A brief history of taking the Lord’s name in vain

giphyOf course, when no less a Big Thinker than Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says he believes the world is going to hell in a hand basket because people like me (women) drop the F-bomb, you really have to drop to your knees and pray about it for a moment.

I mean: Scalia! Has! Fucking! Spoken!

Stretching all the way back to the Book of Exodus (that’s before Jesus’s time, for you non-theology majors), the injunction against cursing was pretty specific — “taking the Lord’s name in vain” was taboo, though I believe the word “fuck,” as we know it, was born later.

Moving eons forward, in general if a Puritan (male or female) cursed — I suppose any old dirty word would do — they could expect to pay a fine. (Then, too, the Puritans, like Scalia, were particularly offended when females cursed.)

We have carried on this fining tradition at my own house. Part of my attempts to stop cursing so fucking much has involved levying a fine against myself, to be collected by my delighted sons who — or so I have come to believe — would sometimes fucking seek to provoke me into cursing, the little fuckers.

I have walked a long way from my girlhood, where as a denizen of the church of Christ, I lived within boundaries of injunctions against even using near-swears, like “gosh.” I got into deep trouble in high school once because I slammed my locker and said “Damn,” and my gym teacher, who overheard me, nearly collapsed on her fainting couch. Good Christian women didn’t talk like that, she said.

She was probably fucking right.

Still, I’m older now and God gave us the Interwebs, and as I seek to live a Biblical life, I found  this awesome piece that makes me happy because if I read it correctly, I can still say shit. In fact, I like pretty much everything about the piece because it reads like a much more sane view of a Biblical life. And so I am fucking letting ‘er rip. In fact, I only recently purchased a t-shirt that says “I love Jesus, but I cuss a little,” to which someone near to me responded, “A little?”

But mostly? This thin little post gives me the platform from which to sweetly ask Justice Scalia to kiss my…well, you get the picture.



Published by datingjesus

Just another one of God's children.

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      1. I didn’t mean pig. I mant prig:a self-righteously moralistic person who behaves as if superior to others.

          1. This is where I get confused:
            Scalia’s a pig…but Huckabee gets a pass?
            Scalia’s a pig…but Pammy Geller, for making a career of hate mongering and deliberately inciting an act of terrorism that cost two people their lives, gets whackadoodle?

              1. You are very good at off-the-cuff name calling!

                I vote Huckabee as whackadoodle, pig, and prig. That would be the only vote he’d get from me.

  1. So here’s a question: when one says “God bless you,” it’s kind of like a prayer, right? One is asking one’s deity to extend his blessing (whatever THAT is) to the person so addressed, right? And that’s not Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain, right?

    So how is it Taking The Lord’s Name in Vain when one says “God damn you?” Isn’t that kind of like a prayer too? One is asking one’s deity to extend a different kind of action to the person so addressed, right? It just sounds to me like SOMEONE needs to be shown what’s what, and who better to do the action?

  2. If he would stop supplying reasons to say the F-word, then maybe the world would be a little better.

  3. One of your best fucking columns ever. Reminds me of a roommate I had, who when I jokingly chided her for saying, “dammit,” replied, “It’s not taking the Lord’s name in vain if you’re actually invoking the Trinity, and as far as you know, I was.” Surprising how often I find reason to quote her.

    1. I know. I use it as a verb, an adverb, and a noun. Someone oughta wash my mouth out with soap.

      1. Does anybody have that chart of the various usages of the word in all its forms? I think it’s slipped the bonds of my email folders.

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