Good evening. Here is today’s message. Sorry for the lateness of it.
August 31, 2021
When I woke up this morning, the word profanity was on my mind. On Sunday, August 29, 2021 after worship service, my wife and I decided to watch a movie. As we started some of the movies, there was so much profanity that we had to discontinue watching it and find another movie. For some reason, it appears that more profanity is being used during the pandemic than ever before, or am I just noticing it? Even game show hosts are beginning to use some soft curse words during prime time. Some comedians are just having a field day with some of the harshest words that can be used. Our women are degraded and disrespected in the music industry and other places like never before. Our political leaders have gone uncensored and O boy, some of the words they use can make your ears flop. Even a pastor that I know curses so much that he has earned the reputation of being referred to as the cussing preacher. I guess what really got my attention about profanity is the fact that young children are using vulgar and profane language in the presence of their parents and it is as if this is their standard routine conversation.
I can recall when our girls were in their teens, we attempted to censor what they watched on television because of the language being used ty the actors and actresses. Well, there came a time when our daughters informed us that they had heard every cuss word that could be used while they were in school. We changed our approach and began to teach them that there was a certain level of respect that we should have for each other and the use of profanity in our world is considered disrespectful.
Let’s see what the Bible says about profanity. Paul makes it clear the type of language Christians should use. “Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift” (Ephesians 4:29. MSG).
In a very interesting article by David L. Hudson Jr. (Updated August 2017), it reveals that under First Amendment jurisprudence profanity cannot categorically be banned, but can be regulated in many situations. There are however, some states that still criminalize the speaking of profanity.
For example, Michigan until December 2015 had a statute that read: “Any person who shall use any indecent, immoral, obscene, vulgar or insulting language in the presence or hearing of any woman or child shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.” The law was repealed in 2015.
North Carolina has a law on its books that prohibits cursing on public highways. The statute reads: “If any person shall, on any public highway or road and in the hearing of two or more persons, in a loud and boisterous manner, use indecent or profane language, he shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.”
In 2016, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a South Carolina law that prohibited profanity near a church or school.
David L. Hudson Jr. is a law professor at Belmont who publishes articles on First Amendment topics.
Maybe having laws in place to regulate our words is a bit much, but should we not have enough respect and dignity that we would curtail the use of certain vulgar words. Is anything sacred anymore is the question I ask? We are living in a society that seems to accept or have an, “anything goes mentality.”
According to Wikipedia the definition of profanity is: a socially offensive use of language, which may also be called cursing, swearing, or expletives. Accordingly, profanity is language use that is sometimes deemed impolite, rude, or culturally offensive.
Mathew 15: 10-11says, “And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”
The intent of this message is not to suggest that we are holier than thou, but hoping that we would not demean or degrade ourselves or those in our presence. Rather than lowering our standards, it is about time we begin to raise them. Nor is the intent to be judgmental, rather sound the alarm that profanity is not necessary.
It is my belief that we should honor and respect each other to the point of not using derogatory and painful language. Why use profanity?
Not a sermon, just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor