CXXII just recently released the "No Fear in Love" collection and over the last few weeks leading into the release on social media our marketing images have displayed several images of individuals using the ASL (American Sign Language) symbol for "I LOVE YOU".
I wanted to write a post to share the message and purpose behind the design and bring some clarity and knowledge to the ASL Symbol for "I Love You" used in the design and marketing campaign.
ASL is a complete, natural language that has the same properties as spoken languages, with grammar that differs from English. ASL is expressed by movements of the hands and face. It is the primary language of many North Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing, and is used by many hearing people as well.
The origins of sign language can date back to over 200 years ago. I have attached some links to trusted resources to help you to learn more: National Institute of Deafness and other Communications Disorders and GoReact for ASL .
Background...There is a special place in my heart for sign language because my mother lost her hearing at a young age due to sickness. Growing up my brother and I learned some of the ASL language so that we could communicate with her.
The "No Fear in Love" collection features the ASL hand symbol for "I Love You." l and have received DMs and messages on our social media asking us "Why are you promoting and using a symbol that satanic - the occult uses?" and our response has been, "You mean the ASL Hand symbol for I Love You?"
Some have pointed out a satanic hand gesture that started to circulate around 50 years ago, long after ASL was created, that is similar in appearance and over the years many people (celebs, music icons, and conspiracy theorist) have mistaken or misused the ASL hand symbol confusing it for the satanic gesture.
There is a similar look to the ASL hand gesture which in sign language is made up of the letters I - L - U which were combined to form the short hand version of "I LOVE YOU" for sign language. The "Rock & Roll" - Devil horns that can be associated with satanist / occult may look similar but have a distinct difference. The difference in the symbol of "I Love you" with not having the THUMB pointing outward to form the shape of the letter "L" and with the Horns symbol where the thumb is holding down the fingers along the palm.
However, regardless of the confusion why as Christians would we allow for the Devil to take something that is meant to be a beautiful symbol and way to communicate love in the deaf community as something that would promote satan or occult? Jesus has won, LIFE has defeated death and perfect LOVE drives out all fear.
In no way, shape or form do we want to mislead you or make you think we are sneaking some hidden agenda or meaning into our apparel. We stand on the truth of the Bible and our mission is to create conversation to point people to Christ and to lift each other up and spread love not fear.
The "No Fear in Love" collection was based on the verse in 1 John 4:18:
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."
Which if you look deep into the verse and unpack it you will see that fear, guilt, and shame cannot coexist alongside faith, hope, and love. Fear and love are a not equal in terms, "for there is no fear in love; because perfect love casts out fear." A trust in God cannot live alongside fear. The strength of God's perfect love should push away the negative thoughts of fear in our lives. Love describes who God is and God is love. If I (we) believe this is true and we are not loving one another as God loves us than we have not reached the fulness of love.
The Bible tells us that if we love one another, then God remains in us, and the love of God is made complete in us.
When sitting down to write this it hurts deep down to know that there are believers who follow Christ and what he has commanded us to Love One Another. We have allowed the devil to manipulate and distort and put FEAR in place of Love. I want us to BE BOLD and Fight back and shift today's culture and ideas to reveal the Truth. "THERE IS NO FEAR IN LOVE" and for me it can start simply by showing the world with your hand(s) "I LOVE YOU".
Ian - CXXII Apparel