There's a long-running joke amongst families about the ugly Christmas sweaters that Grannie may knit, but nothing compares to the mockery of the holiday that thrash metal band Slayer is promoting this year with their offensive anti-Christmas sweater referred to as the Slayer Christmas Holiday Jumper. Displaying the typical red color associated with the festive season, the sweater offers a disturbing holiday message â€“ complete with demonic symbols.
Instead of cheerful snowflakes, there are skulls. Where 'Merry Christmas' or 'Happy Holidays' usually appears, the sweater is dotted with the band's name. In place of the Star of Bethlehem, the garment highlights inverted pentagrams â€“ a known sign used in witchcraft and the occult as a way to call upon evil spirits. Satanists use the symbol to represent evil.
The sweater was available for purchase in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. A message on the band's shop website suggests that they are working on making more of the sold-out items available. The sweater is priced at $79.99 and with an additional $18 charge for shipping, eager fans will have spent $100 on a piece of clothing that disrespects an important observance in Christianity â€“ the birth of Jesus.
Slayer's Demonic Past
Slayer does not hide their penchant for spreading negative messages and hate. The band has been around since the early 1980s and is still active â€“ playing events such as the Mayhem Festival. The lyrics and actions of the band have been a magnet of controversy since the majority of their material focuses on negativity and hot-button subject matter. Guitarist Jeff Hanneman often writes lyrics that concentrate on religion, warfare and the Nazis. Guitarist Kerry King typically pens lyrics that are anti-religious. The lyrics of lead vocalist and bass guitarist Tom Araya are known to stem from less controversial topics, such as warfare and serial killers.
Other examples of the demonic actions and dark messages associated with the band include:
- They have shown an interest in the subject of Nazism, and have incorporated the theme into their song lyrics. For example, one of their songs, "Angel of Death," was inspired by the acts of Josef Mengele â€“ a doctor who was given the nickname after conducting horrific experiments on human prisoners in concentration camps during World War II. The band's eagle logo also resembles the Eagle atop swastika of the Nazis.
- The group has repeatedly denied being Satanists, but members have admitted to finding the subject of Satanism interesting.
- Artwork for their "Christ Illusion" album has been deemed controversial, and was recalled and destroyed on more than one occasion. Depicting Christ in what was described as a "sea of despair," the image showed amputated arms, a missing eye, and the figure standing in a sea of blood surrounding by severed heads. In India, the graphic artwork of this same album was recalled after Christian religious groups protested the nature of the graphic artwork. They've also had album promotions and ads removed from public places for using references to the Antichrist and skulls â€“ including an incident in California.