A man who was ordered by security to either take off his “Jesus Saves” t-shirt or leave the Mall of America due to it allegedly offending customers earlier this month was eventually allowed to stick around and keep his shirt on, according to a statement from the shopping mall. Gee, how kind of them to allow the guy to exercise his First Amendment right to free speech. Why is it the security staff was ready to hand more rights to the supposed “offended” shoppers and take them away from the person wearing the shirt?
“The guest referenced in the video was approached by Mall of America security on January 7, 2023. One week prior, he was issued a 24-hour trespass for soliciting guests. After a brief interaction, the guest was not required to change his shirt and was allowed to remain at the Mall,” the mall went on to say in a statement to KARE-TV, according to TheBlaze.
The report then said, “Cellphone video captured the confrontation involving a Mall of America security guard telling the man that his shirt was ‘offending’ shoppers at the famously large mall in Bloomington, Minnesota — and the guard ordered the man to remove the shirt or leave the mall.”
Independent news organization Alpha News, which provides coverage for stories across the state that other outlets often ignore, wrote up a piece about the confrontation which contained a link to a pair of video clips showing the man chatting with security guards by the mall’s rotunda.
The back of the shirt the man was wearing read, “Jesus is the only way” and also includes the “coexist” symbol that is very popular among the hippie-dippie liberal crowd, crossed out.
“Jesus is associated with religion, and it’s offending people,” a security guard goes on to tell the man in one of the video clips, saying that “people have been offended.”
The guard then goes on to deliver an ultimatum to the man, telling him to remove the shirt or leave. This is insane, folks. I’ve never, ever heard of this kind of thing happening in a public mall. The First Amendment is still in effect in a mall, whether or not the people in the joint are boo hooing or not.
“I didn’t say anything, though,” the man responds. “I didn’t speak …. I didn’t say anything. I just went to Macy’s.”
“Again … I’m giving you a couple options: take the shirt off, and you can go to Macy’s, and you can do your shopping — or you can leave the mall, OK? Those are your only options right now,” the guard fires back.
Another cut in the clip shows the guard becoming angry telling the man in a sharp tone, “If you want to shop here, you need to take that shirt off!”
“The man asks what’s wrong with the shirt, and the guard replies — with his voice still raised — that “it is religious soliciting; there is no soliciting allowed on mall property, which is private property!'” he said.
The guard then says, “We’ve had guests come up saying that they’ve been offended by your shirt … take the shirt off, and you can go shopping!”
I automatically assumed this was overseas, but it's right here in America. pic.twitter.com/Q79eUCG7xh
— John Mason (@LivingGodsTruth) January 12, 2023
Here’s another clip that ends with the man in the “Jesus Saves” shirt giving a fist bump to different guard, and the man in the shirt and the guards part ways. It wasn’t clear from the video if the man left the mall or not:
The report from Alpha News explained that the mall has rules against “inappropriate attire,” which includes attire that features “obscene language, obscene gestures or racial/religious/ethnic slurs that are likely to create a disturbance.”
It’s also prohibited to “picketing, demonstrating, soliciting, protesting, or petitioning.”
In light of the treatment the man received at the hands of mall security, an organization called the Bloomington Patriots are planning to hold a demonstration at the shopping center on February 4 and is asking all those who are coming to wear “Jesus shirts.”
The outlet then revealed that the Mall of America once hosted and promoted a drag show for “all ages,” a year ago in the rotunda. Apparently, it’s okay for dudes to dress like ladies, but it’s not okay to rep the King of Kings.