noun: euphemism; plural noun: euphemisms
a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing.
Christians like to use euphemisms. It's all the words we use when we want to cuss. "Cuss" itself is an interesting word. It's a shortened Bible-belt form of "curse". We Christians would never want to curse. That would be a sin, so we have come up with all these replacement words for the actual profanity. Here are a few of them with their actual equivalents.
Shucks, Shoot, Crap = Shit
Dang, Darn, Drat = Damn
Frigg, Flip, Shag = Fuck
Son of a Gun = Son of a Bitch
Stupid Idiot = Dickhead
Someone from Indiana = Bastard = i.e. Paul Ryan
That last one was sort of my own invention. The Hoosiers run around saying "Hoosier Momma, Hoosier Pappa"...but I digress.
The thing is, what we call swearing, cursing and profanity and what these things actually are - are very different from actual cursing or swearing. None of the words above have any relevance to what God said in Exodus 20:7.
7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
The name of God was and is a sacred thing. It must not be misused, abused or casually spoken without the proper reverence. The ancient Hebrews and the Jews after them would go to ridiculous lengths to avoid this. They would not speak the actual name of the Lord, even in worship, and they would not write it or carve it on any surface from which it could be removed. They would substitute the word "adoni", which means "Lord" in Hebrew, even when reciting or copying scripture. They would use a euphemism for the name of God so as not to profane His divine and unspeakable, unpronounceable Name. You think I'm kidding (another euphemism)? I am not. There is even speculation that the actual name of God with it's proper spelling and pronunciation, has been lost, making it impossible to literally violate his command. If something goes unspoken and unwritten, it gets forgotten. Nevertheless, intention is 9/10's of the law.
This is the purest definition of what it means to cuss. All the other stuff is fluff. There are things that many people, particularly in the Christian world, the Church world, are uncomfortable talking about. They have to do with sex, defecation, urination and expectoration. These are perfectly ordinary human bodily functions that seem to make Christians squeamish. Yet we seem to have all these other words we use to talk about those things. Poop, Pee and Whoopee have been popularly used in the Christian community, they are not as clinical sounding as the actual terms and they are not considered profane. Slang maybe, but not profanity. There is nothing wrong with this, but there is nothing wrong with saying 'shit' or 'piss' or or or. As long as you do not take the Lord's name in vain, your use of other language will not offend me.
But what about 'damn'? Well really, we should not be damning people or animals of inanimate objects. This is like judging them. Seriously. Yet we do not seem to have a problem with 'darning' or 'danging' them. These words carry the same meaning as 'damning', but we Christians do not seem to have an issue with using them. We are less offended if our brethren say 'dang'. Again, intention is 9/10's of the law.
What we intend with the language we use is what determines if it's profane. You cannot just say that certain words are off limits to prevent abuse of God's name. To do that is to build a hedge about God's law. We find a way to violate the intent of God's law without actually doing it. This is not good.
So the next time you hear someone using some salty language, consider their intent before making judgements about their character.
Dang. I write some good shit sometimes. (;^))))