.)

This t-shirt is an embarrassment to anyone who takes their Christian faith seriously. I cannot believe a company with the motto, "Change your shirt; change the world," would actually release this shirt into the public. I have a feeling some cynical intern came up with the idea as a joke, but the powers-that-be loved it and made a t-shirt out of it.

Hey, Kerusso! You're making baby Jesus cry. Stop it! What's next? Are you going to release a t-shirt that tries to declare all Christians are brainwashed?


Anonymous said...

I remember some rather colorful T-shirts from back in my college days (that makes me sound so old, sigh). They had catchy phrases and overtly Christian symbolism. I ran every time I came across one *shudder*

It's not that I don't want the world to know I'm a Christian. I just don't think overt advertising such as this helps us plead Christ. Seriously, if a Buddist (and no offence to anyone here practicing Buddism) came up to me with a T-shirt with some pithy phrase that attempted to tie in something very non-Zen like to a Buddist teaching, I wouldn't be taking the guy very seriously.

So, I say burn all the T-shirts as an act of faith and obedience to Christ. Really, what would Jesus do? Hehehe


Jim said...

I can't believe a company would have the motto "change your shirt; change the world." At least the semi-colon leaves it ambiguous enough that it doesn't necessarily dictate causality.

Elwyn said...

I'm still struggling with coarse humour and I'm amazed that anyone who designed that t-shirt didn't realise that quote from the Bible, when taken out of context, makes the most lewd comment!

Today, I went to a "thank you" lunch for people who volunteer with a local Op Shop, which is supported by my church.
I sat next to a well-meaning guy who might be classified as "slow". It was a little painful when parts of the conversation focused on his love of cheesy church billboard slogans eg "Donate an organ: give your heart to Jesus". Arg!

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