The Truth About The Mall Of America “Jesus Saves” Shirt Incident
Recently there has been a video blowing up on the internet about an incident that occurred at the Mall of America on Jan. 7. The video shows a couple of MOA security guards asking a man to take his shirt off that says “Jesus Saves” on the front and “Coexist. Jesus is the only way,” on the back, after receiving many complaints about it.
In the video, the guard talking to the man (later identified as Paul Shoro) says "people have been offended" by the man's shirt, and "all we are asking you to do is take the shirt off and you can stay," referencing religious solicitation.
"You can't solicit religion on private property," the security guard repeated, in reference to Shoro's claims he was "only preaching the Gospel."
But why has this video been blowing up? Well, the video doesn’t share all the context and so many people with only the video context given, are speaking out, claiming it is religious discrimination and spreading further false information.
The main point on why security came up to this man is not because of the front of his shirt saying “Jesus Saves,” it is because of what the back of his shirt says. The back has the Coexist image saying, but it is crossed out, followed by “Jesus is the only way.” This implies crossing out other religions and beliefs, therefore discriminating against other religions. Ironically, this is what many on the internet are mad about, only they it backwards due to lack of information. Some have even shared a Change petition titled “Stop Religious Discrimination at Mall of America."
Furthermore, an article from Bring Me The News shares correct context and information, including the fact that the MOA “told Bring Me The News the man had received a 24-hour trespass ban for soliciting a week earlier. Solicitation is not allowed on the private property, according to MOA's conduct policy.” And during the viral video, the man was soliciting to other guests.
What is important to note is that those on the internet commenting about this video are spreading false information. In addition to many people stating that this was discrimination against religion, and not knowing the soliciting part, many shared that the man was kicked out by the mall.
Bring Me The News shares that he was not. In an email, a spokesperson with MOA told Bring Me The News the following:
"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 MOA said in a statement.
Furthermore, bringmethenews.com explains that when talking to a Youtuber, Shoro shares that “he has handed out religious pamphlets at the mall before the incident and goes there "every day." He said on Christmas Eve, mall security "suspended" him for 24 hours for preaching on the premises.”
The MOA, once again states on its security page the following on conducts:
Conduct that is disorderly, disruptive, or which interferes with or endangers business or guests is prohibited. Such conduct may include but is not limited to:
Running, loud offensive language, spitting, throwing objects, fighting, obscene gestures, gang signs, skating, skateboarding, or bicycling.
Intimidating behavior by groups or individuals.
Loitering, engaging in soliciting, blocking storefronts, hallways, skyways, fire exits or escalators, or walking in groups in such a way as to inconvenience others.
Picketing, demonstrating, soliciting, protesting, or petitioning.
All information is credited to the article from bringmethenews.com, visit the article here for all further information.