Yesterday, the president of the United States was accused of using a “dirty word” in a meeting about immigration and thus offended just about everyone in the world. At the least, Trump admits that he uses “tough” language. Since the people elected him knowing his reputation, I propose that this faux pas is a reflection on the state of our nation, with respect to language. We’re a nation of dirty mouths.
This is hard for me to understand, since I was raised in a family where we never used bad language. I didn’t hear it, so I never got started. There was a time, as a teen-ager, when I caught myself saying the word “joker” as an expletive. It wasn’t dirty, but I asked myself, “Why would I want to use a word that has no cognitive meaning? It adds no information to the sentence.” I decided from that point on to choose my words wisely and avoid those that are merely shock and awe.
Why do we talk that way? We spend vast amounts of money to build sewer systems that send fecal material far away, because it is filled with harmful germs and disgusting by it’s appearance and smell. Then we raise it to the highest honors in our conversations. Does that make any sense? It becomes a tool for bringing down everything that is noble by simple association. Realism has replaced idealism.
When I left the US in 1978, saying “That sucks” was locker room talk, but when I returned about 20 years ago, it was being used by grade-schoolers without shame. Our nation has changed. It’s now difficult to read a popular book or see a popular movie without being exposed a barrage of vulgarity. As a nation, we’re becoming aware of the dangers of second-hand smoke, which has killed 2,500,000 non-smokers since 1964. When are we going to start a campaign against second-hand trash talk, which destroys the moral integrity of our children?
The president has expressed his intention to live by Christian ideals, but it’s not easy to change a lifetime of bad behavior. While Trump may see the improvement he has made over his past, we see how far he still has to go. I pray for a change in our president and our nation. It’s a heart issue.
“There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him… All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” Mark 7:15,23