Cracking the “Cuss Code”

 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.  With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.  From the same mouth come blessing and cursing.  My brothers, these things ought not to be so. (James 3:7-10, ESV)
Eureka! I now have figured out why kids aren’t good candidates to curse.  There is a hierarchy involved, consisting of three groups of source meanings.
 
1). The “negative divine words”: hell, damn. These are not true curse words, as long as they are used in their context (i.e., a religious one).
2). The “butt words”: a*s, s**t. The former originally was used for a donkey. If used that way (which is rare nowadays), it’s not a swearword. It’s often used in many idioms, as well as compounded with “smart” or “dumb.”  The latter is synonymous with feces. (It is often used either symbolizing meaning “junk” or “stuff”, or as an expression of anger)
3). And finally, the “f-bomb.” Literally it refers to sexual activity, but it has been a widespread swearword used for many applications.
 
About children and their “innocence:” the first category will work its way through the preacher’s sermon. The second category, pertaining to the butt and excrement, is just goofy. And the third, final, and most serious swearword, the “f-bomb,” for obvious reasons, should NEVER be used before the parents share “the birds and the bees” with them.  Once they get into the nitty gritty, by secular standards, the floodgates open.  Swearwords are often a tool to emphasize and deepen the message one is delivering.

Now this may apply to adults in the secular world, but what about Christian adults?  In the above Scripture, from the Epistle of James, a unique NT book that applies the faith discourses of the Pauline epistles.  (James was supposedly a relative of Jesus, perhaps a half-brother, namely, conceived by both Mary and Joseph. His epistle is probably one of the oldest in the NT. ). Since God is the Great Author of all Scripture, it still applies even if it was pre-Pauline.

As seen in the above passage, the tongue has enormous power.  You can bless or curse with the same mouth.  So, whatever you do, I hope you understand the truth about swearing, at least someday.  Adults, with their sophistication, may no longer be “innocent,” but they still can be virtuous, kindly, and good citizens both in their earthly country, and the Kingdom of God (given that they are Christian, but again, only God can choose who gets salvation or not.)
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