By: Tom Westerholm
Christian music festivals are wonderful. They are a chance for underground bands to gain some larger levels of exposure, for large groups of Christians to gather together and worship, for kids to gain 15 pounds from disgusting amounts of fried food.
They are also a hub for vendors selling some of the worst t-shirts I’ve ever seen. From corny sayings to wannabe pop-culture relevant references, these lazy mental excrements were sported proudly all around Lifelight Festival two weeks ago when Cardboard Magazine was in attendance. I was alternately amused, annoyed, and nauseated. Basically, it was the same reaction I had to “The Hangover.”
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a cynical jerk, so I asked Christian rapper KB (who we profiled here) whether or not I was crazy to think that the t-shirts were corny.
“They are terrible,” he said, emphatically. “TERRIBLE. First of all, I think we need to remind our Christian brothers that just because we are Christian doesn’t mean we are exempt from copyright infringement. Second, as Christians, we should throw ourselves in our art for Christ. If you make music, make music. If you make t-shirts, make t-shirts. Don’t go halfway.”
Um. I literally couldn’t say it better. KB specializes in making words into art, I specialize in making dumb fart jokes online. So instead of giving you a thoughtful essay, I’ll just make some snarky comments on a top 10 list. Here are the 10 worst shirts I saw at Lifelight.
Honorable Mention: Fist-pumping for Jesus. I’m including this shirt even though I couldn’t find a picture. This would have been in the top 3, because it doesn’t make sense, and Jersey Shore is the worst. Ugh.
10. 3:16 (Monster Energy Drink design).
I actually really hate Monster Energy Drinks, but this design is kind of clever. The nails turning into the “M” are kinda cool. The only problem, of course, is that the shirt doesn’t make any sense, and it seems to be promising eternal energy to Christians. I can tell you from experience that the Bible doesn’t make you more awake for an 8:55 class. Sorry.
9. The Lord Forgives (Lord of the Rings)
This is easily the laziest design I saw. It barely looks like the LOTR font, and the message, while true, is so uninspired, I actually feel more apathetic from looking at it. As such, I can’t bring myself to put forward enough effort to write something clever. It’s just stupid. So there.
8. FBI in Jesus
I’m just a little disturbed by this one because we’ve all seen the shirts that say “FBI- Female Body Inspector” (HUR HUR HUR, GET IT GUISE?!). Also, the font explaining what FBI stands for is too tiny to read easily. So…female body inspector Jesus? Let’s just move on. Sorry guys.
7. Jesus is my Homeboy
I had no idea these were still relevant. I’m hoping it was ironic, but I saw at least two at Lifelight. Everything about this shirt is dated.
6. Angry Birds
This one gets points for being a kids shirt (and thus more acceptably corny), but immediately loses those points for being available in adult sizes.
5. Addicted to Jesus (Adidas)
This is less corny than other shirts, but look closely at that logo. Um. That’s copy-and-pasted, right? There’s literally no difference whatsoever between that and the actual Adidas logo. See: copyright infringement, above.
4. Hungry For God (The Hunger Games)
If you look closely, you can see the actual Hunger Games mockingjay logo underneath the fiery dove. SHUT UP GUYS, PHOTOSHOP IS HARD. You don’t even know.
3. Souled Out: Total Submission to God (UFC logo)
Get it guys? Total submission to God? See, it’s funny because you submit when you lose in UFC and you need to lose to God. Get it? HURPA DERP.
2. Faithbook (Facebook)
This one fulfills every requirement. A bad pun, a nonsensical punchline (yes, Jesus is your friend, but quite frankly there are a LOT of my Facebook friends who I really don’t like, and even more who I don’t even know), and a pop culture reference that wants so desperately to be relevant that it totally precludes itself from being so, like the dorky kid at a party who makes way too many bad jokes. Not that I would know anything about that or anything.
1. God Wants You To Be Saved (YouTube)
This fulfills all of the same requirements as the Facebook shirt, but the “pun” of Tube sort of rhyming with To Be makes it infinitely worse. If that’s even possible.