Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I don't understand...

Foul language. An odd topic for a post, yes? And don't worry, I shall not actually say/type any of it. I just wonder what is foul or profane about it.

I can understand some forms being considered unspeakable (thought of mostly today as the milder ones actually) Biblically, we are commanded to not take the "Lord's name in vain". But what about the other stuff, the S words and the C words and the B word and the all terrible F word. What makes them dirty? Who was the first person to declare that a perfectly acceptable word for (forgive me) human excrement was too foul to utter in the presence of anyone? If you have read the memoirs of James Herriot, the British veterinarian, you would here numerous sentences from farmers using these words without shame or guilt and without fear of offending any sensitive ladies who happened to be standing nearby. Why? Because the words had a straight forward practical meaning exactly like they do today.

So what is the problem today? To many self-righteous people determined to restrict the uses of perfectly harmless words simply because their parents told them it was "dirty".

Now please note that I will not be saying any of these things just because I can in good conscience. Teachers adults church leaders would never understand and they would be super offended and not even bother to listen to reason. So yeah. Basically all I am going to do about is not be offended and treat it as a perfectly normal word when I hear them. I just wanted to rant is all.


Anonymous said...

AAAAAHHHH! Thank you!

I like completely agree (except about "taking the Lord's name in vain" bit because I honestly don't see God caring that much). They're just words. Offensive? Sometimes, but let's face it, what's the difference between "darn" and "d***"? Really. There is no difference. Someone just decided the one was acceptable and the other wasn't. But they both mean the exact same thing. So why the big deal? What makes the word offensive is the way it's used, but any word can be used offensively. Even "fluffy". ;-)


Anonymous said...

I've kind of wondered about that too, and you have a good point... I've also wondered how they became "bad"... I mean if you think about it, they're just sounds... alas, the sinful human race..... :P

spider said...

YES! I have never understood why some words are considered unacceptable. You can say the exact same thing with slightly different words, and no one cares, so what's so wrong about those words, other than someone deciding that they are inappropriate?

I avoid using them because I don't want to offend anyone, but they don't offend me at all.

Cuileann said...

Agreed! I sort of decided this for myself earlier in the year. I was thinking, how weird is it that most Christian teenagers will say "crap" but not the fiercer "s-word"? [My suitemate informed me that sh*t used to be the standard Anglo-Saxon word, but invaders made it the vulgar term because they considered the language vulgar, or something like that.] Somehow society just decided these things.

I will swear occasionally around people who I know won't be offended or think less of me for it, though I try to use the worst words the least often and so on, so that they can retain an appropriate amount of power, meaning, you don't just think, Oh, that's what she said the last time she dropped something, but rather, Wow, something really bad must have happened. So that they're actually expressive.

That said, "bad" swear words can still make me flinch (I think it's good not to be desensitized, though). I still won't use God's or his son's name as a profanity, and I think "terms of contempt" in general are off-limits - just because they don't accomplish anything good.

Stripedgecko said...

Yeah, your right. It def. has to be the motive and meaning behind the use of the word that really determines if it is right or wrong.
Conservative Christianity (which i consider myself to be a part of) has taken the low road on making wide, sweeping claims about lots of things being absolutely right or absolutely wrong. Drinking. Wrong. No question. Smoking. Wrong. No question. And for some people... music with a rhythm... wrong. But that is basically throwing out the baby with the bathwater. And we fall into the dangerous trap of not explaining why these things might be inappropriate for someone following Jesus. There is no reason or discernment being used.
It basically comes down to the heart. What is your heart condition and motivation for doing any of these things, or using certain words? And also, will this aid in the spiritual growth and formation of those around you and direct the lost to a loving, gracious and just Savior.

I commend you for thinking out of the box. We need more of your type around the church. Engage. Think & rethink. And glorify God in the end...

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