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-   -   This shirt is illegal in 52 countries (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=577991)

Captain Lance Murdoch 09-12-2010 10:10 AM

This shirt is illegal in 52 countries
 
As I walked into a grocery store yesterday I saw someone wearing a shirt that had a cross on it and said, "This shirt is illegal in 52 countries."

I'm wondering what the actual number is. In what countries would wearing a shirt with a cross on it get you into hot water with the law. I have no doubt it's a number far lower than 52.

I would imagine that North Korea would not tolerate such a thing. Saudi Arabia seems a likely candidate as well.

In Iran Christianity is not banned, but promoting it to Muslims is. So the shirt would be in a kind of gray area. It could very well get you into legal trouble there.

Others?

Bijou Drains 09-12-2010 10:33 AM

It was closer to 52 before communism collapsed. The old Eastern block was not very big on religion. But even then 52 seems high.

TriPolar 09-12-2010 10:41 AM

You can also get in trouble for wearing a Phil Silvers tshirt in China. Seriously, it's happened.

Bijou Drains 09-12-2010 10:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TriPolar (Post 12905662)
You can also get in trouble for wearing a Phil Silvers tshirt in China. Seriously, it's happened.

Because they think it's a picture of the Dalai Lama

TriPolar 09-12-2010 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bijou Drains (Post 12905665)
Because they think it's a picture of the Dalai Lama

:D

BrightNShiny 09-12-2010 10:50 AM

I think the shirt may be put out by an outfit called Voice of the Martyrs. Here's the map. If it is them, and these are the countries they have in mind, then I think the statement is simply not true.

Dallas Jones 09-12-2010 10:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bijou Drains (Post 12905665)
Because they think it's a picture of the Dalai Lama

Technically the Dalai Lama is merely the reincarnation of Phil Silvers.

Ichbin Dubist 09-12-2010 10:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrightNShiny (Post 12905686)
If it is them, and these are the countries they have in mind, then I think the statement is simply not true.

For one thing, Mexico is on their list because the Christians are being persecuted by ... Catholics. There may be another interpretation of this.

Captain Amazing 09-12-2010 10:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ichbin Dubist (Post 12905698)
For one thing, Mexico is on their list because the Christians are being persecuted by ... Catholics. There may be another interpretation of this.

The two aren't mutually exclusive. An area could be Catholic and persecute other Christian groups.

BrightNShiny 09-12-2010 11:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ichbin Dubist (Post 12905698)
Quote:

Originally Posted by BrightNShiny (Post 12905686)
If it is them, and these are the countries they have in mind, then I think the statement is simply not true.

For one thing, Mexico is on their list because the Christians are being persecuted by ... Catholics. There may be another interpretation of this.

That's one of the examples I was thinking of. Every version of the shirt I've seen has a cross and perhaps a Bible quote on it. I really doubt any Mexican state is going to ban a t-shirt with a cross and a Bible quote on it (somebody is going to have to provide me a cite on that one before I'll believe it). I have no idea if evangelicals are indeed being persecuted in Chiapas. But persecution by non-state actors (who are not empowered to make anything illegal) in Chiapas (which is a state, not a country) is not the same thing as banning a t-shirt in a country.

Ichbin Dubist 09-12-2010 11:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain Amazing (Post 12905711)
The two aren't mutually exclusive. An area could be Catholic and persecute other Christian groups.

But implying that Christianity or displaying the cross is illegal in Mexico because of this problem in one small area is a vast overstatement. (On edit, what BrightNShiny said.)

TriPolar 09-12-2010 11:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ichbin Dubist (Post 12905729)
But implying that Christianity or displaying the cross is illegal in Mexico because of this problem in one small area is a vast overstatement. (On edit, what BrightNShiny said.)

Are you questioning the truthiness of the shirt itself?:dubious:

Kamino Neko 09-12-2010 11:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ichbin Dubist (Post 12905729)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain Amazing (Post 12905711)
The two aren't mutually exclusive. An area could be Catholic and persecute other Christian groups.

But implying that Christianity or displaying the cross is illegal in Mexico because of this problem in one small area is a vast overstatement. (On edit, what BrightNShiny said.)

