Christian T-Shirts29 January, 2009
Once or twice a week, I find my poor, innocent eyeballs subjected to Christian T-Shirts. Luckily, this time of year the shirts are covered with sweaters, jackets, scarves, you name it (at least, they are up here in the frozen north — those of you down in the warmth of Florida or Australia are Shit Out Of Luck on that score). I had assumed (stupid me, right?) that these shirts were homemade. They all have the same cheesy iron-on-transfer quality that the famous, “I’m With Stupid ->” shirts had back in the late 70s. Unfortunately, I found a site which sells religious shits. Um, shirts. Whatever.
In retrospect, this should not have surprised me. Capitalism and right wing Christianity are closely linked (much in the same way that carneys and chaos are linked). Some of the shirts, though, actually clarified Christian thought patterns for me. Here is the link (recommended for those with a 16 Constitution role or better).
Here are a couple of the shirts, and my thoughts about them (what can I say, I’ve had a tough week so far):
If he lived (and there is considerable room for doubt), he was an itinerant street preacher living in the Iron Age, but the myths he supposedly fulfilled are strait from the Bronze Age. He would have had little knowledge of physics, medicine, mathematics (pi = 3), engineering, logic, rhetoric, history, psychology, biology, zoology (bats are birds), etc. So what would one learn at the self-proclaimed University of Jesus Christ: School of Higher Learning? I’m guessing a whole lot of ‘Believe or Else’ authoritarian bullshit.
I build plastic models. I am currently working on a late-production Tiger I by Dragon. Also, a Ki-61 Tony (also by Dragon). I’m real good with instructions. But the Holy Bible as an instruction manual? It’s like it started out contradicting itself, was written in three or four language and then inaccurately translated through a couple more. If my plastic models had instructions like the Bible, I would end up with a kickstand on my tank, a screen door on my submarine, and no wings on the airplane (not to worry, faith will hold it up!).
So what was the question? “Who makes me a narrow-minded bigot?” “Who makes me intolerant?” “Who makes me into an authoritarian git?” “Who makes me hard?” “Who did Mary Magdalene sleep with?”
Pray until something happens? Let me know how that turns out. Really.
I am an atheist (again, see the blog title). I do not wander around wearing atheist t-shirts (though I do wear t-shirts from forest fires to which I have been assigned). I don’t even have an atheist t-shirt. Nor do I have an atheist bumper sticker on my car. I have never seen a Jewish t-shirt. Or an Islamic one. Or Buddhist, Shinto, animist, you name it.
So I let my mind wander (Danger, Will Robinson!). Why are Christians slapping their slogans on everything? Chappie’sidea (and it’s a good one) is that they are, basically, flashing a gang sign. I remember being in a production of Godspell when I was younger, and seem to remember a line in there about not hiding your light under a bushel.
But maybe it has more to do with (as the Spanish Inquisitor pointed out) insecurity. Not saying ‘Merry Christmas’ is an attack. Not letting the government pay for religious activities is an attack. The existence of gays or atheists is an attack. Anything that does not agree with a Christian’s personal world view is an attack (I am overgeneralizing but, let’s face it, the Christians who are not feeling attacked are not, according to the ones feeling attacked, real Christians (When is the last time you saw a Unitarian upset about the phrase, ‘Happy Holidays’?)).
Do they view reality as an attack because they know, deep down, that reality and their faith do not agree? Do they realize that, by any sane evaluation, religion is bullshit? Are they lashing out to protect their fragile version of the world? Are overoffensensitivity, bumper stickers, Jesus fish and Christian t-shirts just part of a well-developed anti-reality defense system? Did I just make up a word? Perhaps the Bard himself got it right: “Methinks he doth protest too much?”
Next time you see a Christian t-shirt (luckily, I have to wait until it gets warmer up here (say, around Independence Day)), bumper sticker, Jesus fish, or a Christian taking offense at reality, ask yourself: “Why Are Christian Overcompensating?” And the great thing is, the phrase is easy to remember: WACO!
Update: I read this post to (((Wife))) and she began laughing. I asked why she was laughing. She said, “Look at your t-shirt.” I was wearing on of my black ‘Federal Officer’ t-shirts. But only as an undershirt. It wasn’t exposed outside the house. Honest.