Profanity. Not offended. Commanded.
February 26, 2024 Blog / editing / faith testimony / profanity / religion / social media / writing 0 Comment

To clear up any confusion.

In listening to one of my favorite podcasts this morning, I encountered two hosts defending their use of profanity. I commented strongly, defending the view that profanity is vulgar language, perhaps used out of desperation, perhaps the author just ran out of words or maybe he has a weak vocabulary, to begin with. Perhaps the emotions are ruling the mind. I’m not sure. But let’s be truthful. What is profanity and why avoid using it?

First, I’ll go to the Bible, the source of all truth:
Colossians 3:8 “But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth.”

Ephesians 4:29 “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear.”

James 3:10 “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to be so.”

Matthew 15:11 “[It is] not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”

Ephesians 5:1-33 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Proverbs 8:13 “The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.”

Think of a time that you may have used profanity in language directed at another person, where it was not hateful. You probably can’t. Most Christians pray. Think of a time you used profanity in prayer when addressing Jesus Christ. You probably can’t. So why would you use profanity in speaking to your neighbor or followers?  I’m not sure, but the excuses I heard in this broadcast were not convincing.

I heard one of the podcasters say they want to speak on their podcast as they normally speak when they are NOT broadcasting. Well, why would that be an issue? I suppose he wants to be genuine or he wants to be “himself.” Is there any reason or instance that vulgar language is used privately and not appropriate for broadcasting? I wonder. The podcaster seems to be making the argument that what we say after a few beers with friends is okay to broadcast to the world. I’m not sure too many would agree with that (ask James Okeefe’s interview subjects). Maybe because it reveals something about the speaker that doesn’t reflect their character in a good way, and so it may discourage some from listening to them. Maybe, huh?

As the video I was watching progressed, one of the podcasters attacked those who didn’t want to hear profanity, or who decided to avoid their most valuable podcast as being “not awake yet,” “not ready for their message,” or “immature.” However, the degradation of the language and the downgrading of standards of human discourse may be the immature thing to do. Just sayin’. I ask, who do you want to emulate? Cursing, swearing, and vulgarity are used in the language of Satan.  Watch any movie about exorcism and you will hear nothing BUT vulgarity from the demon that possesses the individual.  That tells you something. Do you want to emulate Christ? When does Jesus use profanity? Like… never. There’s a good book to read for those who are interested in imitating Christ. It’s called The Imitation of Christ by Thomas á Kempis, available through Ignatius Press.

Using profanity makes the demons dance! They love to see humans do it. While the saints, on the other hand, pity the cursing sinners and pray for their repentance. Again, who do you want to emulate? For podcasters and others who use profanity in a limitless way and even those who use it occasionally for emphasis and spout all kinds of excuses and profess their freedom to do so, I agree. You have free will and the freedom to choose good or bad in every circumstance. I am not for censorship!

But I am for EDITING! I encourage editing one’s writing and speech to be optimally effective. If you are using profanity for emphasis, please don’t kid yourself. Few are offended by your profanity anymore.  It’s so overused that people claim it as a right as if it is a good. These vulgar, debasing words are so overused today that no one hears your emphasis. So please don’t insult your reader by using that as an excuse. Do you use it to be cool? Oh my. I can’t address that. It’s too lame an excuse.

So in conclusion, to these podcasters, I say no, I’m not offended by your use of profanity. I am commanded by God NOT to use or engage with those who use vulgar speech or curses or swearing. As for the overused and now quite common F-word, that’s pure pornography in speech, prohibited by the Sixth Commandment.  So it’s all off-limits for me and all Christians. I have a right to choose my podcasts, as we all do, and luckily, in this age of independent media, we all have a choice, and many fine podcasters do not engage or degrade their speech with profanity. I’ll choose them.

Speak in life as you do in prayer.