You can be skeptical and friendly at the same time.
Follow Patheos Atheist:
I didn’t realize how much awful Jesus Junk there actually was!
The Redheaded Skeptic has example after example of cheesy Christian clothing:
And there’s more where those came from…
This is discussed in the opening chapter of the excellent Rapture Ready by Daniel Radosh. He has a website with some more examples
I actually really like Jesus Junk, I think it’s hilarious. A guilty pleasure. Some of my friends buy them for irony’s sake.
I want a “Meant to Die” shirt. It’s almost sinister in its nonchalant reference to the death of another human being, even if it is Jesus.
A quick Google search for “Christian t-shirt” will yield all kinds of horror inducing results.
Thanks for the link to Laura’s site! Very thoughtful writing.
I hope Subway sues. They sued Cafe Press for the “Zombie: Eat Flesh” shirts.
When the article mentioned Jesus junk I thought it would be about a holy jock strap.
The people that come up with these t-shirt slogans have to be the same people who come up with Church sign phrases.
I had a ‘Spirit’ bumper sticker. I printed it off myself. I thought I was so clever and edgy
My daughter and I saw “Testa-Mints” at Hobby Lobby today while shopping for chains to goth up some of her black pants. Apparently, it is gum with the “plan of salvation” printed on it. We strained to hold back our mocking laughter.
She used some of her Christmas present money to buy a pack to give to her (also atheist) dad. It is going to be awesome to see his face when he sees them.
Ugh, my brothers friend was wearing a “Jesus Freak” shirt when we met. SO AWFUL!
This one made me laugh once I read the small text:
Lol, I had just read the last “Jesus junk” post when I went to visit the relatives for Christmas, and what was my little cousin wearing but a GAP shirt–”God Answers Prayers”
It was difficult not to laugh.
You guys realize that in order to prevail in a lawsuit that you need to show damages i.e. dillution to the trademark.
Some of these are so bad that I had to think for a time what mark they were trying to copy.
A lot of companies have teams of people that watch for folks doing things that damage their marks.
I agree these things are tasteless and insane but I don’t think we need to be concern trolling for the companies behind these marks.
Ron in Houston:
So what about when Subway sued the Zombway people?
I’m convinced that the people who make “Jesus Junk” won’t be sued simply because it’s religious-wear, and if they were to sue them, all hell would break loose on those companies.
It’s probably less damaging that way.
What, you mean something like this?
All of the examples of Jesus Junk so far displayed on this website, and nearly all of the examples I was able to find via google are readily distinguishable from real corporate logos. I say this as a person who avoids advertising like the plague that it is, and is therefor not as familiar with corporate logos as most people are. I have seen no evidence that a large number of people mistake Jesus Junk as being connected with the corporate entities whose logos they imitate. I have also seen no evidence that the “Zombies: Eat Flesh” shirt on cafepress was mistaken for an official Subway promotion. As long as such evidence continues to be lacking, it is grotesquely immoral for corporations to use their money to attack the free speech of others – whether those others use it to sell hideous Jesus Junk, or make a zombie joke.
There are many satirical attacks on religion which are highly effective precisely because there is a strong resemblance between the satire and what some religions actually advocate. In my view, the resemblance between those religions, and the work of those who satirize them is similar to the resemblance between Jesus Junk and and real corporate logos. (Although there is less resemblance between Jesus Junk and real corporate logos.) It seems to me that a legal framework which enables corporations to sue Jesus Junk would likely enable religions to sue accurate satirical attacks on those religions.
Radosh’s book indeed highlights “Jesus junk.” The interesting part: According to people that Radosh interviewed, a number of people inside the industry dislike Jesus junk. Outside the Jesus junk, there are people trying to create genuine artistic and/or commercial products, but they have to deal with the “Jesus junk” stereotype.
Band: Atomic Opera
Song: Jesus Junk
I want a Virgin Mary nightlamp
Bible hero lunch box
The Shroud of Turin on my wristwatch
Only listen to Christian … Rock
Gospel Cola in the morning
Then make my Velvet Jesus Bed
I want some Holy Trini-Tea Bags
Covenant Candy fish … and loaves of bread
Gold plated Crown of Thorns Messiah Ring
Belt buckle’s a decending dove
Hang a chrome fish on my truck
They’ll know we’re Christians by our love
… Of junk
All my Jesus Junk
Yeah, my Jesus Junk
A Jesus Junkie
Give me a piece of the true cross
The thigh bone of a saint
I long for something Holy
This sub-culture ain’t … real
Testa Mints to make my breath fresh
Bible Gum and Christian science fiction Where Jesus turns wine into water.
Ok, they have gone too far in their parody products.
Back when I was Catholic, I went on “mission trips” (the building-houses-for-poor-people kind, not the converting-others-to-my-way-of-thinking kind, luckily) and each year we had matching shirts:
-On a bright yellow shirt with a blue fish resembling Dori from Finding Nemo: “Just keep serving! Just keep serving!” with a “Finding God” logo in the same shape and color as the Finding Nemo logo.
Serving others in the name of the Lord…priceless”
-”A bread crumb and fish”, resembling Ambercrombie & Fitch
An in-your-face Evangelical former co-worker of mine owned, and wore, a vast collection of Jesus junk t-shirts like this. He was also one of the sneakiest, most vindictive, least ethical people I’ve ever met–the 3-dimensional, walking, talking equivalent of a Jesusfish in the window of a payday loan operation.
Not that everyone who goes in for this sort of stuff is that way, of course. Irreparably wounded in the taste buds, though? Most likely.
Follow Patheos on
Copyright 2008-2014, Patheos. All rights reserved.