All of my 365 t-shirts from 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

T-shirt #123: STRYPER

I wear this shirt tonight for a little black and gold representation (Bruins are on later)…I bought this shirt specifically for one of my older brothers Christmas Eve Eve (yes, this is what we called December 23rd in my family, or simply just “Eve Eve”) parties. I will write in more detail about them later, but they involve watching various Christmas cartoons with loved ones and laughing a lot (there will be a MAD LIB story written about, I assure you). I wore it to one of these gatherings because when we were growing up, my younger brother and I would put on these lip-synch rock shows on “Eve Eve” (for an audience of our sisters and sometimes cousins) and sometimes we would perform a Stryper song.

If you don’t know, Stryper ( was one of countless “hair bands” from the 80s. What made them different was they sang about God and Jesus. They sang songs with a positive message and they threw Bibles to the audience. The pick I got (pictured) was from a show at The Centrum in the fall of 1988. Although most of their songs were religious, I never felt like they were shoving “Jesus is the only way” down my throat. Besides, for every “Jesus” message I was getting from Stryper, I was getting a “Do drugs and hang out with strippers” message from Motley Crue. It all evens out in the end…

I liked having Stryper as my ace in the hole for every naysayer of hard rock/heavy metal. Anytime someone would say “that music is evil” or “they are Satanists”, I would tell them about Stryper. Sometimes, I did wonder how “Christian” they were. I know they lived like rock stars. I’m not sure about the drugs and women part of that lifestyle, but I know they all had really nice homes and really nice cars. I wondered what Jesus would think of his message being turned into wealth. Then I think I just said to myself something like “they must do a lot of charity with that money too”…just being hopeful, I guess.

I do know there are people who take Jesus’s message and twist and turn it into something far worse than Stryper. I’m betting that Jesus is not a fan of what The Westboro (not Massachusetts, thank God!) Baptist Church stands for ( I’m betting Jesus doesn’t like anyone associating his name with the hating or cutting off of anyone. I wouldn’t even call myself a Christian (I was raised Catholic, but only go to church for holidays and family things), but I find it amazing that over 2000 years later people are talking about a carpenter. I find it sad when anyone takes their religion and uses it as an excuse to cause harm to anyone.

Just about every major religion has a form of the Golden Rule, “Treat others the way you would like them to treat you”…(see: ). And honestly, if your religion contains this message in some way, I think you can say whatever you want about God. You can call God whatever you want, say whatever person was God in the flesh, and celebrate that God in anyway you want to (which can’t involve harming anyone, because, hey, Golden Rule). What you can’t do is hate people for what their religion is, kill people in the name of your religion, and try to tell people your religion is the only way. What do you think God wants more, for people to believe the “right religion”, or for people to treat each other well? And while we’re on it, atheists, as long as you can follow the Golden Rule, you can continue believing there is no God. If everyone could believe in just treating everyone well, we’d all be good. Ok, more on this later, time to just breathe…

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