Christian Threadless Tee?

  • by SuperPope
  • posted Jan 02, 2007

Am I misinterpreting this shirt, or did Threadless just print a design that is overtly Christian?

This whole blog moved from being a simple discussion about art interpretation into a rather lengthy debate about religion and the origin of the universe.

Watch this
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
staffell profile pic Alumni



That didn't came into my mind.

But Christian or not, it's still nice.

MeLa de Gypsie

no idea how you saw that as overtly Christian.


crown of thorns?


Not only that...the butterfly is an ancient symbol of the Resurrection.


I don't know if it was done on purpose but it definately could be taken that way.


butterflies and thorns are good and emo


It's an misinterpretation, but a stunningly beautiful misinterpretation nevertheless.

MeLa de Gypsie

I didn't know that about the butterfly.

sonmi profile pic Alumni



i dont think its christian. if you can relate that to christianity than you can relate almost every shirt to some religion.

sonmi profile pic Alumni

not necessarily, hitman. there does seem to be symbolism in this, even if it wasn't the artists' intent. i didn't see this as being christian at all, but i can see it being read that way.


Is Threadless against christianity? That would be so wrong if a good design was thrown out just because it related in some way to a specific religion.


il second that

Frank Vice

I think this really is a Christian shirt, the artist never said it wasn't and many of the comments on the original scoring were talking about how it was something about Christianity


Christian shirts on threadless? Smart move SkinnyCorp. There's money in that market.


Christian or not is super cool


interesting misintrepretation

if it's christian
i'm ditchin


i thought it was a play on the cliche about having no heart
just barbed wiring protecting a sad cavity

lo! a beautiful butterfly to save teh eye!


There are many reasons why this seems Christian. Beyond the obvious crown of thorns, the title of the thing is "Sharp is Relative". This could be taken to refer to the Old Testament prophecy of Christ in Isaiah 53:5 "But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. "

Also, when Christ rose from the tomb, the New Testament says that he had a new body -- "The firstborn among many brothers" -- like a butterfly.

Anyway, I love the shirt, and I haven't seen any comments about it by the designer, so I was curious.


super pope is just a case in point of seeing what you want to see in something


then im pretty sure it aint a christian shirt


Well if he's an atheist, then it must not be Christian!

Shirtflirt, there's a crown of thorns in this design, plain and simple. Thinking the design might be making some sort of statement about Jesus Christ isn't a stretch.

Ste7en profile pic Alumni

I think youre missing the fact that its only a crown if worn upon the head. Perhaps the circular nature was to help with the design. It works quite well as a chest design and even creates a 3 dimensional look that might look like a hole into someones hearts. I really do think it could be taken many ways, but mainly I think its just a visual demonstration of the title.


it's not a crown

anything in a roundish pattern with thorns?=seeing what you want to see.

i concur, with the emptiness of one's heart cavity only being inhabited by that butterfly


Just wondering but how are butterflies emo.??


he was being facetitious


Hey, a circle of thorns is seen as a crown of thorns by most English speakers because of the culture we were raised in. Do a Google image search for "crown of thorns" and you'll see dozens of images that look almost exactly like the thorns in this design.

I may have been wrong in my assumption, but don't act like I jumped to an irrational conclusion based on the iconography in the design.


I didn't think it was a Christian design. I think most people on here are speaking english...and the majority of people didn't see it as a crown.


Ooh! raises hand

Yes Johnny?

My mom taught me a synonym for Mormons!

What's that?

Have you heard of Shitfaced Dumbfuck?


ladykat profile pic Alumni

I wouldn't call this shirt Christian, but now I can see how someone might interpret it that way.

I think there are a lot of people on this site who would prefer their clothing didn't have religious connotations (including me, actually), so that might be why people are jumping on this issue so much.


Yeah, I prefer my T-shirts to be humorous and/or random. But I can appreciate one for just being purdy.


This design seems pretty straightforward and literal to me. The name refers to the fact that the thorn which is dangerously sharp to a person is of no danger to the butterfly.

evade profile pic Alumni

Who cares? Buy it and explain it however you want.


reminds me of those barbed wire tatoos


I love this design! I like a lot of threadless' cute or funny designs, but it's nice to have a more artistic design... I think this can be interpreted several ways, kind of how art has different meanings for different people (which is one of the reason this design is so awesome)...

I can't wait until I get my hoodie! :)


I think it's a Rorschach test, if you catch my drift..


I've never been a fan of the idea that "art has different meanings for different people."

A work of art has only one correct meaning: the meaning that the artist intended. Anything else people have to say about the piece is just a bunch of pseudo-intellectual baloney (for example, my earlier guess at the meaning of this shirt).


i agree derangeddaoist this is pretty and its just getting people to talk. :)


I actually kind of like your interpretation. Whether it's "correct" is irrelevant to me, personally.

For curiosity's sake, do you produce art or other creative work? When people communicate to you what feelings your work stirred in them, do you feel imposed upon? Do you look most forward to finding someone who saw exactly the things you intended? Do you hold any interest in what other ways people were affected?

I don't know how other artists feel, but I, for the most part, feel kind of elated how many different ways people might feel about something I've drawn or written. I'm not sure if this means what I make is actually bad because it doesn't communicate a single message to every person every time, or good because it says so much to so many. I suppose you can look at it either way.

wearecareful profile pic Staff

I think it's open to anyone all art. I also think Jesus would be really scared of it.

Ste7en profile pic Alumni

well I often purposely design with the intention of ambiguity, and I know a lot of artists that dont intend any meaning, so it really is left up to the viewer. Im not saying it cant mean what you see. I am saying its a circle of thorns to anyone, until its worn on someone's head. If I wore a circle of thorns on my wrist would you call it a crown of thorns? Or a bracelet of thorns?


AWorldApart, this was a very civilized and constructive blog until you fouled it up with a totally unwarranted jab at somebody's religion. That was unecessary and totally rude. Get over yourself and your ethnocentricity please.

mrs. squid

^ Did someone just defend Mormonism!? I didn't know that crazy batshit religions merited so much respect. Wow, is it still ok to make fun of Scientology?


This is a shirt of the infedels!? ARRARFARRARARARAR!


SuperPope: I really think that's what art is all about and why this sort of thing is so good. Good art has the effect to bring out more than what the artist intended. Good art will produce discussions by itself.

I don't see why it matters if it's Christian or not unless your completely against the religion itself. Like as if you don't accept Christians in the world. This design has a lot of discussion to it, that's got value in itself. Since the artist has not specified what it entirely means, it's really up to your imagination.

For those that are not buying this shirt because they think it's Christian, does it really matter if it was in the first place? Or have you got a childish grudge against the religion itself.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
No account?
Join Us