Thursday, December 13, 2007
The Preacher’s Corner
No point in trying to sneak by censors yet again
Last week when I stopped by The South Reporter office to pick up my paper, the staff was waiting to pounce! I figured they would, for I had submitted a column that contained a word that cannot be published in a family newspaper. There is no point trying to sneak by the censors yet again, but let’s just say that when I referred to that cell phone that rang during a moment of intense pathos in a movie theater I used a stronger word than “blasted” to describe it!
Perhaps you feel the same way. Cell phone noise has become my new pet peeve, edging out flash photography at weddings.
Anyhow the ladies of the SR said they were trying to protect me in case some of my church ladies are sensitive about “blue language.” I appreciate the concern. Once, I was trying to vacuum up sawdust the carpenter had left in our church. The bag on the vacuum was defective and it flew off three times, spreading the dust further each time. Finally, thinking myself alone in the empty church, I let loose a string of invective, and it was at just that moment I heard one of my sweetest (but most understanding) church ladies (Mrs. Sarah Hettinger) calling for me, “Yoo-hoo!” If she heard my fit of temper she never let on. (However, the church did soon purchase a new vacuum.)
When my friend Will’s son Paul was about four, the tot unleashed a tirade of curse words. Moreover, Will says, the boy used the words “correctly.” Startled, Will realized the genie was out of the bottle, so all he could was gather up his son and explain to him that he must never say those words in front of his mother. When reminded of the incident, all Will’s wife Sally can say is that “he didn’t learn those words from me.”
Some things need to be cursed, and the only problem I have with cursing is “wasting” a good oath on a situation that is not deserving. Cancer needs to be cursed. Foolish wars and senseless gun violence need to be cursed. Waste of precious natural resources needs to be cursed. Misguided religious zealotry needs to be cursed. Poverty, hunger, and injustice need to be cursed. Intolerance and racial discrimination need to be cursed.
Some would be nonplussed by the use of profanity in God’s house. I do not recommend it, but in a committee of our synod (the regional governing body of our denomination), an elder of my acquaintance was having a terrible time explaining a point to a minister on the committee. Finally the minister became so frustrated he uttered an oath. Before he could apologize, the elder roared, “Now, we can communicate!” They went on to a heated, but very productive exchange of ideas.
I promise to try and express my thoughts for The South Reporter in more temperate language, but I still like to think of what Queen Elizabeth said when she was knighting several of her subjects in the Henry VII chapel of Westminster Abbey.
As one poor gentleman knelt to vow everlasting fealty to his queen, his “blasted” cell phone went off. Elizabeth lowered her sword and fixed a stony gaze. “We’d better stop and let you answer that,” she said. “It might be something important!”
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