I am not a prude, but my ears are burning!
Monday, May 22, 2017
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Deanna and I went to see a movie recently about three retirees who, because their pensions had been revoked, were plotting to rob a bank.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.