Especially since the people who are doing the persecution ARE Christians, who will happily display a cross themselves.

Slithy Tove 09-12-2010 11:32 AM

What is the word or phrase for performing an act of bravery or defiance in a venue that requires no actual danger or sacrifice?

TriPolar 09-12-2010 11:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slithy Tove (Post 12905786)
What is the word or phrase for performing an act of bravery or defiance in a venue that requires no actual danger or sacrifice?

Teabagging

The Tao's Revenge 09-12-2010 12:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slithy Tove (Post 12905786)
What is the word or phrase for performing an act of bravery or defiance in a venue that requires no actual danger or sacrifice?

Is Masturbation too many letters to fit?

Czarcasm 09-12-2010 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Tao's Revenge (Post 12905878)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Slithy Tove (Post 12905786)
What is the word or phrase for performing an act of bravery or defiance in a venue that requires no actual danger or sacrifice?

Is Masturbation too many letters to fit?

It is a bit of a handful, yes.

outlierrn 09-12-2010 01:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ghardester (Post 12905688)
Technically the Dalai Lama is merely the reincarnation of Phil Silvers.

Well sure, but who isn't?

Chronos 09-12-2010 01:17 PM

I count 55 countries on that Voice of the Martyrs map, which is presumably pretty much the same list of countries that the shirt is referring to. So you'd have to show that, in almost every single one of those countries where Christians are harassed in any way by anyone, it's illegal to wear a shirt with a cross on it.

Musicat 09-12-2010 01:44 PM

While Chronos is right about the "shirt is illegal" statement, it's depressing to read the text for many of those countries. Even if the shirt isn't illegal there, Christianity and other religions appear to be heavily and brutally persecuted, mostly by Islamic idealists.

panache45 09-12-2010 02:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ghardester (Post 12905688)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bijou Drains (Post 12905665)
Because they think it's a picture of the Dalai Lama

Technically the Dalai Lama is merely the reincarnation of Phil Silvers.

But Phil Silvers didn't die until 1985 . . . or so we've been told. Seriously, has anyone ever seen them together?

US Bureau of Labor Statistics 09-12-2010 02:32 PM

I remember that somebody printed a similar shirt with the DeCSS code on it. DeCSS is a small computer program that will decrypt DVDs; per many nations' modern copyright acts (DMCA, etc) it is illegal to possess or distribute DRM-breaking tools.

The shortest implementation of DeCSS was about 500 characters, or small enough to fit on a shirt, so some group printed them up with the same "This shirt is illegal in N countries" slogan.

Derleth 09-12-2010 02:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by US Bureau of Labor Statistics (Post 12906228)
I remember that somebody printed a similar shirt with the DeCSS code on it. DeCSS is a small computer program that will decrypt DVDs; per many nations' modern copyright acts (DMCA, etc) it is illegal to possess or distribute DRM-breaking tools.

The shortest implementation of DeCSS was about 500 characters, or small enough to fit on a shirt, so some group printed them up with the same "This shirt is illegal in N countries" slogan.

People did much the same thing with an implementation of RSA, a strong encryption algorithm, back when exporting strong encryption from America was illegal. However, those shirts didn't say "This shirt is illegal", they said "This shirt is a munition", as that's what the American government classified strong encryption as.

It's still illegal, to the best of my knowledge, to export something like RSA to North Korea. However, the days of having to download the strong version of GPG from a site in Canada are long over. (Yes, even if you were an American citizen in America: You can't reliably tell where someone is over the Internet, and nobody wanted to take chances.)

Chronos: There are Christians who feel 'harassed' by the fact atheists exist and aren't afraid to win debates anymore.

digs 09-12-2010 02:51 PM

Can you IMAGINE wearing a shirt with a phrase on it, that if someone passed you and said "Prove it." you COULDN'T?

That would evidence a very low regard for the truth to me.

I'm a Christian, and I could never wear that shirt. It's like screaming "Hey! Christianity is Intellectually Lazy!"

Great marketing, Christendom.

The Tao's Revenge 09-12-2010 02:52 PM

Damn it now I gotta get the DeCSS shirt. Talk about awesome.

Palo Verde 09-12-2010 03:11 PM

That list also includes Belarus, which by their own stats is 78% Christian.

