Monday, June 3, 2013

Big 10 Countdown – #3

by M. J. Joachim

Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of the Lord Thy God in Vain

Duh! And yet it happens all the time, especially on t.v. and combined with other profanities. I read a post recently by my friend Arlee Bird; he addressed the onslaught of so much foul language in our society and culture. For whatever reason, much of our culture and society doesn’t seem too concerned with swearing these days.

Even my kids tell me, “They’re just words. Why get so uptight about it?” Because regardless of how we minimize it, words still communicate what we say, think and feel, so when we don’t choose our words carefully, or when we cuss like sailors who have been out on the sea too long, we don’t exactly represent ourselves or our culture in a positive light.

The reality is, we’ve conditioned ourselves to become desensitized to profanity. G. D., taking the Lord’s name in vain, is literally broadcast across the airwaves numerous times every day. Pick any intense show that isn’t about vampires and werewolves, and you’re likely to hear it by the head of the corporation, as he slams his foes and puts his family members in their place. Strong leadership requires swearing, after all. People stand up and listen to you more when you preface your words by saying, “G. D.”

I don’t have the answers to this decline in society’s communication skills, or its disinterest in making it stop. There is no swearing police that I know of, and the entertainment industry doesn’t seem likely to edit “G. D.” out of its scripts anytime soon.

People will say what they are going to say, imposing it on our ears without thinking twice. When they did it with smoke, the government put a lid on it, making bookoo bucks on all their government rules, regulations, fines, tax codes etc. etc.

Swearing isn’t a money-maker, however, and it seems the entertainment industry is doing just fine adding it in for effect. Until such a time as society gets tired of it, swearing is here to stay. And “G. D.,” (taking the Lord’s name in vain) and the ripple effect from letting it be considered “just words” is one of those commandments that seems to have been caught in the crossfire.

Thank you for visiting Being Catholic.

M. J.

Photo credit:  No bad behavior sign, Ben Schumin, Creative Commons Attribution – Share Alike 3.0

©2013 All Rights Reserved