Cellphone video recently captured a confrontation between a Mall of America security guard and a man wearing a “Jesus Saves” T-shirt. Reports have since revealed that the guard informed the man that his shirt was causing offense to other shoppers, ordering him to remove it or leave the mall.
Alpha News, an independent publication covering Minnesota news, published two clips showing the man in discussion with security guards near the mall’s rotunda. One of these had been livestreamed to Facebook on 7th January. The back of the man’s t-shirt was emblazoned with “Jesus is the only way” followed by a crossed out ‘coexist’ symbol.
The guard told him that “Jesus is associated with religion, and it’s offending people,” adding that they had received complaints from customers who were offended by it. He then offered two options: either take off the shirt or leave the mall. The man protested, arguing he hadn’t said anything; he had just gone to Macy’s.
At this point, the guard raised his voice and declared that if he wanted to shop at Mall of America, he would need to remove his shirt as religious soliciting is strictly prohibited on private property. The man asked what was wrong with his t-shirt and why it offended people, but there was no response from security personnel before another clip ends with both parties going their separate ways – although it is unclear whether or not he left the mall in question.
Mall of America has clear policies regarding what constitutes inappropriate attire, including clothing featuring obscene language or slurs which could create a disturbance – which can include offensive religious apparel like this ‘Jesus Saves’ T-shirt too. Despite numerous calls and emails sent by Alpha News requesting comment from Mall of America last week there was no response from them in regard to this particular incident.
In light of all this, Bloomington Patriots are now organizing a demonstration at the famous shopping center on 4th February in support of this individual’s right to wear clothes featuring religious messages without fear of discrimination or being asked to leave. Although Alpha News reported that some online sources suggested he may have eventually been allowed back into Mall of America wearing his T-shirt after all, there has been no official confirmation or clarification yet from any member of staff at the mall itself in relation this matter since then either.