A video was posted across social media and quickly went viral after a man at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota wore what appeared to be a perfectly appropriate t-shirt featuring “Jesus Saves” on the front, along with the Coexist symbol crossed out with “Jesus is the only way” printed below on the back.
One of the security guards would go on to tell the man, “Jesus is associated with religion and it’s offending people.” The security guard then informed the man that the shirt could not be worn inside of the mall, saying “Again sir, it is religious soliciting… There is no soliciting allowed on mall property, which is private property.”
I automatically assumed this was overseas, but it's right here in America. pic.twitter.com/Q79eUCG7xh
— John Mason (@LivingGodsTruth) January 12, 2023
After being asked to leave the mall as a result of his t-shirt, the man films after leaving, saying he was kicked out for “preaching the gospel.” The man would then be given a “24-hour trespass for soliciting guests,” according to the Mall of America.
The Mall of America’s website states that “picketing, demonstrating, soliciting, protesting or petitioning” are not allowed at the Mall of America, and that the man’s shirt, in the opinion of the mall, fell under the category of “soliciting.”
Of course, this logic is completely ridiculous. Just as someone isn’t “soliciting” by wearing a t-shirt of their favorite band, clothing brand, or any other design with a purpose, a t-shirt saying “Jesus Saves” is not soliciting – the t-shirt also lacked a phone number to call or someone to contact on the shirt if someone did feel included to hear out the alleged solicitation. With no phone number to call, no products being listed, and no way to contact anyone to sell to products to Mall of America customers, the t-shirt, by definition, was not an attempt to solicit. By this standard, anyone wearing a necklace with a Christian Cross, or any other religious symbol, would also have to be kicked out for offending customers.