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Lesson Purpose:

Profanity is for the illiterate, not for you! You are an intelligent human being who can use a dictionary or thesaurus when you need to describe something or some action in more powerful words.


The Lesson


Thou shall not take the name of thy God in vain:
BIBLE, Exodus, XX:7


What does IN VAIN mean?


In the Biblical sense it meant not to use God’s name for magic or mystical purposes.


It also means not to use God’s name for any other purpose that it was not intended for.


In fact, even to say the name of God was considered evil by the ancients.


What is profanity?


Other words for profanity are swearing, blasphemy, cursing, cussing, execration, imprecation, etc.


Blasphemy means to show contempt or lack of reverence for God. It is irreverence for anything held holy or sacred.


Profanity means to use profane language. It can be blasphemy.


Profane means to be debasing, unholy, and defiling, and to lack esoteric or expert knowledge.


Which is my point!


Profanity is for the illiterate, not for you! You are an intelligent human being who can use a dictionary or thesaurus when you need to describe something or some action in more powerful words.


You are looking for esoteric and expert language.


I don’t use profanity in my novels.


My characters are required to bridle their mouths. They can do what humans do, but they can not use profanity.  Yes, I know that real people use profanity.  


I may allow them to use damn and hell and historical colorful phrases, but hey can not say the words that most people consider to be dirty, offensive, or degrading.


I’m sure I don’t need to give you a list of such words.


Those words are missing in some parts of society.


I can’t remember hearing a college professor use profanity when I was an engineering professor at Iowa State University for eight years.


In fact, I don’t remember hearing profanity at all there. Even the students bridled their mouths.


Oh, I’m sure some of them used it, but at least they were polite in public and around me.


Industry and Government is another matter.


Remember the profanity in the Nixon tapes?


What a legacy to pass on to the children of America!.


I got a new boss in industry years back who I had never heard swear. Then one day when I was in his office he used all kinds of profanity just to see me flinch. He knew I was a Church leader. He was playing games.


When I didn’t respond at all to what he was saying, he stopped, apologized to me, and he was very embarrassed!
That’s how I left him: Embarrassed.


He never used profanity around me again. In fact, I don’t think it his nature to use profanity. I don’t know what got into him that day, but it couldn’t have been the Light of God.


We have remained good friends over the years.


There is too much profanity in industry.


It’s degrading to employees and they shouldn’t have to put up with it.


There are few quotations on profanity.


I think the reason is that people who are often quoted, don’t make it a habit to use profanity.


Truly intelligent people don’t use profanity.


Did everybody get that?


Using profanity shows a distinct lack of intelligence.


It pegs you as a dullard or worse.


Hold your tongue!


Jesus Christ said that it is not what a man puts into his mouth that defiles him, but what comes out of it.


What’s coming out of your mouth?


What is defiling you?


You are innocent of this behavior? Good for you!


The movies and television are full of profanity (along with other forms of corruption).


I was surprised to learn when I moved to this small mountain town in Arizona four years ago that many families here either do not have a television set or they use the set only to show videos.


They use to have television.


Now, they are afraid to watch it.


They deem it a waste of time, a source of foul language, sex, crime, and stupidity.


Do you write to television stations when they corrupt your children?


You can write to your congressmen too. Television and radio stations are federally UNREGULATED. They are supposed to be REGULATED.


If I harp any longer, you will think that I’m swearing.


But please! Let’s keep our mouths attached to our brains and avoid profanity.


Let others know that profanity is offensive to you.


Tell movie houses and television and radio station operators that you are no longer going to patronize them because of what they are presenting. It will do you no good to tell them that if they don’t be good, you will stop patronizing them. Tell them they have already lost you and that they are going to lose a lot more when you pass the word around.


A lesson from the Knights of Columbus


I’m not sure what the Knights of Columbus organization is, not being a Catholic. But a friend of mine was a member of that group.


In Denver, the Knights decided they had enough of grocery stores selling pornographic magazines and displaying them to the children and the rest of their customers.


They thought up a great little scheme.  


They each went to the grocery stores and each Knight filled his cart to overloading with several hundred dollars worth of groceries.
Then he proceeded to check out. At the checkout stand where the magazines were exhibited, he picked up a magazine and asked for the manager. When the manager arrived, the Knight said, “Why do you sell pornographic magazines, and in addition, display them for children to see?


The Knight didn’t wait for an answer. He walked out of the store leaving the filled cart for the store employees to unload back to the shelves.


It wasn’t long before the store managers got the word. The magazines were out!


Let us all speak kind words to each other!


That’s the way the Sunday School song goes, isn’t it?


Put profanity into the passed and never use it again.


For Little Children


Billy saw his older friend, Larry, at the swings in the park.


Larry was swinging as high as the birds. He pumped the swing himself, pulling back on the chains and then throwing his feet out in front of him. Billy wished he could swing that high.


Billy waved at Larry to get him to come out of the clouds. When Larry let the swing coast until it was moving low enough so that he could bail out, Larry jumped to the ground.


“What are you so excited about, Billy? I was really swinging high.”




Larry picked up a stick and threw it. “What about Tommy? Did he get hit by a car or something?”


Billy said, “No! He got his mouth washed out with soap and he can’t come out to play.”


Larry laughed. “Looks like he’s been swearing again. That will teach him. Come on, let’s go over to the ball field. They’re getting up a game of rounders over there.”


Billy said, “You would think he would learn his lesson. He missed the biggest game of the year in Little League last year because of his swearing. He is the best pitcher too and his team lost. George won’t even talk to him anymore. That’s how mad he is about losing that game.”


Larry pushed his fingers through his black hair. “Swearing is a habit like smoking. It’s hard to stop once you get started.”


Billy said, “Look! Tommy is looking out his bedroom window.”


Billy gave Tommy a rude signal with his hand.


Tommy returned the crude hand signal.


Larry said, “If you keep that up, Billy, you will be missing a lot of games too. Giving that signal is just another way of swearing. Just because you don’t say the words that go with it, doesn’t mean it isn’t swearing.”


Billy looked up at Larry and said, “I guess I still have a lot to learn from you, Larry. Will you teach me to pump my swing like you do?”


“Sure,” said Larry. “I’ll teach you later. Let’s go play ball!”


Billy looked back at Tommy’s house and Tommy was still looking out the window. Tommy made the rude sign with his hand, but Billy just gave Tommy a wave.
Copyright©2001-2012 by Taylor Jones, John T. Jones, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

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One thought on “Profanity

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