I was at Wal-Mart the other day having my tires checked. The woman behind the counter was trying to let a customer out of the Automotive Department door and couldn’t get the door to open. She became upset and said the word “damn.” I was surprised.

Obviously, I have heard bad language before. It’s virtually inescapable, even on prime time television.

I wasn’t really offended, per se. But there are certain contexts where you expect to hear profanity and standing in line at Wal-Mart isn’t one of them, particularly coming from the cashier.

Some would argue that that wasn’t exactly profanity. I disagree. Any word I wouldn’t want to hear coming out of my 6-year-old’s mouth is, in my opinion, a bad word. So I try to avoid taking her into those situations and I try to stay away from them myself. As evidenced by the above experience, that isn’t always possible so we have to train our children and ourselves what is acceptable language and what isn’t.

But what do we believe to be profanity? Is it just the F-word and the usual suspects when it comes to bad language? What about words that may not offend us if used in the correct context but when they are not, they are offensive?

Take for example Jesus Christ or God. When discussing the Bible, these words are fine. When they are taken in vain, they become curse words. Do we view them as just as offensive as the F-word or more so? In our view, is blasphemy a bigger sin than using foul language? These questions should be examined.

One of the 10 Commandments reads at Exodus 20:7, “You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.” (New Revised Standard Version)

But it also says at Ephesians 5:3,4, “Let fornication and uncleanness of every sort or greediness not even be mentioned among YOU, just as it befits holy people; neither shameful conduct nor foolish talking nor obscene jesting, things which are not becoming, but rather the giving of thanks.” (New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures)

In addition, Colossians 3:8 says, “But now really put them all away from YOU, wrath, anger, badness, abusive speech, and obscene talk out of YOUR mouth.” (NWTHS)

The scriptures above show that the Bible clearly says that profanity should be avoided, just as much as taking the name of God or his son in vain.

So, yes, blaspheming the name of God or Jesus Christ should be considered profanity, equally as offensive as words that are bleeped out of movies run on cable.

— Melissa Smith

Assistant Managing Editor

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