Mature Language! This post is rated “R,” which means that if you are offended by the language in it you are “Ridiculous” and need to grow up. Nevertheless, consider yourself warned.
Just when I thought I had seen the dumbest thing I would ever see in my life, yesterday I came across the news-to-me that homophobic, bad hairstyle wearing, latent-case pastor Mark Driscoll has a potty mouth. Sweet Jesus, the world is surely going to end! The Facebook piece I saw had a link to an interview of Driscoll by some guy who I would have been pretty sure was Methuselah had it not been for his British accent. The Brit was very concerned that the older saints of the Church not be offended by coarse language. Driscoll said that he used the language that his congregation of hip twenty and thirty-somethings use when they ask him questions about whether or not they should engage in sexual intercourse prior to marriage, what activities precisely constitute “sex,” and so on. If you wonder what all that means, it means they are asking if a blow job is the same as knocking boots, and Driscoll feels it’s all a sin if you aren’t married – but at least he’s willing to talk about it, even if his perspective isn’t biblical.
Even though I knew better, I let curiosity get the best of me and did a Google search. I found a whole gaggle of geese who were terribly upset over Driscoll’s use on a blog of frank sexual language that “is only suitable for married couples.” Still the article thought it should give people a flavor of what was being discussed yet disguise it and hoped that nobody would be offended. So, they hired some former code breakers from the CIA to create a veiled way to say what Driscoll was discussing, specifically “or-l and an-l sex.” It took me hours to figure it out. In fact, it wasn’t until I called my good friend Vanna White and asked for her help that I was told he was talking about blow jobs and something she described as “travelling the Hershey highway.” I’m still confused, but I do know what a blow job is because I know that Steve Martin got that kind of job in the movie The Jerk and wrote home to his mother about it.
You’re stroking me, right? OK, seriously. I don’t think that even rooms full of old women worry about the language people use – unless they are Evangelical Christian old women, in which case they probably talk about wanting to perform fellatio on the old guy in room 304, because if they said they wanted to blow him it would be a sin.
What kind of mindless, lobotomized people spend all their time scouring the language of others looking for a reason to be offended? Who believes that is a prudent use of their time? Who believes that God gives a rat’s ass about the language you use when there are people starving in the world, people being raped and murdered, people living in abject poverty, and a host of other ills? Who would believe God has nominated them the language police? I’ll tell you who: a gigantic asshole, and apparently Evangelical Christianity is full of them.
Step outside of your legalistic, ivory tower for just a moment and look objectively at your behavior. It is patently absurd. Do you really believe God is even half the asshole you are? Do you realize that the Twelve were fishermen and blue-collar workers? Do you suppose they said (in Aramaic) I’m going to go poo-poo now?
The truth is that Evangelical Christianity’s insistence on “pure language” is just one more way that the white church has sought to maintain its racial and ethnic purity. Just one of many ways, mind you, but it’s a big one. If we make saying motherfucker almost as big a crime as killing someone, we sure can keep those undesirable poor people and people of color outside of our lily-white sanctuaries. That’s not religion, it’s the worst of the kind of tribal, small-minded behavior that has always been the purview of assholes.
Some things never change.