An Enlightened Persona

If you read the previous post you saw that I'm trying on a new persona in which I don't swear so much.  I would like to give you a little background information into my foul mouthed history.  First of all, I never used to swear, ever.  Then I went to Seminary and, well... now I swear...a  lot.  Not that I'm linking the two.  I'm pretty sure the seminary brochure doesn't say anything like "Come explore your spiritual calling and develop a mouth like a sailor!" But it should.  I digress...

I never used to swear, then suddenly while pursuing deep and introspective theological reflection, I did.  My mom recently pointed this out to me while we were on a walk.  Now my mom may be one of the sweetest souls I've yet encountered on this planet but that said, she doesn't mince words when she feels pretty strongly about something. "You're crass," she said to me after I let an expletive fly.  I couldn't help but agree after considering it for a moment.

The question is, what do I do about it?  I figure I'm on a kick to be wholly better,  I'm working out, I'm trying to eat healthier (ignore that Oreo cookie I just accidentally consumed, ok ok I ate two!).  The way I see it, I may just as well try to stop swearing so much.  So far I'm not doing so well.  I know this because the only days I'm successful are days where I don't talk to anyone...which doesn't bode well for the other days when I open my mouth. 

So I'm throwing this out there into the great wide yonder...any suggestions on how I can be a better person, or maybe just stop swearing?! 


  1. I too am traveling down the "how to stop swearing" road and have found it's easiest to take the journey one word at a time. I'm fondest of the effinhymer because of it's impact so I intend to save the best for last.

  2. Being a fellow seminary veteran, I wonder how much of that could be a natural emotional reaction to it? The “church” is an institution, and we are taught to have expectations of it. Even congregationally we are faced with grit and grime as much (or more often) as “godliness,” whatever that means. And when the larger institution reveals itself as less than we insist it be, has let us down, has in many cases been abusive, we naturally lash out in classic passive-aggression. Nautical language was endemic when I was there. I know; I’m was both a linguist and a sailor ;)

    This supposes the response of those who fit into it and play the game, maybe never realizing that it is so; that being an admonishment to remember that any institution is a “human” organization, and so is inherently faulty. So we ought therefore to plug along and not rock the boat and please do not point out its failings.

    There truth in that, but it is a half-truth at best. I essence, the admonition is predicated on the assumption that the institution is self-worthy of respect, by virtue of being institutionally sanctioned by God. Being taught so throughout spiritual adolescence, we unconsciously do exactly what the Reformation fought against: concede spiritual authority to the priesthood. And not the one of “all believers,” but simply the priesthood. That which attends seminary, and which perpetuates the institution however good of persons they may be.

    So there is wailing and gnashing of teeth in the darkness of the Shadowlands of theological education, the place where those who are called, but who do not fit in, are shelved as curiosities. And F-bombs. For if we will not be heard theologically, then we will ruffle their piety. Under our breath, so that we don’t get chucked out completely.

    Of course it’s not an excuse. We shouldn’t want our speech to degenerate to the point where we become so inured to it that it is little more than discourse pauses, such as among sailors, hockey players, WWF, and Congress.

  3. Didn't we used to fine the rugby players 25 cents each time they swore? You could try that and then give the money to some organization you abhor, like the GOP. That might get you to stop fast. Truly, you are very intelligent and your crassness does not express that at times. I personally like your creative ways of steering around foul words. It makes me laugh all the more.


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