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A recently circulated video that has gone viral on social media shows a man wearing a neon green "Jesus Saves" T-Shirt being ordered by a security guard to remove the shirt or leave the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The security guard at the nation's most famous shopping center can be heard on the video saying, "If you want to shop here, you need to take off that shirt." The same guard can also be heard saying, "Jesus is associated with religion, and it is offending people. People have been offended. You're walking, wearing that shirt in the form of soliciting and we've had guests come up and say they're offended by your shirt."
So, when is simply wearing a T-shirt considered soliciting? It was earlier this month in Minnesota.
Bloomington, Minnesota, Mall of America.— LockharTVMedia (@LockharTVMedia) January 16, 2023
Security wants man with a Christian shirt to take it off or leave the mall. pic.twitter.com/JJ37kh7i5l
On the back side, the shirt reads, "Jesus is the Only Way," while the popular "coexist symbol" is crossed out, Relevantmagazine.com reported.
A spokesperson for the Mall of America told DailyMail.com that the man was allowed to remain in the Mall following the interaction while still wearing the shirt, despite the fact that the security guard can clearly be heard threatening to boot him from the mall.
"After a brief interaction, the guest was not required to change his shirt and was allowed to remain at the Mall," the mall spokesperson said.
The video has now been shared across social media outlets TikTok and Twitter, while one was livestreamed by Facebook on Jan. 7.
During the intense exchange, three security guards surrounded the man. The man can be heard telling the guards, "I didn't say anything, though. I didn't speak. I didn't say anything. I just went to Macy's."
One of the guards replied, "Again, I'm giving you a couple of options. You can take the shirt off and you go to Macy's and you can do your shopping. Or, you can leave the mall, OK? Those are your only options."
Dailymail.com reported that the guard later claimed the man was engaging in "religious solicitation," which the mall forbids. Mall policies prohibit "inappropriate attire," including apparel that has "obscene language, obscene gestures or racial/religious/ethnic slurs that are likely to create a disturbance."
The man's T-shirt did none of the above.
Dailymail.com reported that the man was asked on a different day to leave the mall because he was preaching. This time, he was simply walking around the mall.
The video posts have caused mass outrage online. A Twitter user, John Mason, said, "I automatically assumed this was overseas, but it's right here in America."
Another user tweeted, "If I ever go to the Mall of America again, I'm wearing the biggest Jesus shirt I can find.
A pastor, Chase Thompson, wrote "He should sue them into oblivion. This wouldn't have happened anywhere in the U.S. until very recently, and it certainly wouldn't have happened if he'd had a pride shirt on and even 50 people complained."
Yet another social media user, @MessiNegus, said: "I'm not even a Christian, but this is crazy! ... UNACCEPTABLE.
Dailymail.com reported that a group called Bloomington Patriots plans to hold a demonstration at the mall on Feb. 4 and is asking attendees to wear "Jesus shirts."
More Minnesota Mayhem
In addition to the incident at the Mall of America, the state of Minnesota has recently made headlines. A story by The Federalist reports that Minnesota will "soon ban faithful Christians, Muslims and Jews from teaching in public schools by requiring that every state-certified teacher 'fosters an environment that ensures student identities such as ... gender identity ... are ... affirmed.'"
The proposed law has already drawn the ire of parents and organizations and will be immediately challenged in state and possibly federal court, a civil liberties' lawyer recently told The Federalist.
"We have lots of parents who are upset b y this sort of thing in schools already," says Doug Seaton, president of Minnesota's Upper Midwest Law Center. "They are going to be even more upset with how their teachers are going to be licensed. Their teachers are gong to have to be faced with hiding their beliefs or getting denied [for a state teaching license]."
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Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.
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