I am not a vile person.
I’m a sensitive guy. One of those guys who has restrained his burps for 25 years because I know it’s gross when someone next to you burps like a blow-horn.
I basically just don’t burp. Like, ever. Not even when I’m alone. Call it a gift. Or a really weird hidden talent.
Talk to anyone who knows me intimately, and you’ll find I’m not one for cursing either.
Cursing On My Blog
Last week, I posted my first blog with a swear word. One of those obscure words some would consider a curse word and others would not. I won’t repeat it here, but you can find it for yourself if you missed that late-night, stream-of-consciousness post.
Truthfully, I stared at the final draft of that post for several minutes. Wondered if I’d stepped a tad too far — forever crossed some spiritually linguistic virginity line. Strongly debated hitting the “publish” button.
But, well, it was 2am in a coffee shop, and eventually I grew tired of staring and wondering and debating and finally published the DANG thing. For better or worse.
Growing up in a Christian home, I shuddered at the sight or sound of practically any cursing, be it on screen or in print or in person. Gosh, such awful language. You’d have to be possessed by Satan himself to speak like that.
Would Jesus use curse words if He were alive in America today? Probably not, but I don’t think He’d have a Facebook or a phone either.
I mean, that’d be weird. Right?
Here’s the truth: people curse. People curse all the time. Christians too. Is it “right”? Is it “being a good testimony”?
Obviously, there are lines. As with smoking. And drinking. And tattooing. And listening to AC/DC. And doing practically anything.
So. How far is too far?
Cursing TV Scripts
Once Upon a Time is climbing my list of all-time favorite TV shows, joining the elite ranks of LOST, Seinfeld, Survivor, and Shark Tank (yes, Shark Tank). Several months ago, I was taken aback by an article about Once‘s R-rated scripts.
Yes, Once Upon a Time: the feel-good show about fairy tales and happy endings and true love’s kiss. That show had scripts laced with swear words?? And not meek innocent little wirty-dords either.
I’m talking the big one: the F-dash-dash-dash word.
But I get it; sometimes, the stakes require it. As Once’s producers recall from their time on LOST with writer/producer Damon Lindelof:
You can either be running through the jungle or you can be f–king running through the jungle — What’s more intense?
As it relates to my blog post in question, there is indeed a huge difference between someday perhaps maybe wanting to actually interact with this tall blonde homeless woman I keep seeing, and…well, you know.
Cursing Christian Writers
Secret confession: whenever I’ve read “Christian” blogs with cursing included, I’ve felt jealous. They’re getting their point across much more effectively and with far fewer words while also writing truer to their souls than me.
I often despair over this blog. I get despondent because it hardly scratches the core of my being. My identity.
Over the last year and a half, I have held back. Have long felt pressured into conforming to this perfect “Christian writer” mold when I am, in fact, far from perfect. Far messier. A weighty topic I hope to unravel in the weeks to come, both on this blog and my long-awaited newsletter, premiering very soon.
If anyone read my post last week and felt appalled or disappointed or some other overtly negative emotion, I apologize. I certainly don’t strive to offend — again, those who know me intimately understand this TMZ facet very well.
But part of reclaiming and stepping into my identity this year is to write more vulnerably. Bolder. Finding freedom to curse every now and then is only the beginning.
I’m not gonna curse here just to do it. I do believe my blog’s first curse word served a purpose. It won’t be the last time. Even if that dreaded f-bomb slips somewhere along the line, know that it was consciously written for a purposed reason.
I’m learning “being a good testimony” often means being real. Christians can be so fake about their lives and struggles; it’s disheartening. Disheartening to me, and off-putting to non-Christians at large.
Sometimes life isn’t flowery. Sometimes life does suck, and sometimes life can f-ing suck too. That’s life.
Jesus hung out with swindlers and prostitutes and the demon-possessed. I don’t think cursing scares Him.
But maybe that’s just me.
What are your thoughts? Should Christians curse? Are you turned off by Christians who curse regularly or even sporadically? Do you agree that cursing can serve a definite purpose in writing?
Let’s talk civilly.