A man wearing a 'Jesus Saves' T-shirt was asked by the security to change his clothing or leave the Mall of America as they believed it was "associated with religion" and could hurt the sentiment of others. The incident happened last week and the video that shows a security guard threatening the man to change or get kicked out of the mall has since gone viral.
Social media users have since slammed the mall for the unwanted incident and have demanded an apology. The mall management, however, later said that the man was allowed to stay in the mall with the same T-shirt on following the argument with the security.
The incident happened at the Mall of America in Minnesota last weekend. The video clip shows a man wearing a yellow T-shirt with the words "Jesus is the only way" written on it entering the mall, according to a DailyMail.com report.
The man can be heard being told by a security guard at Minnesota's most well-known shopping center: "If you want to shop here, you need to take off that shirt."
The same guard is heard saying in a different clip: "Jesus is associated with religion and it is offending people. People have been offended."
The incident took place on January 7 and has since sparked outrage online. One group has even planned a demonstration at the mall where they plan to wear their own "Jesus Saves" shirts.
However, a Mall of America spokeswoman told the outlet that the man was allowed to stay in the mall after the argument and was still wearing his clothing.
This is despite the fact guards can clearly be heard threatening to kick him out. The shopper is shown in the original clip sporting a yellow T-shirt with a religious phrase on it.
The phrase "Jesus is the only way" is written over the popular "coexist" sign, which encourages peaceful coexistence amongst many religions, on the back of the shirt.
One of the videos was livestreamed to Facebook on January 7 and the other clips have since been reposted on TikTok and Twitter. The man had also received a 24-hour trespass warning for "soliciting guests" a week before.
The video shows three security officers around the man as the tense discussion continues. "I didn't say anything though. I didn't speak. I didn't say anything. I just went to Macy's," the man can be heard saying.
The guard replies: "Again, I'm giving you a couple options. You can take the shirt off and you can go to Macy's and you can do your shopping. Or you can leave the mall, OK? Those are your only options right now," the security guard can be heard saying.
Later, the security guard says that he was engaging in "religious soliciting," which is prohibited by the mall. Nevertheless, the man maintains throughout the video that he wasn't trying to give a sermon—rather, he was just wearing the shirt while shopping.
The term "inappropriate dress" refers to clothing that includes apparel that "has obscene language, obscene gestures or racial/religious/ethnic slurs that are likely to create a disturbance," according to mall standards.
Additionally, "picketing, demonstrating, soliciting, protesting or petitioning" are prohibited on the Mall.
On a different day, the man was asked to leave the mall because he was preaching. But this time, he just seems to be strolling through the mall.
"Yes, you're walking wearing that shirt in the form of soliciting and we've had guests come up and say they're offended by your shirt," a guard is heard saying.
The posts have attracted mass outrage online. "If I ever go to the Mall of America again, I'm wearing the biggest Jesus shirt I can find," wrote on user.
Meanwhile, Pastor Chase Thompson wrote: "He should sue them into oblivion. This wouldn't have happened anywhere in the U.S. until very recently, and it certainly wouldn't have happened if he'd had a pride shirt on and even 50 people complained."
A group named Bloomington Patriots will organize a demonstration on February 4 at the mall and is requesting that participants wear "Jesus shirts."