Festival Freedom

KLOVE Main StageI had a great time on Saturday down at the Spirit West Coast music festival. I’m an avid listener of KLOVE, a Christian music station, and I finally got down to Monterey to experience this annual event. I listened to bands on four different music stages and saw innumerable clever T-shirts.

I’m not an evangelical Christian, so the “Jesus Freak” T-shirts didn’t appeal. But I did appreciate the subtle Ephraim T-shirts, with the subtitle, “Faithful to the Unfaithful.” I loved this one:

I have the right
to remain silent
about Jesus
but I won’t.

As I was driving home, it occurred to me that the festival was in a lot of ways like a gay pride festival I went to years ago. Both festivals were really fun gatherings of communities. Both had music and life-or-death charities. The T-shirt I remember from that one was this:

Come out
Come out
Where ever you are

Witty T-shirts that proclaim your identity are great for festivals of like-minded people. Hanging with friends on the weekend. Barbecues at church or with family. But will those shirts appear in the suburban malls, at the art and wine festivals, or in the amusement parks?

I’d bet not. Too many eyes would be uncomfortable reading those messages. Threatened by the world view that they represent.

Freedom of religion. Freedom of speech. Oh, really?

Well, maybe not everywhere. But at least somewhere.

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