Cussing with Jesus hurtful, offensive

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 22, 2009

Have you ever considered how many names of world religious figures, other than “God,” are used as cuss words in our society? Maybe you haven’t thought about it. But the answer is one.

Only one name has suffered this fate. That is the name of Jesus. Amazingly, throughout the day, it is possible to hear the name of Jesus used repeatedly in the most disrespectful of ways. There are several variations to how this is done. Often it is only “Jesus” that we hear used as a simple exclamation when someone hits their thumb with a hammer or they strive to express themselves more strongly. But we also hear exclamations of “Christ” and “Jesus Christ.”

In certain publications I’ve even seen filthy expletives inserted between the “Jesus” and the “Christ” which reduces the name of Jesus to common curses concerning fornication. For the Christian this is a blasphemy that we are assaulted with all day long in popular culture.

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How the name of Jesus became one of our more fashionable cuss words I can only wonder. It is quite obvious that Hollywood has promoted much of this. But so has modern literature. It’s become so common that I’ve even heard Christians use it upon occasion, using the name of their Lord as a cuss word. Perhaps we were warned long ago because the book of Revelation speaks of a time when life will become so painful for men that they will blaspheme and yet they will not repent. Have our lives and culture now become so terribly painful? One can only speculate.

Our society has been saturated with this over a course of many years. Recently I was watching an old western movie from the 70s. One of the actors said “Jesus Christ” as a curse which caused me to change the channel. An hour later I was channel surfing and came back to the same old movie. Within two minutes they did it again. This time I clicked off permanently. I only wish that all people who are offended by this would vote with their remotes, the price of their theater tickets and in the books that they purchase.

But I’m not writing to try and organize boycotts. My main concern is to simply request greater understanding and sensitivity from the people of my hometown. I’m making an appeal to my friends and neighbors. I’ve worked and lived around Muslims, Hindus, Jews, atheists and agnostics without ever trying to go out of my way to be offensive to them. In fact, I have often bent over backwards in order to be sensitive and polite. It would seem that in all fairness and decency, some reciprocity, some respect for the name of Jesus, is in order.

I realize that by writing about this, there are people that will want to do this all the more. Some folks are simply twisted in that manner. My hope is to educate the people that do this inadvertently and have no real intention of offending people with their casual speech. Please understand, every day many millions of people bow and pray to their God “in the name of Jesus” as they are commanded to do. For them to hear this same name used as an ordinary cuss word is hurtful, divisive and offensive. For those of you that find it difficult to express yourself without cussing, please find another word; there is no shortage to choose from. Your consideration in this is much appreciated. Thank you.

Marc Blackwood is a Natchez resident.