Idol Chatter

Tongues. Some are given the gift of speaking, some of interpreting, and others have only heard the gift. Having heard the gift, I count it a blessing to witness the Holy Spirit fall upon someone in such a manner that it produces a completely different and unintelligible language unknown even to the speaker. But lately, people have taken to mocking the gift–with such oh-so-witty lines as “I Shuda Boughta Honda”–and most recently making profit off of the sacred gift.

Holy Ghost Tees sells t-shirts with alleged tongue phrases that they believe can be heard from the mouths of “Holy Rollers” and the “C.O.G.ictilic” in service. Each shirt features a phonetic spelling of the phrase but offers nothing beyond a bunch of cleverly strung together syllables. It’s hard to tell whether these phrases are real or if they were made up in the mind of yet another mocker. What is most problematic–beyond the $37 price tag–is the fact that the words are printed on the shirt without explanation as to what they mean. These shirts defeat the purpose of opening eyes to the wondrous works of the Holy Spirit by belittling a profoundly deep experience and contributing to the compartmentalization of Christian spiritual gifts.

To add even more confusion to this collection of mixed-message shirts, HGT’s Myspace page features a female model sporting a bare midriff and a micro-mini–with legs not closed enough, couples cuddled up together, and models that look more interested in Calvin Klein contracts than Christianity. Am I being harsh? Probably so. But it is only because something that is considered sacred to me and many others is turning into an addition to the gallery of sacrilege.

But it seems designers welcome the contempt from people like me. Check out what they had to say on their MySpace page: “These tees are creating a buzz amongst the Christian community who may find them offensive because of the ‘tongues.’ But the cool people love the vibe and continue to buy.”

Well then, I guess I’m not cool enough.

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