Saturday, June 19, 2010

Stand True’s “Silenced” Shirt Banned At Ichthus For Being Too Offensive

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http://www.bryankemper.com

Yesterday afternoon I was standing in front of our booth at Ichthus Festival with duct tape on my mouth with the words “Silenced 4000 a day” on it. I was also holding a homemade sign that read “During your 4 days at Ichthus Festival almost 16,000 babies will be killed by surgical abortion”. We do this and it brings a lot of people to our booth to get literature and find out how to take a stand. We also get a lot of people laughing at us and just walking by not caring, the apathy is thick at many of these Christian Festivals.

After an hour of standing their I was approached by festival staff who told me that I was offending people; she told me 5 parents of older kids complained about being offended. I was asked to stop holding the sign and to remove the duct tape. I VERY politely asked what part of what I was doing was offensive and I was told that because I was sending a negative message rather than positive that it is offensive.

Even though I disagreed with their position I asked if I could just put away the sign and continue with the duct tape that said silenced. I was told no that that was still offensive. I asked if I could talk to the festival director and then explained to him how God has used the duct tape and how it has been so effective in pro-life projects. I explained how it is actually very non confrontational because I am not even speaking as I have duct tape on my mouth.

I was told that they don’t want anything that says abortion is wrong, but only come at the issue from a positive perspective. I showed them the several signs on our booth that say Jesus Heals and Forgives and showed them our post abortive healing literature. I then asked if the booths that are speaking against porn and human trafficking are offensive and I was told that that was different.

While they were very polite and cordial to me, I was told again that the term silenced was offensive because women who have had abortions will then think they silenced their babies. I was told to stop playing our slide show that had pictures from the Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity and that I could not have anything with the silenced and duct tape on it. We have two shirts, stickers and buttons with the silenced on them that had to be taken down.

Just to put a little perspective on what else is being allowed to be sold at the festival there are shirts that say:

Repent or Perish
Would it bother us more if they used a gun (referring to abortion and with a picture of a gun)
Live Offensively

There are several booths that have what we call rip off shirts where they just change a companies logo into a christian shirt including parodies of Vodka and Beer logos.

I am truly saddened by what happened at Ichthus and the irony our “Silenced” shirt being silenced.

I am also encouraged by two of the bands that found out what happened to us and will being wearing that shirt on stage today. Men as Trees Walking and The Wedding. Please visit their sites and show them love for standing up for Stand True and the babies.

We are also asking people to contact Ichthus Festival and let them know In a very polite way how you feel about them silencing this shirt and message. Please do not be mean, but be firm about the importance of taking a stand against abortion without compromising.

http://www.ichthusfestival.org/

For Christ I stand,
Bryan Kemper


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