Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Post of the Week Created with Sketch. Can we stop saying “God-damn”?

 

On this week’s podcast, Rob felt it necessary to say, “God-damn.” Last week, James was similarly compelled to say, “God-damn.”

My recollection is that Ricochet has a code of conduct which supports civility and prohibits vulgarity. Does this phrase not violate that code?

I am also going to go out on a limb and postulate that there is a good representation of Evangelical Christians such as myself within the Ricochet community. There are few phrases which are more offensive to Evangelicals than this.

Not to be preachy, but to establish a fact: Not misusing God’s name is the fourth of the 10 Commandments (“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” Exodus 20:7, NIV).

There would be no conservatism without something to conserve, such as the firm, longstanding, moral code of the the 10 Commandments. Haven’t many of us fought hard to keep the 10 Commandments part of our civil tradition? We are hypocrites if we fight this battle, but flagrantly ignore the Commandments’ teachings.

I am asking the Ricochet community if the momentary endorphin release which may come from saying these words is worth the cost to our cause.

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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor

    I found it jarring too, and would prefer their not using that term. Thanks for making the point. (I’m Jewish.)

    • #1
    • March 3, 2020, at 8:44 AM PST
    • 15 likes
  2. Housebroken Thatcher

    AMEN!

    • #2
    • March 3, 2020, at 8:46 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  3. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dear @bobbaima: I agree completely. Thanks for the call out. I know that cursing is now, unfortunately, part of the discourse but I think Ricochet can hold to its higher standard. I’m sure our Jewish member appreciate when people use G-d to signify that this word is important. Rob is in Manhattan swilling cocktails with the elite but I do expect more from middle-America James. 

    • #3
    • March 3, 2020, at 8:48 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  4. Freeven Member
    Freeven Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I don’t use the expression God Damn, not because I find it profane, but because I have no belief in God. I don’t find damn any more objectionable than heck, so I’m fine with it in most cases. My preferred formulation, however, is Dadgummit. I heard Hoss on Bonanza say it when I was a kid and fell in love with it. I’ve used it ever since.

    Ironically, I suppose, if I had a belief in God, I’d be more apt to say God Damn than I am now. My thinking is that if you want to curse something, appealing to God to damn it (to hell) makes sense. In many cases, I don’t see that as a misuse of God’s name. (Nor do I understand why God is considered God’s name, but as I say I’m not a religious person, so on that I yield to those who are.)

    • #4
    • March 3, 2020, at 8:48 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  5. LaChatelaine Member

    I wince everytime I hear the Lord’s name taken in vain. And I especially hate it when I’m in the car with my kids. I’m not absolutely opposed to profanity: I think sometimes the only way to relieve strong feelings is a profane expression. Which is why I am opposed to the mainstreaming of profanity, since it robs those words of their power to shock. I abhor the impoverishment of our language at any level. But in the hierarchy of profanity, the f-bomb should be at the top, & blasphemy should be nowhere on that list.

    • #5
    • March 3, 2020, at 8:52 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  6. DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl… Coolidge

    I only use the phrase when I mean it literally.

    • #6
    • March 3, 2020, at 8:54 AM PST
    • 13 likes
  7. PHenry Member

    So opposed to its use that you printed it three times on the post including the title?

    Yeah, skip the profanity. My mama taught me that people use profanity because they don’t have class and intelligence.

    • #7
    • March 3, 2020, at 8:58 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  8. PHenry Member

    DrewInWisconsin, Influencer (View Comment):

    I only use the phrase when I mean it literally.

    I guess it may be appropriate when referring to commies and abortion lovers. . .

    • #8
    • March 3, 2020, at 9:01 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  9. PHenry Member

    Bob Baima: Not misusing God’s name

    This always confused me. Is G-d’s name ‘G-d’?

    • #9
    • March 3, 2020, at 9:04 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  10. Housebroken Thatcher

    Asking the Creator to damn some one or some thing almost always indicates a failure to appreciate the seriousness of what they are asking.

     

     

    • #10
    • March 3, 2020, at 9:10 AM PST
    • 14 likes
  11. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    As my dear Mother used to say: Profanity and vulgarity are sure signs of a limited vocabulary or laziness.

    • #11
    • March 3, 2020, at 9:18 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  12. EDISONPARKS Member
    EDISONPARKS Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    In my 10 years here I’ve been censored twice for comments not even remotely profane. It seemed more as if the Ref just didn’t like my attitude so he Tee’d me up because he had had a fight with his wife earlier in the day and needed someplace to vent and I just happened to be commenting in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Now the precedent is set and we now know if we insert a stern GD in our comment we have found a safe haven from the censors.

