Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Curse The Darkness

Last week, University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari created headlines when he used very vulgar profanity in addressing one of his players during a game. The storm arose because the television feed carried his language into living rooms all across the country. His apology was quickly forthcoming although I thought expressed more regret in that others heard what he said than actually regretting the specific words, which begin with the letter F. In my Gospels class, we had just finished the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus addresses, among other things, our speech. I asked one of my classes to discuss whether profanity is ever acceptable. I grew up in a home where gee-gosh-golly-heck were forbidden so suffice it to say, these kids are growing up with much different standards. These students are in high school and their thoughts are all used with permission.

"I don't think that there is any justification for using profanity. In society today, it has become the norm to use foul language to get someones attention or to make a point. But it has come to this because people have become used to only listening to directions when bad language is used. We all know that if someone hits you (especially as a child), you act like the "bigger" person and don't do it back. Using profanity is the same because someone may or may not have done/said anything and we are retaliating and making the situation worse. I remember in 7th grade, I had a male teacher who I was really afraid of. As the year went on, I became more comfortable until one day we were correcting sentences on the board and no one knew how to answer. We sat there until he cussed at one of the students and slammed on the board. Obviously, it made an impression on me because I still think about it today. It all comes down to your values and the respect you have for yourself and others." Audrey

"Profanity is inappropriate in most situations, but in some situations, it may be fine, or at least understandable to curse. For example, on the battle field, if you as the commander wanted to enforce orders quickly, you better curse or do something to make you soldiers follow that command instantly without hesitation. There are also other situations where you are in great pain and you cannot control what you are saying." Bao

"As a Christian, I do not believe that there is any justification for cursing. According to the Bible, we should glorify God in everything we do. I believe that also includes what you say. As a person who used profanity alot in the past, I realize that everything you say is a reflection of your heart. I didn't want my heart to be filled with negative things and I didn't want to be hypocritical to my faith. Whether or not I realized it, someone was always watching my actions. I didn't want to be a bad representation of Christ. I didn't want to be like the world so I stopped." Oyinda

"I personally think that profanity is a tool often used negatively but when used or applied in the correct context, it can be used to harness positive outcomes. In most cases, though, profane language is used as a derogatory term in communication. I believe the extreme emotion carried behind the words is what causes the biggest effect. So, overall the use of profanity can never be justified but in the end, I still feel that it can have positive outcomes." Ernest

"Personally, I do not care if a person uses profanity around me; I have grown up with it all of my life. Sometimes, I use it when I get really frustrated- I never use it in other situations. My parents were very strict with that as was my school. So, I have always been told that profanity is off limits. But, on the other hand, when I go home and listen to the radio, television, or Internet, I find that profanity is everywhere. I have decided to create my own rules for profanity. I rarely use profanity around a girl that I barely know. I don't use it around my parents, or other adults- I think that is completely disrespectful. I am all about respect for others. But, profanity helps me sometimes when I have so much stress built up inside of me that I just let it out; profanity is a good way of releasing it. When I play basketball and I don't focus on anything but the ball, my language is hard to maintain. But, I try to do my best to remember not to use it. When a person uses it excessively, that's when it becomes a big NO-NO. I also think profanity shows a lack of diction." Lance

"In my perspective, I think that 'bad words' are a sin against God. I came to the US from China as a freshman. My friends at the public school taught me how to say bad words. Since they are called bad words, I know they are bad. My parents never let me say or learn bad words even in Chinese because they think it is a sign of disrespect. In my opinion, people who speak using bad words are showing a low class education from their family. People who act the way they are supposed to are considered to be at a high knowledge level. I have never said a bad word because I understand my value as a student, daughter, and as a part of my country." April

Applicable quote of the day:
“All hockey players are bilingual. They know English and profanity.”
Gordie Howe

God bless,
Luke 18:1

E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com


Terry said...

When I became a Christian, profanity was the first thing I gave up. It simply dishonors Christ.

Erlon Andrade said...

I agree with you, bad words are sin
against God!
I'm from Brasil - Belém -Pará

Richie said...

Take it a step further and ask yourself, is God concerned with the syllables (the actual sounds you make with your mouth) or the fact your speech isn't pure?

What I mean is, even in replacement speech, "Oh crap!" -- you're still meaning the same thing from your heart, and God requires truth from our innermost parts.

Jesus said we would give an account on judgement day for every idle word spoken. I don't think that is limited to the dirty words of the English language. It includes anything hateful, derogatory, untruthful, disrespectful, gossiping and so on.

God bless, Richie

Beth said...

I do agree with you. As I was growing up number six in a family with 8 children my mom had plenty of occasion to get aggravated. I never heard her curse in her lifetime. When upset she would start whistling God Bless America and occasionally start singing it. As my children were growing up I found myself doing the same thing.