Life Is Wasted Without Jesus T-Shirt: What's Offensive?
This news item sums up the issue of a 19-year-old Nova Scotia schoolboy suspended, then reinstated because he wore regularly, a t-shirt saying, Life Is Wasted Without Jesus. After returning, his dad pulled him from school.
The articles I read about this matter focus on the t-shirt's message. Comments include: It is offensive; it is exclusionary; it's not personal like, "I believe in Jesus." However, I don't think the message on the t-shirt is the issue. Instead, I think it is our continuing drift to a tolerance level that tries to preclude people from expressing a view about Christianity. Often, I hear Christians classified as homophobic. Never have I heard Christian antagonists called Jesus-phobic or Christo-phobic; have you?
This incident is similar to changing the name of the Christmas tree to the holiday tree; moving to Happy Holidays, from Merry Christmas; preventing prayers in school, and so on.
Ryan Dobson wrote one of my favorite books: Be Intolerant Because Some Things Are Just Stupid. On page 24 he sums up this t-shirt incident:
"Our culture loves a victim. If you can show that you've been picked on, pushed around, inconvenienced, or even slightly embarrassed in gym one day, postmodern wisdom says that you have been pushed to the margins of society. You are a good person deserving of a break..."
I see many t-shirts with messages with which I disagree; some I find offensive. Still, I ignore them, because I am not a victim. I can control only my beliefs. Canadians have become so politically correct that expressing a long held moral belief might land me before a human rights body.
I wonder if this incident happened before the enhanced tolerance era, it would have been an issue? Did the young man act rudely, or otherwise behaved inappropriately? If he did, he should be scolded, and we deal with his behavior, instead of his t-shirt.
The t-shirt states precisely what I believe as a Christian. That's what Christians believe. Some ask why he has to flaunt his beliefs. They say he should keep them private. Why? The more important matter while wearing his t-shirt is this: As a Christian he should respect others, and treat each person as he would like to be treated. As I said before, if he behaved badly, we should deal with his behavior, but let him wear his t-shirt.
Maybe one reason our public education system is a mess is because we have forgotten that it should stress education instead of political correctness.