Swearing and the choice of language

14 January 2011

Last night BBC “Question Time” discussed choice of language which has been the subject of public debate in recent weeks.

Speaking about Jack Straw’s choice of language about young Pakistani males targeting young white females, Charles Kennedy said: “There is also a responsibility to chose your words with care.”  Then chosing his words with care, he continued: “and, you know, there’s a,” and taking a second run at his chosen words, he continues “there’s a h*** of an argument going on in the United States at the moment as a result of dreadful events that have taken place there”, referring to Sarah Palin’s choice of words in the Arizona shooting incident.  At the end of his contribution there was applause from the audience and no-one drew attention to his own language.

This shows how humanist standards are prevailing in public life.  Swearing is o.k. but speaking the truth if it offends someone else is not.  Humanist morality is not the same as Christian morality because humanist morality misses out the first four commandments.

Consider the following words: God, Christ, Jesus, Lord, hell, damn.  Each one is a swear word.  Each one should be, and is, used in a serious context - instead the media and public figures use them as swear words.  This offends Christians and diminishes the serious content of the words - the humanist agenda.  Sarah Palin is demonised (note the word, used in the BBC “This Week” programme which transformed her appearance with horns and devil’s eyes) for using the phrase “blood libel” because of its associations, but it is acceptable to use the name of God, Jesus, Christ and hell as pejorative forms for emphasis.  Consider the effect if people began to use Mohammed as a swear word.

Correcting this demeaning of serious Christian terms is not on the public agenda - because there are “more important” things to consider.  The public agenda is a humanist agenda, and it is time for Christians to draw attention to it and to change it.  Meanwhile, that for forgotten commandment, the third commandment, gives as its reason: “for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes His name in vain” Exodus 20:7.  The Lord notices, although few others care.  Scripture teaches that the Lord has a controversy with those that “profane My holy name”, and our country would do well to take note.

Update: 13/8/2011: The World Pipe Band Championships 2011 at Glasgow Green was shown by the BBC online and appreciated by watchers all round the world, who were able to watch the event live, and to interact with proceedings by posting comments.  An SCP member posted a comment which was accepted quickly.  Towards the end of the event he posted a second comment, just as many others had done.  “It has been so much - so many memories!  I’ve never watched so much continuous piping.  It will be some orchestra in heaven.  Don’t miss out on it.”  This religious comment did not pass the BBC censors, but he gave them an another opportunity and posted it again over half an hour later.  Again it failed to appear.  We wonder if he had said “it was pure heaven”, would it get through the censors?  He didn’t attempt this because he didn’t believe it was pure heaven.  But we suspect that the usage of such phraseology would be acceptable because the religious words are used in a flippant or allegorical manner, and not in a serious one with their proper meaning.  This is what Christians are up against in this Newspeak age.  “The Worlds” was won by
Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, Northern Ireland’s premier Grade One pipe band.  This was its 100th consecutive major prize-winning performance.

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