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Done God, got the t-shirt

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William Crawley | 18:48 UK time, Friday, 11 September 2009

c1_1479082a.jpgI think this is my personal favourite from the current crop of theologically-informed, intelligently-designed, liturgically-literate evangelistic t-shirts.

The market is apparently growing for theology you can write across your chest.

What slogan would you write across your t-shirt?


  • Comment number 1.

    May I suggest a new tack for them? Why not try to make them *funny* too? Then they might look a bit less lame...

  • Comment number 2.

    Suggestions for T shirts.


  • Comment number 3.


    If we switched around the words, 'GOD' and 'CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS', would it be funny then?

    Beyond that, logos for Chrisitan t-shirts... now, let me see...

  • Comment number 4.

    Aw stuff it!

    Slogan for an evangelical shirt:

    I gave my heart to Jesus at summer camp... and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.

  • Comment number 5.


  • Comment number 6.


  • Comment number 7.

    Does my Faith look big in this?

  • Comment number 8.

    Jesus doesn't do cheap and tacky merchandise... but if he did, this would probably be the cheapest, tackiest merchandise in the world.

  • Comment number 9.

    Christian spelling mistake revealed - Purpose Drivel

  • Comment number 10.

    The animals know best.

  • Comment number 11.


    --What slogan would you write across your t-shirt? ---

    I loved the slogan on the t-shirt already....

    =Dennis Junior=

  • Comment number 12.

    God is definitely not greater than Christopher Hitchens. But he's still a cool dude.

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    Will, whoever's modding your blog this morning seems a bit over-zealous in their interpretation of the "house rules" - my previous post contained nothing contrary to the rules.

    I'll try again.

    Take a verse of the bible, change one letter, put it on a t-shirt.

    e.g. In the beginning was the Worm... (nice evolutionary one ;-)

  • Comment number 15.

    Helio - # 6

    Beautiful, wonderful, awe-inspiring - if the product of chance. If the handiwork of God - designed all wrong.

    Oddly I can see where you are coming from - I'm with the product of chance myself but I wouldn't call evolution beautiful.

    Those who disagree with us could go for simplicity- how about "This is the ultimate DESIGNER Tee" ?

  • Comment number 16.

    Why should evangelicals have all the fun?

    For my fellow Catholics (Anglo and Roman) I would suggest:


  • Comment number 17.

    The slogan on my own tee would read:


  • Comment number 18.

    Oh, evolution is spectacularly beautiful all right - like Christianity, it relies on death to bring forward life (except it's TRUE, and SO much more intellectually satisfying). I can understand why some non-scientists get a bit of a yuk factor, but it's worth the effort; most people can overcome their initial aversion to a low level natural process giving rise to splendid complexity.

    Another T-shirt:

    (and on the back)

  • Comment number 19.

    "Get down on your knees and thank God you're still standing."

  • Comment number 20.


  • Comment number 21.

    Creationists can kiss my Coccyx.

  • Comment number 22.

    God may be greater than Christopher Hitchens but that's not saying much. In my view, dog poop is greater than Christopher Hitchens.

    I think god made more money than Hitchens has so far but Hitchens is doing his best to catch up. I've said before that I don't trust people who've had a epiphany and Hitchens is no exception. He's understood and plays on Americans' need to redeem the sinner and love of the redeemed, especially the self redeemed who came to truth on his own. In Hitchens case the redeemed Communist or Socialist or whatever he was supposed to be in his earlier life. Hitchens would have America (and less importantly the world) believe he saw the light, came to god and conservativism, and so as a result became an American citizen. What more could an American ask of someone in saving himself from the clutches of the devil and eternal damnation. But Hitchens reveals by his views on the Middle East alone that the old Communist American hater and Israel basher is still very much alive and kicking inside his skull, it's just kept well hidden. So he makes his money parading himself on American television news talk shows, giving speeches hawking his books, debating George Gallway on a traveling road show, and exploiting the opportunities of American capitalism to its fullest by singing the song that is music to American ears. The song that is music to his ears is the clanking of gold coins in his personal coffer. One thing we can take note of however and that is that he has been converted from the type of Communist who is the true believer in the cause to the corrpted type who exploits his faith as any opportunist of any stripe does. Welcome to Capitalism Mr. Hitchens. Must be a pleasant change from your assuredly more humble origins where your ideas about life were first molded and then hardened into concrete. Your new velvet exterior does not completely disguise the true underlying shape.

  • Comment number 23.


    That seems like a lot to fit on a t-shirt.

  • Comment number 24.

