The Fashion Of The Christ

« February 2009 »

Memo to the Passion For Christ Movement: REALLY?

I will be the first to admit that there are a ton of things I don't understand about religion. How people who are otherwise perfectly normal can not only believe things for which there is no evidence, but actually build an entire life around that belief, letting it consume chunks of their free time. But this is a benign bemusement, not an actual objection. Other people's hobbies don't trouble me unless they're telling me about them in detail and/or trying to convince me to take them up.

One step beyond my generally passive bemusement at religion is the mild amusement/irritation I have at religious culture, which is all-too-frequently regular culture with all the fun taken out and replaced with the love of Jesus. Religion makes people make bad cultural choices, and I wouldn't be working my way up to this intro were I not planning to discuss the latest in happening street wear, the Passion For Christ Ministry's "Ex-" shirts.

Hey, young adults! Are there things you used to do, and now don't do anymore because you love Jesus? Well, for just ten dollars, every single person whose eyes cross the front of your torso will know you used to do it too! And they won't be able to look away, because the t-shirts are bold primary colors with some seriously ugly lettering on the front! I believe, in the interests of laziness, I will simply list the available Ex- slogans and allow you to enjoy the resulting snark segue-free.

The Ex-Diva shirt (women only): so that when people find your constant Jesus talk irritating, they'll know they weren't any better off BEFORE you found religion.

The Ex-Hustler shirt (men only): Presumably the counterpart to the Diva shirt. According to the t-shirt, you can wear this even if you aren't a former crack dealer, since "we all tried to hustle God". Which isn't actually true, but it would make for a great sequel to that pool-hall classic, "The Color Of Money".

The Ex-Homosexual shirt (no genders listed): This is awesome. Every other shirt is either listed as "men only", "women only", or "mens and womens", but the ex-gay shirt is completely sexless, just like the poor repressed homo stuffed into it. Order one if you have ankle injuries and can't tap your feet in airport bathrooms. On a related note, the Ex-Homosexual shirt's only description is "Coming Soon". I bet they are.

The Ex-Hypocrite shirt: Apparently for church-goers who have given up sinning during the six and a half days a week there isn't a priest watching them. Good for you, ex-hypocrites! Now you're not engaging in good behavior because you're afraid of being caught and punished, you're just doing it to keep Jesus from sending you to hell.

The Ex-Atheist shirt: Completely unnecessary, as any former atheists who converted so deeply they'd proudly wear an Ex-Atheist shirt are mentally and physically incapable of not telling you they used to be an atheist ten times a minute. The only one of these shirts I actively encourage people to wear, because if you're heading toward me, I'd like a thirty-foot head start.

The Ex-Fornicator shirt: Includes a handy note on sizing: "You may want to order a size up if you want a more looser fit." Right. Or if you want to wear it to the reception after your second-term shotgun wedding. Wearing this shirt is a very, very bad idea if you have a lot of exes.

The Ex-Rebel shirt: Costs slightly more than the other shirts, because "This Shirt Is Redundant" is printed on the back, and "This Shirt Is Redundant" is printed in smaller type on both sleeves.

The Ex-Slave shirt: Want to make any party you attend awkward? Then wear the Ex-Slave shirt to your next party, and spend the whole time explaining to everyone that it means you're no longer a slave to your passions and pleasures. Bonus awkward points if you're white.

The Ex-Masturbator shirt: The cream of the crop, if you will. The frosting on the cupcake, again, if you will. And it's all-cotton, so if you use it to clean up afterwards, one wash and the shirt will be true again! A shirt so important there are references to websites and articles instead of a description, because there simply wasn't enough room in the online description to explain how important it is for the world to know you don't touch your junk anymore. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"I figure if a few thousand of the millions here on Myspace can expose their breast, proposition you for sex, have degrading music, and nakedness can have the audacity to request me as a friend , then I can say MASTURBATION and tell the truth about it!" - "Dr. Ty", of Christian hip-hop blog DaSouth, whose doctorate is clearly not in sentence structure.

One of the P4CM young adults in their embedded video says that people don't talk about masturbation because it's "shameful", and these shirts are "breaking the silence". That's not really true. People don't talk about masturbation because it's PRIVATE. Don't break the fucking silence about masturbation, dumbasses. We need that silence. That silence is the only thing keeping me from hearing about OTHER PEOPLE MASTURBATING. Or not masturbating. Either way, I love that silence. I cherish that silence. Every single day I don't hear someone else talk about masturbation, I put a gold star on my calendar.

But no gold stars today, Passion For Christ Movement! Not for me, not for my thousands of readers, and not for the millions of others your ridiculous shirts will be reaching. Why couldn't your newfound "hands-off" approach have extended all the way to t-shirt design?