Recently, Kimberly Knight wrote that people took issues with some of the language she uses in her “Coming Out Christian” blog on Patheos. The offending post was titled “Washed in His Blood My Ass“. It was bad enough that she used the A-word in a Christian (?) article, but she also had the temerity to question penal substitutionary atonement, which everyone knows is the definitive atonement theory. Who does this woman think she is?
Actually, she’s an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. Being a woman and a pastor in the UCC is enough to raise some folk’s eyebrows, add the fact that she’s an unrepentant lesbian (gasp!) and she becomes Satan incarnate. With credentials like that, should anyone be surprised that she also holds some pretty progressive views? Rejecting PSA is just the tip of the iceberg. She also believes the Bible doesn’t prohibit same-sex relationships, that the Bible isn’t inerrant and that Jesus’ commandment to “love each other as I have loved you” trumps all the legal stuff that many Christians get so bound up over. Nor does she think that curse words are off limits for Christians.
Any regular reader here knows I agree with her on the views listed above. They also know that I sometimes use language that is…, let’s say less than savory. Though there are times when nothing expresses my feelings like a good f-bomb, I try not to use it too much. There are two reasons for that:
- Some people are offended by that kind of talk. In that light, gratiutious use of foul language isn’t loving my neighbor.
- Familiarity breeds contempt. I use words like that when I want to get your attention and nothing grabs by the shirt front like an unexpected f-bomb. If I use them all the time, they lose their impact.
People get wound up over curse words. If Kimberly’s experience is any indicator, people should really get wound up if you say Jesus (or any other biblical hero) might have cursed. Considering the people he dealt with, I can’t help thinking that he indulged in more than a few vulgarities in his time on earth. Between thickheaded disciples that just didn’t get it and Pharisees twisting his words to make them blasphemy, it would be a major miracle if he didn’t. And, I’m pretty sure God drops a few f-bombs after seeing what a mess we’ve made of Creation
There are plenty of arguments on both sides of this issue and each one has just as much validity as the other. Which is to say, not much. As with atonement, inerrancy, women in leadership roles and a host of other subjects, the fight over whether we should use the seven dirty words (warning, this is the Carlin bit) is a cop out; because as long as we’re arguing, we’re not doing. And, if this Christian thing is about anything, it’s about doing. As for the question in the title “Would Jesus drop the f-bomb?” Probably, but who gives a fuck?