Bogus

capybara 09-12-2010 03:21 PM

And the Philippines and Venezuela. More of those awful Catholics?

Mahaloth 09-12-2010 03:22 PM

Here is the shirt, folks.

Illegal Shirt

Apparently:
Quote:


The front of this T-shirt also states "Restricted Nations: 38" and "Hostile Areas: 14." On the back, Romans 1:16 proclaims, "I am not ashamed of the Gospel..."

yabob 09-12-2010 03:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by capybara (Post 12906381)
And the Philippines and Venezuela. More of those awful Catholics?

Actually, If you're referring to the persecution.com map, the country marked is Columbia. Same point to be made. They're referring to the activities of the FARC.

Markxxx 09-12-2010 03:39 PM

Is there a list of countries where wearing a cross; in any form, in public; would be trouble?

guizot 09-12-2010 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TriPolar (Post 12905662)
You can also get in trouble for wearing a Phil Silvers tshirt in China. Seriously, it's happened.

Here's a thread from 2003. However, the incident with the British tourist occurred in 1984, not 1991.

And really, it's more bewildering to me that a British tourist would even have a shirt with Phil Sliver's face on it.

TriPolar 09-12-2010 03:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by guizot (Post 12906444)
Quote:

Originally Posted by TriPolar (Post 12905662)
You can also get in trouble for wearing a Phil Silvers tshirt in China. Seriously, it's happened.

Here's a thread from 2003. However, the incident with the British tourist occurred in 1984, not 1991.

I forgot when I said it happened in 1991, could you remind me?

Quote:

And really, it's more bewildering to me that a British tourist would even have a shirt with Phil Sliver's face on it.
Why? I've met several British people who could in theory appreciate Phil Silvers, and several more who would wear tshirts with a person's face on it. Did you just mean it seemed improbable, as opposed to it being bewildering?

guizot 09-12-2010 03:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ichbin Dubist (Post 12905698)
Quote:

Originally Posted by BrightNShiny (Post 12905686)
If it is them, and these are the countries they have in mind, then I think the statement is simply not true.

For one thing, Mexico is on their list because the Christians are being persecuted by ... Catholics. There may be another interpretation of this.

Then those Catholics better get cracking on all of those crosses they have hanging up behind their pagan, humanist alters.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Voice of the Martyrs
Persecution in Chiapas comes from traditionalist Catholics who resent any threat to their control in the state. Christians face harassment from town leaders and neighbors.

Anti-Evangelist isn't "anti-Christian," and Catholics are just as much Christians as anyone else.

The situation in Chiapas is really political, not religious.

guizot 09-12-2010 03:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TriPolar (Post 12906483)
I forgot when I said it happened in 1991, could you remind me?

You didn't say it; sugaree said it.
Quote:

Originally Posted by TriPolar (Post 12906483)
Did you just mean it seemed improbable, as opposed to it being bewildering?

Both. It was an American TV show that had aired 30 years before. She was a British tourist in China--in 1984.

Doesn't that qualify?

samclem 09-12-2010 04:51 PM

The incident is true, and happened in 1987. A British woman was in Tibet and was wearing a Sgt. Bilko(Phil Silvers) t-shirt. The series had recently been in syndication in Britain and was very popular.

She was pedalling through Tibet when a crowd of Tibetans were around her shouting "Dalai Lama" and a soldier tried to rip off her t-shirt.

even sven 09-12-2010 05:00 PM

Utter BS. While Nigeria does indeed have Muslims and sometimes they don't get along, they have a thriving Christian culture and Christian references are a common part of pop culture in much of the country. The Christian areas of Nigeria are probably among the most actively religious Christian areas in the world. Ethiopia has a long Christian history and is 66% Christian- they even use a version of the old Coptic calender!

I think this shirt is just measuring countries anywhere that have significant Muslim populations, under the assumptions that Musims will automatically persecute Christians.

TriPolar 09-12-2010 05:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by guizot (Post 12906506)
Quote:

Originally Posted by TriPolar (Post 12906483)
I forgot when I said it happened in 1991, could you remind me?

