Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dirty Words, Vulgarity, and Pious Disdain

I will admit it.  I'm not offended by most "dirty words".

Oh, I know many people are, so I'm not going to use them at folks - but not because there is something magical and mysterious about certain combinations of letters that make them bad, but because... I don't want to use the gift of language to harm and to hurt.

And that's the thing that I see missing from so many discussions on dirty words or vulgarity.  There's no sense of context, and not only that, there is a certain - pious disdain for those who would dare to use any sort of coarse language.  There's even the insinuation that one who uses such language can't be a Christian, isn't sanctified.

So, tell me, which of these is the greater insult.

1.  You are a blankety-blank.

2.  You are unholy and bound for hell.

You might not actually say, "God Damn you", but you're basically saying, "I hope God realizes how lousy you are and sends you to hell."

Of course, some of this is my own history, my own experience.  The vulgar, the coarse - eh, often its ignorance or anger... neither of which is good, but they are what they are.

No, the times I have been most hurt, most wounded by what someone said was never by the dirty or vulgar words... it was by the words of the seemingly pious, saying things that sounded so nice, but were said to cut to the quick, said to show that they were better than me and that I was worthless.

Your cruel and pious disdain is wrong... those are truly dirty words, even if a vulgarity touches not your lips.  You do not build up and give life, you do not speak peace and forgiveness... instead, you speak with a forked golden tongue, breathing murder and death to the weak and frail conscience.

I'd rather have someone tell me to F-off than speak and make me question my salvation.  The latter is much, much worse.


Todd Wilken said...

You wrote: "I'd rather have someone tell me to F-off than speak and make me question my salvation."

Are those our only choices? I'd choose neither. TW

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Well, I am comparing two ways in which words are abused... yet only one is normally deemed "dirty" or "vulgar".