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Polis Report

Salvation Rocks

By Richard Sine

During Christian Rock Day at Great America last month, all the kids in line for the Drop Zone looked as grungy and attitudinal as ever, except the No Fear T-shirts actually read "Fear Not," the Mossimo shirts read "Messiah," and Gold's Gym T-shirts read "God's Gym." Another read "Satan Sucks." My personal favorite: "Die, Get Buried, Come Back to Life, NO PROBLEM-O!" The shirt cited 1 Corinthians, as if "NO PROBLEM-O" were literal from the Greek.

The Christian-With-Attitude shirt market has gotten huge in the last couple years; San Jose's Berean Christian Bookstore carries 50 kinds of in-your-face slogans and sells several a day. They were popular at Valley Christian, a local high school, until officials, weary from sorting out the godless from the merely daring, banned
T-shirts altogether.

"Life's Short, Pray Hard" was created by Marcus McClure, youth pastor for San Jose's Calvary Chapel. "It's kind of a witnessing statement," says McClure. "It's in your face, so you'll get a reaction. You might get a conversation going about Jesus, the whole thing."

It's an intriguing idea. Evangelism, the curse of the irredeemably square, twists testosterone capitalism into a philosophical challenge that's actually in your face. In an MTV culture, the kid who wears "No Fear" is a dorky conformist. But the kid who wears "Fear Not"--or its variant, "Fear God"--now, there's a real rebel.

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From the October 10-16, 1996 issue of Metro

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