SabbathPosts 2023/10/28

{Edited from a conversation I had a while back about foul language (if you don’t mind reading some foul language).}

On foul language specifically, in the past it was a category of “strong language”, anything shocking lumped into one category, simply as what would be impolite to say in front of women and children. This is one reason it is more associated with soldiers and sailors – people who spent larger amounts of time away from women and children.

Within that category, as you would expect, were things which one should not say, such as of course blasphemy, and flippantly swearing oaths or flippantly cursing – a line should justly be drawn between cursing things and cursing people as well. God cursed a fig tree because he was hungry and upset that it didn’t have any figs. Obviously not an excuse to be careless or flippant – nothing is an excuse not to have self-control; what it does confirm is that this is a natural and innocent action to take when one is upset (again, deliberately, not lashing out as so many do with curses).

Also in the category of shocking language were simple references to such things as blood, or hell. Obviously not wrong to mention, but obviously fall in the shocking category. It all got lumped together, and lines were blurred.

As well, false “Christianity” has often been associated with women and children in the worst ways: effeminate and puerile, a kind of dainty, flowery, sweet, pretty religion, if not limp, prissy, pouting, doe-eyed, insipid, and lame. Thus much worship offered to Christ tends to resemble goddess worship. And then you have cherubs depicted as pudgy baby heads with tiny wings, rather than the fire wreathed winged oxen ridden to war and desolation – the contrast makes your head spin.

False “Christianity” has also been associated with the upper-class: the elegant society, genteel, proper, aristocratic – which is again associated with rejection of shocking language as a whole. In the end, even listening to such language was condemned.

One reasoning for this which has merit in some cases is that it can become a bad habit (like anything done outside of self-control), and you don’t want to be influenced to form such habits. This is of course mainly important for those who are impressionable like children, or those who already have problems with such habits.

In my family I’m the one who edits out the foul language with a video editor and then those of us who are old enough for the scariness level watch them together. Papa said that in Princess Bride when Inigo says, “I want my father back you son of a bitch”, we’d leave it in because it was really so appropriate. 🙂

Another aspect, particularly for writers, is that vulgarity rarely adds anything; it’s generally cheap and lame, and people spend enough time with their head in a toilet, if you know what I mean. But there is an old book I like, The Ghost Pirates by William Hope Hodgson, which has a lot of coarse language in it. Some of his other books have none at all.

{I would add that I knew a pastor who said “bitch” all the time – because he was also a dog-breeder. 🙃 In “The Last Battle”, C. S. Lewis humorously had it that dogs considered the word “girl” an offensive word. Brad Stine pointed out once that the address used by John the Baptiser, “son of a snake”, is a rather more intrinsically strong term.}

#SabbathPosts 2023/10/28