Wednesday, May 9, 2012

You can't wear The Jeebus

The Jeebus.

It's a name I stole from my friend Armando.  The phrase is meant to stand in for "Jesus."  I don't quite know how or why Armando came up with "The Jeebus" but I have adopted it for a very specific reason.  I use the term because it is what I have named a deity that fundy Christians appear to worship, one drastically dissimilar to the Jesus many other Christians follow.

Case in point.  A high school student in Nova Scotia, Canada was temporarily barred from school last week for wearing a t-shirt.  The shirt carried the message, "Life is wasted without Jesus."

Isn't there something in the New Testament about being boastful in faith?  Huh.  Coulda sworn it.

First of all, I'm surprised that this is happening in a nation as forward-thinking as Canada.  Seems more likely to take place in Indiana or Kansas.  Who am I kidding?  Those states probably suspend students for not wearing Jeebus t-shirts...but I digress.  Second of all, school officials were quick to point out that they had discussed this matter with the student multiple times and that suspension was a final resort.

Followers of The Jeebus might say that the shirt threatens no one (and they would be right) and that the student was exercising his right to free speech.  However, take another look at the phrase.  "Life is wasted without Jesus."

If you're an agnostic, an atheist, a Hindu, or a Muslim et. al.,what would you think about that shirt?  Many would likely turn and walk on.  Others could be offended by basically being told that their life is wasted.  Wasted according to one system of belief that has about as much physical evidence backing it up as any other religion.  In fact, the implications of the phrase are rather reminiscent of the rhetoric from one of The Jeebus' biggest supporters: "You're either with us or against us."

Here's a few other Christian t-shirts I've come across online from a simple Google search:

"My God can kick your god's butt."

"The Lord's Army: On a Mission From God"

"The Few.  The Proud.  The Christians."

"Hand-to-Hand Prayer Combat"

"Life Is Better With Jesus"

Don't those phrases, except for the last one, sound I bit militant to you?  Almost...dare I say, jihadist?

That brings up another point.  How would people react to a student wearing a t-shirt printed with an inverted cross and the phrase, "Life is wasted with Jesus"?  There would probably be concern over people being offended and rightly so.  What if a student wore a shirt reading, "Allah Akbar"?  I'm guessing he or she would be construed as threatening violence.  Sadly, the kid in Nova Scotia probably would have been ok if he had added the word "My" to his shirt, thereby reading, "My life would be wasted without Jesus."  That would be free expression.  At least in my opinion.

So let the cicatrix form over this most recent slice, oh followers of The Jeebus.  Get over it and move on.  You want to worship The Jeebus?  Fine.  Great.  Just don't do things to shove The Jeebus in my face.  Me and him aren't on speaking terms right now.

Strange days indeed...

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