WHAT DOES THE BUMPER STICKER COEXIST REALLY MEAN?

WHAT DOES THE BUMPER STICKER COEXIST REALLY MEAN?

COEXIST. We’ve all seen that cheeky bumper sticker plastered on someone’s car bumper. The image was created by a Polish Warsaw-based graphic designer Pio MIodozeniec in 2000. What exactly does COEXIST really mean? Answer…not sure.

Here’s my best guess. It seems to mean something like this: “No religion is really true, so quit defending yours, chill out, and celebrate all religions and view-points.” If my guess is accurate (and I think I’m pretty close to the mark), then what the people who display this sticker are really saying is something like this: “I have a privileged vantage perspective in the world, enough to know that the rest of you are unenlightened and ignorant.” Of course, such sentiments are inherently self-contradictory and manifest nonsense.

If–as such folks would typically argue–we are all prisoners of our cultural assumptions, doesn’t this also apply to the one driving the VW with the sassy COEXIST bumper sticker on it!? Are they alone able to escape the presuppositions of their age? Are they alone able to rise above the cultural air they breathe? Are they alone able to rise above the rest of us to see how things “really are” in the universe? Me thinks not!

So, the next time you see the sassy sticker on someone’s car, use it as an opportunity to have a discussion with one of your kids or grandkids about worldviews, truth and error, and honesty and humility. Help them to see that we are all limited in our perspective, and hence need an outside authority to help us see things as they really are.

by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor
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