It was three separate incidents over a period of as many weeks that persuaded me swearing is no longer the taboo it once was for Evangelicals. Three distinct gatherings of Christians during which casual profanity presented on the lips of fellow believers. By casual I mean no one hit their thumb with a hammer or was venting at injustice, pain or rage. No one erupted with
expletives in response to anything or anyone. The cussing Christians in question simply nonchalantly used vulgar words. And no
one seemed to bat an eye.
Let me clarify that I’m not talking about blasphemy. Taking the
Lord’s name in vain is still verboten among believers. Every Christian I spoke to for this article insisted they do not use Jesus’ name
as a curse, and are uncomfortable hearing others do so.
In her book Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing (Oxford Uni-
versity Press, 2013), author Melissa Mohr observes that while
profanity is “unstable” (words today considered cusses may once
have been mundane) over the centuries there have been “two
spheres of the unsayable – the religious and the sexual/excrement-
al … [which] have given rise to all the other ‘four-letter words’
with which we swear.”
It’s the indecent punch of those “sexual/excremental” words that
I’m writing about.
Why are Christians swearing so much
lately? BY PATRICIA PADDEY