Many churches and similar Christian organizations are not exactly known for their awareness of slang or their prowess in the field of design, but every now and again they manage to create something so painfully awful, and so profoundly oblivious, that it’s worthy of a viral moment. Who could forget, for example, tunashamed?


So now let me tell you about a church called Christian Life International, apparently located in Salem, Vagina, er, excuse me, Virginia. CLI is currently having a viral moment in the spirit of tunashamed, though I’d say CLI has done it one better. And because we all need to laugh in the face of surging authoritarianism, I’ve decided to highlight what I’m dubbing “Epic Christian Fails” in a new monthly series of blog posts. (Speaking of series, Ex-Evangelical Conversations will be back soon with new interviews.) If you’ve found something you’d like to see considered for the series, tweet it with the hashtag #EpicChristianFails!

This month’s entry is going to be hard to top, I’m afraid, but here goes. The accidental greatness that is the Christian Life International men’s softball team’s logo first began blowing up the interwebz on April 23, when Twitter user @CBumfry tweeted a picture of the logo consisting of the characters “C-L-I-cross” in black, with a white outline, on blue fabric, observing wryly, “I think Christian Life International should have a word with their logo designer.”

Of course, savvy Twitter users immediately wondered whether this was a fake, but @CBumfry apparently pulled it from the imgur account of one Iamabonermachine (I know, I know, you can’t make this stuff up). Mr. Iamabonermachine (not my fault; don’t @ me) named the church as one attended by his brother-in-law, saying the elders came up with the logo design, which might be a reason no one in the church appears to have challenged it.

Having done that much due diligence, I weighed in with, “I mean I can easily imagine a church men’s softball team where half the dudes on it have no idea what the clitoris is, and most of the other half couldn’t find it anymore than they’d know where to start looking for Lesotho on a map of the world.”

And you know what? Thanks to the power of Google’s search algorithms, we no longer have to imagine it. You’re welcome.

Christian Life International Softball Team
The extremely white Christian Life Church’s softball team (the Clits?) poses here in all its godly glory.

As all of this was blowing up on Twitter, a source who requested anonymity as an employee of the company that printed the t-shirts reached out to me to let me know that not only do these “clit” shirts really exist, but that the company, which I will not name here, tried to warn the people who had ordered it about the epic pitfall in their design. More than once and to no avail. You’ve gotta love the stubbornness as well as the stupidity of that old time religion, amirite? It’s a truly winning combination.

Now, if you’re wondering, could they really not know? Someone decided to seek confirmation of the possibility by consulting their own grandparents:



Alas, poor grandma. And that, dear reader, is the story of The Cross and the Clitoris. Tune in next month for more Epic Christian Fails!

19 thoughts on “Epic Christian Fails: The Cross and the Clitoris

  1. “The extremely white Christian Life Church’s softball team (the Clits?) poses here in all its godly glory.” Really? If you want to find out if something you post is OK, just replace “White” with “Black”, and see if it floats. Yes, the entire situation (Or lack of awareness of a vulgar word) is funny, but this article quickly became yet another Christian and white-bashing, mean spirited article. Be better than this, people.


    1. Uh no, that’s not how anything works. If you think that churches still being overwhelmingly segregated has nothing to do with American white supremacism, you’re absolutely clueless on matters of race.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I want to clarify that while dictionaries tend to list “clit” as “vulgar slang,” I have no problem with the word. The text exchange at the end of this article isn’t mine, though I, too would hedge if I were asking my grandma about it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Not to be too sex Ed nerdy but it isn’t really slang. Just a shortened version of the actual term. It’s funny/sad to me that any body part can have a moral equivalence.


    2. Um, no, “Buzz.”

      The defining component of racism is POWER. There is no such thing as “reverse racism,” because black Americans have no power in that debate.

      White supremacy, white surfer Jesus, and American Christianity are steeped in racism. To pretend otherwise is disingenuous at best, and willfully bigoted and ignorant at worst.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So there are Christians and/or non-Christians framing the short-form for “clitoris” as “a dirty word” and laughing at “other people’s” ignorance?

    For f**k’s sake.

    This is an epic fail all right.


  3. The “epic fail” is using your platform to reinforce the shame that underwrites a woman’s mystification towards her own body and its natural functions – – by re-contextualizing it as a joke.

    It doesn’t matter if the woman in question is a Christian or not – – because the beliefs and attitudes which frame women’s bodies as dirty and shameful do not confine themselves to any particular religion or even any other social context one could possibly name – – including medical.

    Think about what it means to live as a woman in a world in which many of us are laughed at by our own doctors.


    1. Oh come on, you can’t be this humorless. Scrotum isn’t a “dirty” word either, but the effect would be the same if someone walked around with it cluelessly on their shirt. Also, nobody is laughing at women, they are laughing at men who must be terrible in bed.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Reminds me of my dear friend Betty Jean. She’ll be 80 years old this year. I once asked her if she was picked on in school because of her name and she replied that she never got teased because everyone called her “BJ”!!!!

    She seems completely unaware of the modern definition and I’m not the one who’s telling her.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh, man. This is good stuff. I remember growing up in my friend’s evangelical youth group and even as a young Christian, always noting how much they all sucked at this kind of thing. Every time they thought they were being clever with some sort of campaign, it was always a sad and confused rip-off of something that was popular at the time. Every day now on my way home, as I drive past the guy holding the sign saying Lifeway Christian is going out of business, I have a good snicker because anyone should have seen that coming.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The biggest laugh: even when explained that “clit” is a “slangy” short for “clitoris”, they’re still mystified. The guy who says “I’ve never seen it” takes the cake. If you’ve never seen the real thing, you may be a shy teenager who hasn’t yet been with a girl, but if you haven’t seen the word in writing, your education was WOEFULLY inadequate.


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