You didn't say it; sugaree said it.
Quote:

Originally Posted by TriPolar (Post 12906483)
Did you just mean it seemed improbable, as opposed to it being bewildering?

Both. It was an American TV show that had aired 30 years before. She was a British tourist in China--in 1984.

Doesn't that qualify?

Why is it bewildering that a British woman would not have great admiration for a great comedic talent. Is this a British thing? Would you be less bewildered if the shirt had a picture of Spike Milligan on it? Or are you an anti-comedite? Would it have been different if the picture was of William Godfrey? I'm bewildered by the dearth of people shouting 'Phil Silvers' when they see a picture of the Dalai Lama.

Smapti 09-12-2010 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slithy Tove (Post 12905786)
What is the word or phrase for performing an act of bravery or defiance in a venue that requires no actual danger or sacrifice?

Slacktivism?

digs 09-12-2010 11:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mahaloth (Post 12906383)
Here is the shirt, folks.

Illegal Shirt

The reviews of the shirt just gush about how someone wore this shirt to the county fair and got to witness to so many people...

So I wrote a review, titled But...Is It TRUE?

Quote:

Originally Posted by myself
Too many people today assume Christians are exaggerating or lying to make their point. So what do you say when people ask "Is that true?"
I'd have to check their list of countries-- their map lists Mexico (95% Christian), Colombia (98% Christian) and Belarus (80% Christian) and assumes any muslim country to be anti-Cross (even if there's a strong Christian community that's tolerated). So I'd have to admit "Well, no... it's not exactly true." And that might be a worse witness than a blank T-shirt.


digs 09-13-2010 12:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by digs (Post 12907713)
But...Is It TRUE?

Hmmm... got an email from the "Voice Of The Martyrs" saying my review of the shirt "has been received". But it's not up on the site yet. Looks like it's being vetted, so it may never show up on the VOM site.

Maybe this is how they have all those ultra-positive comments!

Captain Amazing 09-13-2010 12:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by even sven (Post 12906653)
Ethiopia has a long Christian history and is 66% Christian- they even use a version of the old Coptic calender!

But, again, they're not talking about persecution against Christians per se. They're talking about persecution of Evangelical Christians and Evangelical Christian proselytizing. So, in their section on Ethiopia, they say:

Quote:

In Ethiopia, Orthodox Church members harass evangelical Christians. In one case, the body of a Christian baby boy was dug up in the middle of the night and placed on the steps of the evangelical church. The local Orthodox church would not allow the body of the boy to be buried on their church grounds. In addition, young people who receive Christ are sometimes driven from their Orthodox families. In another incident, a man lost his teaching job at a government school after converting to Christianity.
And, in the case of Nigeria, they say:

Quote:

Religious riots are common in northern Nigeria. Churches, Christian schools, homes and businesses are burned and
destroyed by angry rioters during these outbreaks of violence. In February 2009, numerous Christians were killed and more than 500 people were displaced during violence against believers in Bauchi state. Twelve people were also killed and 20 churches were burned in July 2009 when members of an Islamic sect rioted in order to have Shariah law enacted throughout Nigeria. In some cases, young women are kidnapped, compelled to convert to Islam and forcibly married to Muslim men. The kidnappers are then protected by Shariah courts.
And neither of these are defined as "restricted nations" (defined as nations are Christianity is actively persecuted by law), but instead, "hostile areas" (defined as nations where Christianity isn't protected by law, but has areas where Christians are victims of violence because of their active Christianity or proselytism.

Admittedly, the t-shirt doesn't go into that much detail itself, which is why it's a bad idea to rely on t-shirts for in depth study of a subject.

Nava 09-13-2010 01:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by even sven (Post 12906653)
I think this shirt is just measuring countries anywhere that have significant Muslim populations, under the assumptions that Musims will automatically persecute Christians.

Colombia and Mexico?

Looks like they're listing any country where there has been a, uhm, overheated argument between Evangelicals and anybody else and the Evangelicals lost. Wether the Evangelical in question should have shut his mouth when asked to do so for the third time in as many minutes isn't considered: they are the kind of people who think they are entitled, nay, charged with the sacred duty, to harass people so long as it's in the name of religion.

Raguleader 09-13-2010 04:08 AM

Rather than "Prove it", I think I'd simply ask...