    • #12
    • March 3, 2020, at 9:23 AM PST
    • 1 like
  13. Jdetente Member

    I think we all have to excuse Rob. I understand he was microdosing during the episode…

    • #13
    • March 3, 2020, at 9:27 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  14. BastiatJunior Member

    Uh-oh! Don’t read my quote of the day. :-o

    • #14
    • March 3, 2020, at 10:06 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  15. BastiatJunior Member

    BastiatJunior (View Comment):

    Uh-oh! Don’t read my quote of the day. :-o

    Seriously I agree with what you say. Please take my Quote of the Day in the spirit in which it was intended.

    Also disturbing is that young college graduates are using the F-word in practically every sentence. A phenomenon novelist Tom Wolfe dubbed “F— patois.”

    I recently did some contract work for a trucking company and I heard that word much more frequently from the young women in the office than I did from the drivers.

    • #15
    • March 3, 2020, at 10:13 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  16. DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl… Coolidge

    BastiatJunior (View Comment):
    Also disturbing is that young college graduates are using the F-word in practically every sentence.

    Not just young college graduates. I see it in older (mostly left-wing) people as well.

    • #16
    • March 3, 2020, at 10:28 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  17. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Freeven (View Comment):
    My preferred formulation, however, is Dadgummit. I heard Hoss on Bonanza say it when I was a kid and fell in love with it. I’ve used it ever since.

    Consarnit! I don’t know where that comes from, but I assume some old western movies. My wife’s father is an old Navy man and I’ve heard a number of curses and phrases from him that I had never heard before.

    I do recall Rob Long saying that he has been trying to clean up his language and it’s been difficult.

    • #17
    • March 3, 2020, at 10:56 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  18. EDISONPARKS Member
    EDISONPARKS Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    BastiatJunior (View Comment):

    BastiatJunior (View Comment):

    Uh-oh! Don’t read my quote of the day. :-o

    Seriously I agree with what you say. Please take my Quote of the Day in the spirit in which it was intended.

    Also disturbing is that young college graduates are using the F-word in practically every sentence. A phenomenon novelist Tom Wolfe dubbed “F— patois.”

    I recently did some contract work for a trucking company and I heard that word much more frequently from the young women in the office than I did from the drivers.

    I’m in the trucking industry and the F-bomb is ubiquitous. Therefore, it does become a challenge to not to use the all purpose, absolutely unnecessary F bomb, for no other reason than to try to keep up and show the others you’re MOT (the Trucking Industry Tribe).

    • #18
    • March 3, 2020, at 11:19 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  19. Misthiocracy held his nose and Member
    Misthiocracy held his nose and Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I would have no problem amending the CofC to prohibit blasphemous profanity if the prohibition on scatalogical profanity was lifted.

    I’ve never really understood why North American society has decided that blasphemous language is now acceptable but words about mundane bodily functions are still oh-so shocking. Personally, I think it should be the other way around.

    But that’s just me.

    • #19
    • March 3, 2020, at 11:24 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  20. The Reticulator Member

    Misthiocracy ingeniously (View Comment):

    I would have no problem amending the CofC to prohibit blasphemous profanity if the prohibition on scatalogical profanity was lifted.

    I’ve never really understood why North American society has decided that blasphemous language is now acceptable but words about bodily functions are still oh-so shocking. Personally, I think it should be the other way around.

    Thank you for making that distinction.

    • #20
    • March 3, 2020, at 11:27 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  21. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    EDISONPARKS (View Comment):
    I’m in the trucking industry and the F-bomb is ubiquitous. Therefore, it does become a challenge to not to use the all purpose, absolutely unnecessary F bomb, for no other reason to try to keep up and show the others you’re MOT (the Trucking Industry Tribe).

    This reminds me of the Pinkard & Bowden song on this topic, “The Universal Adjective.”

