And why I’m unlikely to stop cussing and/or going to church. “Fuck them,” I said to a room full of adults at church. Our children were down the hall, practicing their songs for choir the coming Sunday and we, the grown-ups, were discussing the church’s recent decision to clear-cut a stand of trees on the church campus. I was enraged, partly because of the decision itself, and partly because of the way the decision had been made (sneakily, peeps. very sneakily.). Another parent responded, “Jennifer, aren’t you afraid you’re going to hell?” It’s a fair question, but the answer is that I can’t believe in a deity who would damn me eternally for the dropping of the f-bomb.
I cuss in church because I cuss in life. To me, going to church is a way—an important way—of making sense of this life of mine. And, just so you know, my life is a fucking mess sometimes. Take the example above: I was angry at a bunch of people. I thought (still think) that they ruined a beautiful example of nature’s handiwork, cloaking it in the phrase “managing the land.” Me, myself, sometimes when I’m mad, I use profanity. And the question about cussing—Jesus hung out with carpenters and fishermen a lot of the time. Do you think they cleaned up their potty mouths for the Savior? I doubt it. The Jesus I know is a friend to all, and friends don’t generally tsk-tsk when you’re imparting some devastating or magical or enraging piece of news. They hug you and love you.
I know that profanity is the “less than” part of our language. But doesn’t God love that part of us too? I have to believe that He does.
Jennifer is a wildly disorganized lover of coffee, words, and most children. She writes when she can make herself and reads all the time.