"Which ones?"

even sven 09-13-2010 04:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain Amazing (Post 12907769)
But, again, they're not talking about persecution against Christians per se. They're talking about persecution of Evangelical Christians and Evangelical Christian proselytizing.

That's not what they say on their tee-shirt. If they meant "A Christian once lost a fight in 52 countries" it'd be a different story.

Maybe that person in Ethiopia should have thought for a moment before burying their kid in the graveyard of a church they don't even belong to! I'm pretty sure if I tried to claim a space in the local Buddhist cemetery I'd get a similar reception. An isolated incident here and there does not render a country "hostile."

Nigeria does have religious conflict, but it's as much about economics as religion. There is not Sharia law in "much" of Nigeria- Islam and Christianity enjoy a pretty even divide, and the areas that are having trouble with Sharia law are isolated areas that are only loosely controlled by the government. In Christian areas, Christianity is thriving and even aggressive. Evangelizing is not only possible- it's pretty much the norm!

Capitaine Zombie 09-13-2010 07:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TriPolar (Post 12905843)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Slithy Tove (Post 12905786)
What is the word or phrase for performing an act of bravery or defiance in a venue that requires no actual danger or sacrifice?

Teabagging

Haha, best post of the day.

Capitaine Zombie 09-13-2010 07:51 AM

[/QUOTE]

Admittedly, the t-shirt doesn't go into that much detail itself, which is why it's a bad idea to rely on t-shirts for in depth study of a subject.
[/QUOTE]

Darn, there goes my plan to get an higher education.

Captain Amazing 09-13-2010 08:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by even sven (Post 12908028)
Nigeria does have religious conflict, but it's as much about economics as religion. There is not Sharia law in "much" of Nigeria- Islam and Christianity enjoy a pretty even divide, and the areas that are having trouble with Sharia law are isolated areas that are only loosely controlled by the government. In Christian areas, Christianity is thriving and even aggressive. Evangelizing is not only possible- it's pretty much the norm!

Ok, but again, Nigeria is defined by them as a "hostile area", which means there's some part of the country where there's hostility to and persecution against Christians. So, is:

Quote:

Religious riots are common in northern Nigeria. Churches, Christian schools, homes and businesses are burned and destroyed by angry rioters during these outbreaks of violence. In February 2009, numerous Christians were killed and more than 500 people were displaced during violence against believers in Bauchi state. Twelve people were also killed and 20 churches were burned in July 2009 when members of an Islamic sect rioted in order to have Shariah law enacted throughout Nigeria. In some cases, young women are kidnapped, compelled to convert to Islam and forcibly married to Muslim men. The kidnappers are then protected by Shariah courts.
accurate? Because, if it is, that sounds like northern Nigeria, at least, is hostile to Christians. I wouldn't feel safe being a Christian in northern Nigeria if there are riots targeting Christians and if if Christian churches are being burned, and if I have to worry about my daughter being kidnapped and forcibly converted. If that's true, then if I were a Christian in northern Nigeria, it wouldn't be much consolation to me that Christians in southern Nigeria are free from persecution.

Skammer 09-13-2010 08:48 AM

Christian-Muslim violence is common in Nigeria (in both directions). It's true to say that significant parts of Nigeria are hostile to Christians. However, the shirt is a little disingenuous in saying that wearing a cross t-shirt would be illegal (as in many of the Christian but non-Evangelical countries mentioned).

Captain Amazing 09-13-2010 09:05 AM

Which, again, is why you shouldn't rely on t-shirts for accuracy. I think the point of the t-shirt is to get the viewer's attention so they'll ask the wearer about it.

guizot 09-13-2010 09:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TriPolar (Post 12906712)
Why is it bewildering that a British woman would not have great admiration for a great comedic talent. Is this a British thing? Would you be less bewildered if the shirt had a picture of Spike Milligan on it? Or are you an anti-comedite? Would it have been different if the picture was of William Godfrey? I'm bewildered by the dearth of people shouting 'Phil Silvers' when they see a picture of the Dalai Lama.

Take it easy. I'm a Silvers fan, too. He's just probably the last thing I'd put on my shirt while in vacation in China--Dalai Lama or no.


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