    • #21
    • March 3, 2020, at 1:15 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. Marythefifth Member
    Marythefifth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Don’t know about y’all but I might find it interesting to have a post about expletives and the range of acceptance. No violations desired. Or just about the goofy things we say in place of worse, like dagnabbit. I was thinking of things I say that would not violate CoC but still reflect an ugly and poisonous attitude when said. The first example I came up with was if I called some disreputable so-and-so a piece of garbage, it would be very little better than calling him a piece of s___. When irritated but somewhat restrained, I have taken to saying God bless America, but with some inflection that made it sound kinda like a curse while still wishing God could make it better, whatever ‘it’ was. I bet I use it most often while driving the scary streets and highways of Dallas. There is a hazy memory of a famous character in a movie using the words Rob used and the scene needed it. Perhaps it’s the last scene of Planet of the apes. (I checked and it is!! I’m good.) The plot and character required that color of indignation. The problem is it takes a few weeks to acquire the habit and a lifetime to shed it.

    • #22
    • March 3, 2020, at 1:29 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  23. ShaunaHunt Coolidge

    I have a hard time hearing cursing or reading it. Especially from children. It’s the Deity that is most offensive to me. The f-word is right there with it. The minor ones, not so much.

    • #23
    • March 3, 2020, at 1:38 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  24. Housebroken Thatcher

    Misthiocracy ingeniously (View Comment):
    I’ve never really understood why North American society has decided that … words about mundane bodily functions are still oh-so shocking.

    A number of the previous comments appear to deny that such words “oh-so shocking.”

    While I might wish they were, evidence seems to be to the contrary.

    • #24
    • March 3, 2020, at 1:43 PM PST
    • 1 like
  25. Joshua Bissey Coolidge

    As a Christian, I don’t base my objection on the Mosaic Law (of which the Ten Commandments are a part), but thanks for your post.

    Taking God’s name in vain is certainly more troublesome than just common vulgarity like the F-word.

    • #25
    • March 3, 2020, at 2:17 PM PST
    • 1 like
  26. Stad Thatcher

    Bob Baima: Not to be preachy, but to establish a fact: Not misusing God’s name is the fourth of the 10 Commandments (“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” Exodus 20:7, NIV). 

    Taking the Lord’s name in vain does not mean cussing when you accidently hit your thumb with a hammer or when you refer to some as a “g_d_” idiot.

    Taking the Lord’s name in vain means doing evil in God’s name. Cussing on a podcast is not evil.

    Besides, the rule is in place to keep the discussions civil. Heck, listen to the “Walk-ins Welcome” podcast with Christina Hoff Sommers. It was great!

    • #26
    • March 3, 2020, at 2:31 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  27. Marythefifth Member
    Marythefifth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    We could probably all agree that using any kind of curse is harmful because it’s ugly to say and ugly to hear. And it’s habitual.

    Maybe related. I don’t know. I bow my head when I speak or I hear someone else speak the name of Jesus. Just the name, not any of His titles. I’m like a Pavlov dog. The lecture from 40 years ago that led me to this first reminded us that we Catholics bow or genuflect to the real presence in the consecrated host on the altar. Then he explained that proper names have a kind of psychological power. When you say the name of someone you know, in a way, you bring that person into your presence, conjuring the person in your mind and to the awareness of anyone around you that knows that person. I have often felt something slightly different about saying a person’s name vs. saying any other word. That proper name belongs to them and when speaking it, there is a bit of a trespass. The lecturer also explained the ritual of the head nod descended from the Jewish practice on the day of Atonement, when the high priest only and alone spoke the name of God with fear and trembling because it was so very holy, and he knew it would or could actually invoke His presence. At the least I will not misuse the name Jesus. So I just thought of a point to what I wrote here! It’s probably a Jesuitical stretch, but I, being a Christian, would say that the Lord’s name is neither Lord, nor God, nor Christ, nor Savior, but Jesus. My friend’s name is neither advocate, mother, wife, sister, generous, nor President of the PTA, but Alice.

    • #27
    • March 3, 2020, at 3:10 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  28. James Lileks Contributor

    Did I? That’s not characteristic. I mean, I’ve said it, but saying it with a microphone in the room goes against my training. I’ll bet you five that if you roll tape you’ll hear I said it with a t, not a d, as if speaking German. Same thing, I know, but it’s somehow . . . Not?

    • #28
    • March 3, 2020, at 4:01 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  29. E. Kent Golding Member

    I used to do work in auto assembly plants and developed quite a potty mouth. My first step at reform was to stop taking the Lord’s name in vain. Kept all the other crude ignorant language, but started at stopping that. I still occasionally stupidly swear like a sailor when I lose my cool, but I avoid that. 

     

    • #29
    • March 3, 2020, at 4:09 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  30. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member