I designed some Mormon T-shirts for another website, and I’ve done my best to walk the fine line of humour, relevance, and respect. It’s hard to make Mormon-themed t-shirts and avoid sacrilege. For instance, you cannot parody (that is, make light of) any doctrines, which leaves skewering Mormon culture as the only remaining option, which is boring and not-so-amusing.
I’ve looked at Mormon t-shirt apparel available online, and wow, it’s terrible. I’ve found they fall into a few categories.
“I can’t. I’m Mormon.”
A subset of the humour category, this phrase deserves it’s own category simply because there are so many versions of this ridiculous shirt.
The inexplicably rude category: You have to really get a thrill from shocking the normals with shirts from this category. For example, some genius figured out that putting the abbreviation for Utah (UT) after an abbreviated abbreviation of Salt Lake City (SL) spelled a naughty word. It would be more clever if it didn’t have to drop the ‘C’ from SLC in order to work, but if you’re the kind of person who would wear that shirt and/or find it amusing, I’m sure you’re not bothered by the logical contortions and cognitive dissonance necessary for the joke to work.
The Importance of Being Earnest.
There’s also the painfully earnest shirts, the ones about families being together forever, etc. For people who want to wear their heart/testimony on their sleeve.
And there there are a bunch of shirts that can only be described as anti-mormon. They are hostile to the Church and it’s doctrines, and you’ve got to be a special kind of terrible person to design, purchase or wear a shirt from this category.
My shirts fall mostly into the humour category, although a few might be construed as earnest, I suppose. They’re certainly not rude or sacrilegious, and none of them say “I can’t. I’m Mormon.”