Deconstruction and Swearing

deconstruction and swearing cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

Description: A boy says to his mom, “Mom, since we stopped going to church you’ve gotten really good at swearing!”


Why I advocate for swearing during our deconstruction:

1. Release: Swearing releases. Venting emotions by swearing can be effective and safe. Research shows it even decreases pain.

2. Freedom: When we leave controlling cultures, swearing is an easy expression of our freedom. Liberated from a culture where even our words are policed, swearing is a declaration of our independence.

3. Adulting: This is how many adults talk. We swear because we can. It’s everyday speech. Some swear a lot. Others less. Some judge people who swear as stupid and lazy. But I know intelligent people who swear and less intelligent people who don’t.

4. Word: Sometimes no word expresses what we want better than a swear word. Other words fail to convey our thoughts or feelings.

5. Humor: Swearing can be comic relief. It can lighten things up in humorous ways. Watching a guru swear is just funny. We appreciate comic relief in the middle of crises.

6. Spirituality: Jesus did the equivalent of swearing by calling his opponents names and telling them to do this or that. We’ve sanitized spirituality to where we’re no longer human. Swearing is an expression of flesh and blood people rather than disembodied spirits.

Why police our words? Sure, I want to say things that are helpful, honest, and true. I want to speak in ways that build up the good and bring down the bad. But if swearing helps me do that, I will.

Out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks. Swearing can be a healthy part of that process.

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