Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Words We Don't Hear in Church

Did George Carlin go PC- or did he just get the last laugh? One fine day about 15 years ago, I was watching "Thomas the Tank Engine" with my young son. "Thomas the Tank Engine" was a wonderful program for young children but narrated by none other than Carlin himself! Carlin surely got off- at the "dazed and confused" generation's expense- on a really weird bit of irony! With my thanks to blogger Martha Hoverson over at, what are some of the words you can't say in church? I am a child of the 60's and 70's and enjoyed Carlin's satire which often pointed out our own idiocy and hypocrisy. You can, of course, think of Carlin's original seven words as now being a little more acceptable in the general culture.

To twist it the other way, there are some words we regularly hear on the news and in general that we just don't hear much in church: torture (ironic that Jesus was a torture victim). Another is global warming (thank you P. Johns). While we drive to get another one at Starbucks, food vs. fuel would be a phrase that we could add. And thanks, in part to Starbucks, fair trade. Other phrases would be the adverb buying, with any number of nouns, such as buying humans (slavery). Closely linked to buying is war profits. Yet another is corporate greed. We could name more, but these are the start of a good seven.

Why are these words used everywhere but don't seem to be part of the general discourse of church settings? "What we have here is failure to communicate." (Cool Hand Luke)

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