The Common Good
September-October 2003

Shoes of the Fisherman?

by Rose Marie Berger, Kate Bowman | September-October 2003

This spring Europe was rocked by a religious fashion war when the Danish superstore
Kvickly started selling flip-flop sandals featuring images of Jesus and Mary.

This spring Europe was rocked by a religious fashion war when the Danish superstore Kvickly started selling flip-flop sandals featuring images of Jesus and Mary. Several churches protested and angry customers ransacked and destroyed the "flip-flops of shame." The store owners professed shock that the trendy footwear was offensive. "It was never our intention to offend people's beliefs," company spokesman Jens Nielsen told Agence France-Presse. Local Catholic parishes charged blasphemy. A Lutheran minister said the sandals were the "equivalent to wiping your behind with the image of Jesus." Despite selling more than 4,000 pairs, Kvickly decided to withdraw the footwear from the shelves. However, because of the controversy the shoes are now said to be worth double their original value.

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