    Peter, you git! I now have to clean a whole mouthful of half-masticated pasta in mascarpone sauce off my monitor!

  • Comment number 25.


    "I now have to clean a whole mouthful of half-masticated pasta in mascarpone sauce off my monitor!"

    You blasphemous infidel, spitting out PASTA, the FSMs chosen food for mankind! Don't you dare do that during the W&T bloggers dinner, see the doctored cretinists thread.:)

  • Comment number 26.

    PK, I couldn't help myself - I was reading Senator Markie McCarthy's senior moment, and PM came along and made a funny. I appreciate that my actions are probably as sacrilegious as PZ Myers' Crackergate, and I humbly crave the FSM's forgiveness.

  • Comment number 27.

    Helio - interesting post # 16.

    Oddly for someone who is essentially just a rag-tag bag of emotions when I do think I tend to think quite remorselessly and I try not to involve my feelings.

    If you say of a mountain that it is 800 m high you tell us something about the mountain. If you say that it is beautiful you tell us nothing about the mountain but you do tell us something about you, something about your emotional, your felt, response. Call me a silly old purist stick-in-the-mud if you like but I'm not sure what part emotional responses play in Science - I'd always associated them with love, art, - oh - and religion of-course.

    It's said of mountains that 'tis distance lends enchantment to the view. The mechanisms of evolution may look pretty on a slide but the effects of the struggle to propogate in terms of human misery and animal suffering look just as ugly to me when I view them as the result of chance and time (which I do) as they would were I to think a creator responsible (which I do not).

    Then there is your assertion that evolution is true. I am afraid I'm one of those people who think that to assert of a statement that it is true adds nothing of value to that statement. What is truth? A definition might be helpful but what is the true definition of truth? 

    Our minds can make reasonable sense of our physical environment within the constraints imposed by the human brain; we understand enough to make useful predictions and applications based on observation and analysis. We simply do not know, however, to what extent our senses are capable of perceiving the whole of reality nor do we know how capable our brain is of encompassing the totality of existence. 

    If the word 'true' is not, as I think, virtually meaningless then it smacks of hybris, in the absence of a degree of certainty as to our capacity,to say of a theory, however satisfactory, that it is true.


  • Comment number 28.

    Parrhasios, you are entitled to your funny wee view. A lot of people find science a noble and beautiful enterprise, and its findings things of wonder. This is not confined to one side of CP Snow's dichtomy - educated people from the "artistic" side find that too. Yes, there is an emotional response very often - that arises from appreciation of the sheer explanatory scope of science and what we can do with it. It arises very often from the sheer *elegance* of many of the experiments and the mechanisms which they uncover. You have probably led a rather sheltered life, protected from the mind-altering power of science and reason, but I would urge you to perhaps try to read a few issues of Nature (or even New Scientist, the "Heat Magazine" equivalent) to try to see things from the other side.

    I also appreciate art, literature, music etc. I think you're the philistine here.

    The old "limitations of the human brain" canard is getting a bit tired, never mind irrelevant, don't you think?

  • Comment number 29.


    funniest comment on here. Hilarious.

  • Comment number 30.


    I do hope you've managed to clean your monitor H; I must admit to laughing at my own joke, something my dad always warned me against. The mascarpone sauce sounds good, do you have a recipe?

    I can't help noticing your comments to Parrhasios though, and I'm wondering if you have, perhaps, underestimated the phrase, "encompassing the totality of existence."?

    Just a thought. :-)

  • Comment number 31.

    Peter, Tesco's Finest. Our brains do not encompass the totality of existence. That is why we HAVE science - it allows us to build a model that is independent of the wetware. It's like climbing a mountain; we don't have to do it all in one jump - little bits at a time, checking and verifying and testing all the while. I guess this is part of the reason why scientists frequently lose patience with the sort of tedious sophistry that we frequently see emanating from the theological crowd. It's just so *pathetic* in the face of something as enthralling and wide-ranging (and true!) as our modern understanding of evolution, say.

  • Comment number 32.

    Well, this is much more interesting than t-shirts!

    I'm curious; take me through this bit, "science - it allows us to build a model that is independent of the wetware."

    When you say independent of the brain, watdayamean?

  • Comment number 33.

    Helio, thank you for your response. I'm afraid I can't begin by complimenting you on its maturity and the intellectual rigour of its arguments.

    I really didn't expect to hear the "Many people" approach from you - that wouldn't be a variant of a line I rather fancy I've heard you lambast in the past? Then C  P Snow's dichotomy - now that is passe.

