Dale Glading's Blog

I am not a prude, but my ears are burning!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Comments: 12

I shouldn't have to write this article, but I am. Why, you ask? Because I am tired of hearing profanity used virtually everywhere I go... even in what was once considered "polite company".

In recent weeks, I have been cursed at on a basketball court by a young man 30 years my junior for calling a legitimate foul. Ironically, his tirade increased in volume and vitriol after I identified myself as a minister.

I also overheard a conversation between a man and a lady - both professionals in their forties - who apparently had just met for the first time. Seated on an airplane in the row behind me, they exchanged pleasantries (if you can call anecdotes about their respective drinking exploits from the night before "pleasant") before engaging in a conversation laced with profanity.

Worst of all, I have been an "ear-witness" to several recent conversations between professing Christians in which foul language was used repeatedly.

Like I said, I am not a prude, or at least I don't think I am. After all, I have spent the past 30 years ministering in hundreds of prisons across North America and Africa. So if there is a curse word out there, I suppose I've heard it - and more than once.

True, I expect to hear profanity in prison and yes, even on the neighborhood basketball court at times. But since when did it become common practice for men to curse in front of women? And since when did women - rather than act insulted and justifiably so - start giving it right back in spades?

Some friends of mine and I occasionally play a game where we award points for using an unusual word in proper context during a conversation. Marginally unique words earn half a point whereas truly unusual ones garner a full point. Employ a rare word with 10 or more letters and you are sure to go home with a point and a half.

I guess it's our way of expanding our vocabularies in this age of Snapchat and Twitter. I am sure that Mrs. Coffee, my 11th grade English teacher, would be pleased.

My point is this: does every noun really have to be preceded by a profane adjective? And who decided that dropping an F-bomb in public is considered tolerable, let alone acceptable?

Deanna and I went to see a movie recently about three retirees who, because their pensions had been revoked, were plotting to rob a bank. The story line was creative and the cast featured such film icons as Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin and Ann Margaret. Sadly, the PG-13 rated movie must have featured at least two dozen expletives... and not all mild ones either.

So much for cinematic royalty holding us - or themselves - to a higher standard. Or, for that matter, parents, public officials and pastors setting a proper example.

I realize that I live in a glass house and that my sins are many. But may I remind you that my glass house isn't soundproof and neither is yours... and little ears are listening to both of us.

Let's all strive to do better - at least for their sake.

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  1. John Chisholm John Chisholm Dale,

    I couldn't agree more! I am also sick and tired of people using foul language anywhere and everywhere. Unfortunately, profanity has become common place in our schools and I'm exposed to the filth flowing from student's mouths throughout the day. I try to encourage them to avoid using expletives, but they simply look at me like I'm out of my mind. I often tell my students that I hear LESS profanity ministering in prison. As strange as that may sound, it's true. I've experienced a great deal of respect in prison and have even received apologies from inmates after a slip of the tongue. Teachers and coaches using profanity around students has somehow become an acceptable practice as well. It is very discouraging. Just wanted to let you know you're not alone. Thanks for the article brother.

    CHIZ Tuesday, May 23, 2017
  2. keith keith Mrs. DiMaggio taught English? How droll.

    The deterioration of language generally is a symptom I think of an erosion of standards of any type and the concomitant reduction of courtesy and civility. At its heart is a lack self-respect and respect for others, as well as a paucity of imagination and a dearth of creativity. Tuesday, May 23, 2017
  3. Dale M Glading Dale M Glading You're right about receiving more respect in prison, brother. And yes, I've had inmates apologize to me as well for using foul language. Tuesday, May 23, 2017
  4. Dale M Glading Dale M Glading I caught the DiMaggio reference, brother. As for your expanded vocabulary, you broke the bank on points!
    Tuesday, May 23, 2017
  5. Dottie Brittin Dottie Brittin Dale, I, also, could not agree with you more. I guess, because of my age, I live a "sheltered life with close contact with only family and grandchildren and church friends and am not daily subjected to this despicable vocabulary; however, when confronted in public places, I think it effects and repulses me more than you in the younger generation who expect it to happen. Especially when the offenders use our Savior's name. One time while waiting in a long line, a young man kept continually cursing our Lord. Finally, I turned to him and said, "It's not Jesus' fault so stop the profanity". It probably is a good thing that I am 75 because he looked like he wanted to hit me. He and his friends spent the remainder of our wait laughing and talking about crazy old people.
    Thanks for the article and thanks for all you do to encourage so many to forsake their old ways and turn to Jesus.
    Dale, I pray for you and the ministry often and I know God will continue to bless in all areas of your life as you fulfill His plans for the ministry He has given you.
    To God be the glory.
    Dottie Tuesday, May 23, 2017
  6. Gary Meyer Gary Meyer Dale, I NEEDED to hear this as I am one of the offenders of this. I am not even a little offender, but a bigger offender of this. My first step is to admit it, then that I want to change as my second step. Thank you for bringing this up as my third step will be to try and change this and be more conscience of this. Your friend, Gary E. Meyer Tuesday, May 23, 2017
  7. Bart Mazzarella Bart Mazzarella As a former Rock Radio DJ who moved freely in those circles where profanity was in abundance, and as a former member of the U.S. Army where I fit in nicely (or not nice at all) because I stooped to the level of a snake's vocabulary, I received a comeuppance from my young (20 year old) wife who, quite emphatically, forbade me to use "that language" around her or our family. This was pre-kids, and because of my respect for her I have never uttered a profane word in front of them after that. Now it's a rare occasion when I slip up today. And when I do,it's followed by a "sorry Lord, I'll try to be better than that". Over the years I've noticed how profanity has become widely accepted in our culture, especially among children and (gasp) women! When I was younger it was thought to be unladylike to be caught uttering such corruptible adjectives in public. I point to a number of causes, high on my list is the universal lack of respect folks have for one another these days. Lack of self dignity is another. How about the caving of discipline within our schools where teachers take a "hands off" approach due to administration's fear of being sued by parents for being harsh with their children. All in all you've touched a nerve in me that continues to flinch each time my ears are assaulted by such lazy and careless people. Tuesday, May 23, 2017
  8. Dale M Glading Dale M Glading Dottie, thanks for your prayers and words of encouragement! Tuesday, May 23, 2017
  9. Dale M Glading Dale M Glading Gary, we all (I am the chief of sinners) have issues and areas of our lives that need improvement. I'm grateful for your transparency and will be praying for God's grace and power for you to achieve victory in this area. Love you, my friend! Tuesday, May 23, 2017
  10. Dale M Glading Dale M Glading Very well said, Bart. And like you, I am grateful for a godly wife! Tuesday, May 23, 2017
  11. Carol Mahony Carol Mahony Dear Dale, Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts and concerns. I approve of all that you say. The offensive language and actions do not enrich the story line. CSM Tuesday, May 23, 2017
  12. Dale M Glading Dale M Glading Thanks for your kind words, Carol. Wednesday, May 24, 2017