Tough Questions Answered

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What Does the "Coexist" Bumper Sticker Mean?

Post Author: Bill Pratt

I’m sure you’ve seen these bumper stickers, the ones that say “Coexist” with the letters being formed by the symbols of various world religions.  My problem is that I don’t know what message this sticker is trying to convey.  I’ve come up with the following possibilities:

  1. All religions are equally true.
  2. We should all try to get along.
  3. Peace is a good thing.
  4. Wars between religious groups should stop.
  5. Love your neighbor, regardless of their religious affiliation.

These are about all I could come up with.  So, in order to get to the bottom of this mystery, I invite you to vote on these 5 choices.  Vote on the option you think conveys the message most correctly.  Maybe you have one of these stickers on your car or know someone who does.  If so, you have an advantage, because I don’t personally know anybody that has one.

I will also give you the option to vote for “other” in case you think all of my options are wrong.  If you do vote for “other” make sure you leave a comment as to what “other” means.


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Comments

  • Brad

    I said “Other”: We should all get along regardless of religious affiliation, b/c they’re all equal anyway. Really a combination of a couple of your options.

    Just my $0.02

  • MJ

    I said Other. People who say coexist actually mean – “I won’t disturb you so you better don’t disturb me and keep out of my way”. I have heard quite a few people say something like this…

    However, It is not my opinion…

  • Annette

    Good points, I think I will definitely subscribe! :) . I’ll go and read some more!

  • http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org Jessica

    I don’t know why the creator of this symbol made it up, but it is blasphemy.

    There is 1 God, Jesus Christ and we do exist in the US with people of all religions, but the religions spoken of in the symbol are not equal. We should love our enemy enough to pray for their lost souls, their salvation, but no further. We do not need to fellowship with them or compromise for the sake of peace. No, no…quite contrary to God’s Word.

  • JRJ

    Seems to be a subtle way of saying that all ‘religions’ are equal. That would be true providing that you separate Christianity from that group. Not a religion, but a relationship.

  • Andrew Ryan

    I think your poll options are designed to split the vote and proportionately boost option one. The next four options are variants on the same theme. I’d say that options 2, 3, 4 and 5 are all reasonable interpretations of the sticker. There’s nothing there to suggest option 1, as far as I can see. It takes a particularly thin skin to get offended by a plea for peaceful co-existence.

  • http://www.rericsawyer.wordpress.com R. Eric Sawyer

    I agree with Andrew. There is nothing in the sticker to suggest option 1, you must impose that opinion from outside it. I would vote “2-4 inclusive” or leave the poll alone.

    Even for those of us who are radically convinced that Jesus is the only means of reconciliation are told that “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”
    To treat those of other faiths with less than love is to enact a harsher judgement than does God himself!
    I like the sticker.

  • Jimmy

    We all know what this is all about……promoting Islam as the religion of the New world Order and nothing else. They are the ones who have determined to kill all Christians and Jews. Come on people get real!

  • http://alabamatheist.blogspot.com/ Tim D.

    You act as if you “can’t possibly imagine” what this bumper sticker might mean, as if it’s some “mystery” that is somehow beyond you. I find that difficult to truly believe — I don’t know anything about where the sticker comes from or who made it, but I can draw a pretty simple conclusion that it is most probably based on a particular facet of the idea of “religious pluralism”: the idea that while we can disagree about specific aspects of religious belief (because different religions make irreconcilable, mutually exclusive claims of truth value), there are also plenty of things we have in common and that we shouldn’t overlook. Nor is there any need for us to go around causing conflict and dischord because of those beliefs.

    Unless you’re the type of person who simply can’t stand the idea that other people don’t feel exactly the same as you do on every aspect of your religious worldview, I can’t really see you honestly having a problem with this. Although if the decidedly paranoid commentary here is any indication, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if such people do exist — people who won’t be happy until every single person in the world is either (A) a Christian, or (B) under constant legal and social pressure to become a Christian. Those types of people contribute nothing to the improvement of the state of human affairs as a whole, though — they’re no better than Muslims who will not stop until everyone is either dead or Muslim.

  • http://www.rericsawyer.wordpress.com R. Eric Sawyer

    Jimmy, whether or not your claim about Islam is true, and I am no fan of Islam, can you give any rational, understandable explanation as to how that idea connects to the bumper sticker?

    Regardless of the goals of Islam, or of the merits/faults of the the sticker, the message of the sticker seems exactly opposite to your claim about Islam.

    It is so opposite, that unless you help me by explaining the connection, your point ends up looking silly.

    Can you explain, not your assertion about Islam, but how that claim relates to the sticker?

  • Darmee2

    So true!! Equally yoked and in line with Gods word or depart from those that are blasphemous

  • Darmee2

    Ya know people! !!! Its a difficult world we live in, and I’d love more than anything to see world peace, but that’s not gonna happen! When 50% of people that try to cohabit together in just marriage alone fail, how you could anyone assume we could get along with total strangers with different opinions!! Look we only believe what we’ve been told all our life! If we were told blue was red and red was blue then that’s what we’d believe! So have faith in what you believe and if its not true then I’m sure the opportunity will arrive in your life to make s choice or a leap of faith!! I love people all people regardless of what they believe and I will continue to love and pray for all in the manner that I was taught! God bless all as far as my faith is concerned! !

  • Lisa

    Live in harmony as we “exist” among one another, inspite of our differences

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  • Christine Dimiceli

    Love this truth!

  • GuyAgainstReligiousNutcases

    JESUS H. CHRIST! If this is what you truly believe, you’re no better than the Taliban. It’s the naive self righteous people such as yourself that get good people killed. This piece of rhetoric was made by a polish artist for an international design competition in Isreal to promote tolerance, something you obviously lack. I wouldn’t be suprized if you were a racist as well.

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