    You see I wasn't attacking science - I was accusing you of bad science. When I hear anyone claim truth - in any context - the hairs rise on the back of my neck. 

    The claim to possess truth usually indicates the closure of the mind and the loss of objectivity. When I hear truth, nobility, beauty, and emotional impact all rolled into one then I find it hard to be sure I'm not listening to a religious fanatic. I am pretty certain too that I'm on the receiving end of a projection of need rather than an assessment of evidence.

    For me, science is about understanding what we can of things as they are. It is judgment free: for instance I do not think it is a scientific question to ask if the development of the atom bomb or Zyklon B were noble. Scientific conclusions must be relentless and whether they are beautiful or hideous is of not the slightest import.

    I do generally agree with you about the limitations of the brain actually - except when claims of truth are made. Then I get touchy! I guess my interest in Jordan's breast reduction led me to overlook the articles in Heat reporting that a unified theory of everything had at last been advanced and the nature of human cognition comprehensively sorted. This is not a variant of the 'God of the gaps' argument. It is a proclamation of an open mind. The notion of God has no explanatory power for me and I would not only be astonished but horrified to discover the universe had a creator.

    You were right about one thing though - I am in many ways a philistine (though Brian might prefer the term vandal).

  • Comment number 34.

    You see I wasn't attacking science - I was accusing you of bad science. When I hear anyone claim truth - in any context - the hairs rise on the back of my neck.

    Raise away. I throw that down as a challenge. *I* have the evidence; the conclusion of science is that evolution is a FACT; it *happened*; within the parameters of this discussion, you can take it as *true*. In any scientific situation, if I make a claim, you have the right to make a counterclaim, and fire away with the *evidence*. What you don't have a right to do is indulge in inane belly-rubbing, and I'm afraid that is what you're doing. Yeah, we KNOW you can't prove everything. Big deal. We've moved on - everything is technically provisional, but to overthrow it, you need a *better* idea.

    You don't have one.

    That is true too.

  • Comment number 35.



  • Comment number 36.

    Hi Peter,
    Sorry - missed #32 because of this crunchy premod malarkey. When I say the model is independent of the wetware, that is exactly what I mean. It is like a mathematical formula - it doesn't matter what "conclusions we draw" - it either works or it doesn't. When we interpret data, we interpret it in relation to the *model*, rather than some notion in our brains. Yes, in practice, this process can throw up imperfections and deficits in reasoning, but those themselves are thereby potentially exposed, and available for attack as sub-hypotheses.

    This is why science is NOT "presenting children with the evidence and letting them draw their own conclusions". Such sloppy postmodern nonsense is the basis for a lot of the misunderstanding of science that suffuses much of the "humanities" realm. In science we build models. We thrown data at the models. The models work or don't work, INDEPENDENT of our brains.

    Science is not like literary criticism or theology or some such - there is such a thing as the Wrong Answer. But by way of encouragement, Wrong Answers teach us a lot, not least because we can demonstrate WHY certain answers are wrong, and that often gives us insight into more promising paths. But there is a time to give up on nonsense and move on. That time, for creationism, was in 1859 (or well before).

  • Comment number 37.

    Thanks H,

    So you're saying that the knowledge we gain (through scientific study) is true/accurate whether an individual considers, or believes it to be so or not?

    Is that a fair summary?

    (of course I do have another question!) :-)

    And BTW, you mentioned 1859; for a moment I thought you meant the 'Revival'! Some churches do go on about it.

  • Comment number 38.


    You certainly can get the wrong answer in literary criticism. For example, "Ode on a Grecian Urn" is not about T-shirts.

    If these true models don't exist in the brain, (and are true or false independant from human psychology), where exactly are they?


  • Comment number 39.

    Helio - # 34

    I really thought I had made my position on evolution abundantly clear; indeed I am not sure how I could have made it more clear short of publicly incensing an icon of Darwin.

    What have I ever said which would indicate either that I might wish to overthrow evolution or that I had a better theory up my sleeve? Citations please.

    For the record I accept biological evolution as an eminently satisfactory explanation for the diversity of life-forms on earth.

    What I took you to task over was the wholly unscientific claim of truth. When you write a scientific paper do you usually conclude "Oh, by the way guys, this stuff is true"? I'd be surprised if that were the custom in genetics.

    What does it add to a scientific model to say of it that it is true? The claim of truth is polemical rather than scientific. I would say that, in the case of evolution, you added an otiose unscientific layer to the argument, what I would not hesitate to call a vanity layer, and in so doing you introduced a chink and actually weakened an entirely robust position.

