by Dr. D ~ May 5th, 2012
According to a Canadian school, a Jesus shirt is ‘hate speech’ and wearing one can get you in trouble and even suspended.
William Swinimer, a student at Forest Heights Community School in Nova Scotia, was punished for wearing a shirt that read, “Life is wasted without Jesus.” The shirt is a reference to a passage of Scripture from the New Testament.
Swinimer told Fox News that he was told the shirt was a form of “hate talk.”
“I’ve been told by my principal that it is hate talk and is disrespectful to other people’s religions,” Swinimer said. “She said it (the shirt) cannot be in school because people would get offended.”
The school board superintendent, Nancy Pynch-Worthylake says that the shirt is “problematic..” since it seems to target unbelievers:
“If I have an expression that says, ‘My life is enhanced with Jesus,’ then there’s no issue with that, everybody is able to quickly understand that that’s my opinion about my own belief,” she told the newspaper. “If the shirt were to say, ‘Without Jesus, your life is a complete waste,’ then that’s clear that it is an opinion aimed at somebody else’s belief.”
However, Swimimer believes that there is really an underlying bias against Christianity and Christians by the school authorities:
“I’ve found that they have dissed Christianity quite a bit,” he said. “I do not want to be disrespectful of anybody else’s religions. I don’t want to put down anybody’s opinions. All I want to do is stand up for rights and freedoms of Canadians.”
“They treat other religions differently than they do Christianity,” he said. “The staff and principal and school board have been very hostile toward Christianity.”
But, he said, they promote other religions in the school.
“If they can pick on Christians in this school, what can they pick next?” he wondered. “Christianity in that school is not being treated the same way. I’m being discriminated against because of my religion.”
The school does not have an official dress code and according to William Swinimer students there wear a variety of t-shirts with different messages but his Christian shirts seem to be singled out and get him sent to the office.
Response: In this case, it is the designation of Jesus shirts as ‘hate speech’ which is really offensive. Are Christian shirts actual ‘hate speech’? Hardly. The wearers are actually demonstrating their concern for the destiny of all those around them in this life and the life to come. There is no intention to offend anyone only to get folks thinking and maybe to create a dialog in which one can share their faith.
Only diehard secularists are ever really offended. Most who disagree with t-shirt messages in the real world just laugh them off. For instance, when I see young people today wearing a ‘Mao’ or ‘Che Guevara’ shirt it causes me to chuckle to myself about how little they really must know about their supposed ‘hero.’ However, many academicians do not seem to live in the real world but in a PC facsimile and reality of their own making.
While the school in this story is in Canada, many districts in the USA have dress codes that restrict the wearing of t-shirts with messages. I have come across a number of instances here where ‘Jesus’ shirts were included on the list of forbidden wear.
For me, the problem comes when Christian shirts are singled out as contraband while other religious and philosophical shirts continue to be allowed. I really wonder what these folks in Nova Scotia would do if a Muslim student wore a t-shirt proclaiming ‘Allah is the one true God and Muhammad is his prophet’? I’m sure they would let it stand in the name of toleration and combating so-called ‘Islamophobia.’
What really bothers me is situations where Christians like this student are singled out for actual persecution. When sharing ones Christian faith is now considered ‘hate speech’ in the minds of secular academicians who have created some sort of alternate reality. Where Christianity is designated as ‘offensive’ while everything else gets a pass in the name of PC toleration.