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What’s a Bible Verse Doing on my Forever 21 Bag?

September 15, 2010

We recently got a new Forever 21 (XXl for the sophisticates out there) very near my house.  After years of making a trek to the far slung suburbs once or twice a year to sample the wares of the store, I have been giddy over the prospect of having a store within walking distance.

I strategically planned my tactical strike.  I knew better than to visit opening weekend.  That would be suicide.

I opted to let things die down a bit, and hit the mecca at the opening bell on a Monday.  My strategy paid off handsomely. I was greeted by an employee at the front door, and had the once in a lifetime experience of experiencing the two story mammoth store in all its glory-completely empty.

I took a deep breath in and allowed the sweet perfume of cheap clothing born in China to permeate my nostrils.  It was beautiful. I became a little verklempt.

Remember when Ricky (Wes Bentley) gives that poignant speech in American Beauty?  ”Sometimes there is so much beauty in the world I feel like I can’t take it.  And my heart…is just going to cave in. ”

When I gazed up the marble staircase leading to the second floor of nirvana, I truly felt what he was saying. This was my happy place, I was home.

I pored over the ridiculous amount of merchandise, and settled on a mere 16 articles of clothing.  That pile of clothing was eventually narrowed to three pieces of clothing to purchase.

When I got home I put away my purchases and went to go throw the bag away, but then something caught my eye-what the heck?  There, at the bottom of my bag was a bible passage John 3:16.  That certainly seemed odd, given the fact that store peddles so much slut gear.  Out of thousands of skirts, I was lucky to have one or two that properly covered my lady parts.

Hooker heels abound alongside liquid latex leggings and mesh tops.  It just seems so odd to throw your faith on your bag, but not walk the walk. It would be no more surprsing if a strip club had their staff wear pasties with John 3:16 on them.  By the way that phrase says “”For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Does anyone else find it odd that the chain decided to do this?  I don’t fault their convictions, but it seems a little hypocritical to wear your belief on you sleeve, so to speak, but turn around and sell 12 year-old girls slutty dresses.

There are other national merchandisers who walk the walk.  Hobby Lobby is closed every Sunday, so that their staff may spend the day worshiping, and with their families.  I admire their convictions, because they are sacrificing millions of dollars in sales on Sundays.  This is a day that working parents can buy stuff for the following school week, and I can’t tell you how often I hear a mom lamenting the fact that they are closed.

Ditto for popular Chik-fil-A.  They steadfastly refuse to be open on Sundays.  Don’t they know how many hungover people really, really want Chick-fsil-A on Sundays?

Even In-N-Out Burger chain gets in on the action.  They also print John 3:16 on the bottom of their cups.

I guess I don’t care.  It  is their company, and if they want to throw their beliefs out for all the world to see, so be it.  After all, they are the ones who have to sleep at night knowing they are selling this:

Now where will your daughters wear these short outfits?  I’ll tell you where-straight to the maternity ward.  You think I am joking? Is it coincidence that the company recently created a maternity line for teenagers?


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12 Responses to “ What’s a Bible Verse Doing on my Forever 21 Bag? ”

  1. Andrea on September 15, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Get a life!
    That verse can do no harm.

  2. Ashley on September 15, 2010 at 9:53 am

    “Now were will your daughters were these short outfits?”

    Learn some grammar first, and leave John 3:16 alone — who cares if some of the clothes show some skin. Let God be the one to judge the owners and their faith and what they sell on their sales floor.

  3. Shannon on September 15, 2010 at 10:56 am

    @Ashley @Andrea No verses were harmed in the writing of this post. Like I said, other retailers do it, I just find it odd that this particular one does.

    Consider the following:
    In 2001, they were sued by employees for running sweatshop conditions.

    In 2007, a documentary called “Made in LA” was made regarding immigrants and the deplorable conditions at a LA factory for Forever 21 (

    Diane Von Fusternberg, Anna Sui and Gwen Stefani have sued the chains for stealing designs.

    They have also been accused of stealing the ideas of artist Chris O’Shea during an advertising campaign.
    Here’s a link to an article that nicely sums it up.

    Not very Christian like behavior, if you ask me. But what do I know? I guess anyone can slap a verse on their bag and the God squad will blindly come to their defense.

  4. Jackson on September 15, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    “i’ll turn a blind eye to non-Christian behavior as long as you ‘appear’ to be Christian-like!”

    and that is why i dislike moronic Christians (99% of them), y’all can go fug yourselves and keep your bullshit holier than thou hypocritical musings to yourselves. i hope Jesus shows up somewhere and kicks all your asses for being idiots.

  5. Maya on September 16, 2010 at 1:26 am

    I’m going to look for the verse on the bottom of the cup the next time I’m at an In-N-Out Burger!

  6. Hollywood Hood on September 16, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Discussing this post with a pal last night and he alerted me to an ABC news story about secret Jesus Bible codes inscripted on US Military Weapons…holy, moly, let’s do some killing for Jesus!

    I am freaked out.

  7. amanda on September 16, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Thank you for calling attention to the inappropriate clothing for young girls. I love your comment about the girls wearing the outfits to the maternity ward. When will this ever end? What’s the point of making teenage girls look like prostitutes? Doing it with biblical marketing makes it even stranger!

  8. Nicole on September 16, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Not all Christians are morons. I happen to be a Christian, and I don’t believe that it’s right to condemn others. Jesus himself said “God will judge you as you have judged others.” Forever 21 can put whatever they want on their shopping bags, no matter what they sell. Just as we can post our beliefs
    on this website, no matter our past sins.

  9. bostonbetty on September 16, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Good grief – take it easy all you little sparkplugs out there! She’s just commenting on something that is – whether you like it or not – odd. And very hypocritical. Remember that very old and very wise saying – those that live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

  10. Shannon on September 16, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    @bostonbetty Thank you, finally a voice of reason. That is my point exactly. I found it unusual and random. I am not attacking the quote at all, I am saying I think it comes out of left field in this case.

  11. CJ on September 16, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Shannon. Thou shall repent for shopping at the new Forever XXI without me.

  12. Mr. G on September 16, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Ditto what Jackson said. I don’t think Forever 21′s putting a teeny tiny bible verse on their shopping bags is really going to impress the sky-daddy, especially considering all the other decidedly un-Christian things they embody. Although when a main theme of the religion is hypocrisy, what more can you expect? Thanks for a kick-ass article.