    A tabloid creationist could read our exchange and headline a report Helio concedes - Evolution "technically provisional". That was what you said, wasn't it?

    I am going to have to dash dahling, I've a symphony to compose, an epic to write and my post-modernist digest of the Summa to complete before lunch but one other itsy-bitsy little niggle I must mention.

    We are debating in the context of an ideas blog not a scientific forum. Do you not think it just a tad arrogant to speak of "the parameters of this discussion" as a given when no such parameters have been set-out far less agreed. Maybe it was just a long winded way of making the following statement meaningless? If so point proven.

    Au reservoir Sweeties, au reservoir.

  • Comment number 40.

    Parrhasios, I think it should be abundantly clear from the foregoing that there are certain deficiencies with the philosophical concept of the word "true" that render it a little worse than useless in normal discourse. Yes, this is an ideas blog, but you could do worse than try to understand what people are talking about before launching off on one.

    When I say evolution is "true", I mean it is a fact. It happens, and it has happened. This is what the evidence says; the conclusion, at least superficially, appears unavoidable. OK, you accept this - fair enough. Your quibble seems to be over whether I am justified in using the words "true" and "fact" in a scientific context. Let me spell it out for you. If it is "true" that the planets orbit the sun; if it is "true" that the Earth is a spheroid; if it is "true" that light is composed of photons; if it is "true" that water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen - IF you can use the word "true" for those propositions, then you can use the word "true" for evolution.

    As it happens, yes, I find evolution beautiful. Yes, that reflects my personal response to it. However, the yuk response that I see in some poorly-informed people usually has more to do with religious conditioning than a response based on proper appraisal of this truth, and the elegance of the science that has uncovered it. I think that elegance deserves a wider audience. Why is that a problem for you, or is it?

    Evolution is true. Evolution is beautiful.

    You now understand more about me *and* evolution. Lucky old P!

  • Comment number 41.

    Helio - nothing like a little conflagration to clear the gorse and open up the ground. I think we have at last got to the heart of the matter.

    I actually have no particular difficulties with your using "fact" and "truth" in a scientific context (unnecessary though that would usually be). If all you meant to say was that evolution is an established scientific fact then I whole-heartedly concur and offer you an unreserved apology for the tone of my reaction. I have to ask you though, look at what you wrote, listen to its tone, was that all you meant?

    When we engage in a debate our purpose is to persuade and we choose our words as much for their baggage, what we might call their weight, as for their immediate and surface significance. Truth is a word beloved of orators: it is, as you acknowledge, almost wholly devoid of anything approaching meaning but it is suffused with resonance.

    When many of those with whom you debate use the word "true" they mean much more than merely factual. I rather suspect there is, in their usage, a semantic layer which expresses the sense of partaking in an eternal verity, connecting with the root and ground of things. The truth of which they speak is, too, systematic rather than only particular. I sensed, indeed I understood, in your use of the word a desire (at what level of consciousness I can't be sure) to lay hold of truth's baggage in the cause of "Science". That would be dangerous and that is what I would strenuously oppose.

    Science offers modern Western society a culturally appropriate methodology for understanding ourselves and our environment; applied science has proved itself a very useful tool for effecting change in the life-experience of humanity: its contribution should be recognised and celebrated. Science, however, should not be elevated/relegated to the status of a religion or religion substitute - it is much too powerful and much too dangerous.

    I have no illusions (truth, nobility, beauty) about Science. We should proclaim the achievements, practical and intellectual, of Science but not blindly and not evangelically. Scientists have been every bit as ready as prelates to jump into the beds of tyrannical dictators and exploitative business. The Science led progress of the developed and developing worlds has ruined the habitats and livelihoods of the world's poorest peoples. The unparalleled elegance of Einstein's speculations and formulae were enormously useful in the development of the horror that is atomic weaponry.

    I am arguing against the prettification of science - no peroxide darlings, please!

    I go further. The scientific view of life is not a whole view, certainly not an holistic view of life. Scientific reductionism misses something important about humanity. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. There are things which should not be dissected, things which cannot be dissected. There is understanding which comes from embracing and immersion. There is a truth which lies beyond theory and beyond expression. Some scientists (not all of them dentists) acknowledge this.

    Always good to conclude on a poetic note:

    Enough of Science and of Art;
    Close up those barren leaves;
    Come forth, and bring with you a heart
    That watches and receives

  • Comment number 42.


    You said mathematical models work indepedently of our "wetware".
    So there are non-physical realities then?


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