Tonight we went to a shin-dig; an exhibition for furniture design students, one of them being a friend of ours.
It’s the kind of event you expect to see an eclectic bunch of folks. And I like to think I’m pretty open-minded about most fashion choices.
Until, of course, those choices directly impact on me or those around me.
There was a bloke there wearing a t-shirt with a picture of a nun in the middle of some sexually explicit act (admittedly, such was my offense, I didn’t linger on the image so cannot be sure of the exact nature of the act) and on the back…
Now, before I state this, please know that some of you may be quite offended at this, as I was. However:
On the back of the shirt, in large, no-chance-of-missing-it writing: Jesus is a c—.
I hate that I’ve just had to write that, but there you go.
So. Some of you may be Christian, some of you may not. Some of you may be Jewish or Hindu or Muslim or atheist or whatever.
I just think that perhaps we should all be a little bit respectful. I mean, I wouldn’t go around wearing a shirt that I knew others would find offensive, because I have respect for my fellow humans.
I believe in respect for all, even those bastard satanic types (yep, I said it) who think it’s a grand idea to display hatred of a religious figure they shouldn’t give a damn about on their shirts.
Can you tell I’ve had some experience with satanists shoving their Christian-hatred views in my face?
In high school a group of kids, who I shall call Emo’s, only because I know that description will piss them off, thought it’d be a great idea to display a picture of satan one of them had drawn in the Year Twelve common room.
This was a space Year Twelve’s hung out. All of us. My home town being the multicultural place it was and still is, there was quite the mix of religions. All of which were offended by this poster.
So we asked the group nicely to take it down as it offended us.
They said no. Not simply no – there were some derogatory comments towards Jesus in their response – but the outcome was that they refused to take it down.
The rest of us put our heads together to decide what to do. None of us could stand being in a room with satan staring down at us. It wasn’t the picture so much that offended us, it was the lack of respect the people who put it there were showing their classmates.
We thought about putting a picture of Jesus up in the room as a way of retaliation. But we decided against it because that wouldn’t be fair to the atheists and muslims.
So it was decided, in an act that I now see as a little mean, to write on the bottom of the poster: God Loves You. It was either that or God Forgives You. I can’t exactly remember, being so long ago. We didn’t write it in big writing, and made sure it was on the outside border of the picture. But still, it was there.
It was enough to infuriate the satanists who took it down immediately. Job done.
Thing is, we shouldn’t have had to have done it in the first place because the picture, in my opinion, should never have been displayed.
This guy today obviously wanted to cause outrage with his shirt, for why else would he be wearing it to a public event where the parents of the students involved were in attendance?
And I was offended, clearly, or else I wouldn’t be writing about it now. What I can’t come to terms with is why someone would want to be that offensive and hurtful to the beliefs and opinions of others around him.
On the flip side, this guy could have found me just as offensive with a crucifix dangling from my neck. I see it as my right as a Catholic to wear a token of my faith. Perhaps he views the wearing of his t-shirt as his right, too.
My sister always likes to remind me of a Ricky Gervais quote: ‘just because you’re offended, doesn’t mean you’re right.’ Yes, I’m offended. Perhaps I’m not right. Is my crucifix the same as his Jesus is a c— t-shirt? Am I being too precious?
Or should that guy perhaps thought a little longer about his fashion choice before walking out the door to attend a public event?