Mind Your Language!

mylthumbI recently listened to an interview of a woman who had for a long time run a popular Christian website and podcast, but who has since left the theological realm for politics. She has not left the faith, but simply moved from religious to political cultural engagement.

The interviewer asked her about some criticisms she had faced since changing her career path. One criticism was that she had begun to use decidedly coarser language. Admitting that there was truth to the accusation, she explained that part of the reason is that she now spends far more time with unbelievers than with believers. She is therefore exposed to far more coarse language than she had been before. She defended herself, in part, by stating that she “rarely drops the F-bomb,” but admitted that she often employs scatological terminology. (“Scatological” language refers to words that have reference to excrement.) She even warned the interviewer that he may have to have his “bleep button” handy during the interview.

Later, she defended her use of “spicy” language by claiming that she was being “authentic.” “With me, you’re not going to get a different person—here, or in person, or online, or face-to-face, it’s the same. And I think that unbelievers, or the world, resonates with authenticity, even if you might be a little rough around the edges. It’s more important to be a flawed real person than a perfect fake one.”

A couple of times during the course of the interview, she burst out laughing when she “almost said something inappropriate.” The interviewer chuckled and assured her that he had his “bleep button” ready should anything slip out.

While she did not, in the end, use any inappropriate language, it is clear that the interviewer would quickly have removed any of it from the released recording. And while he took it all in good spirits, I was personally agitated to hear how flippantly she joked about her coarse language, even while professing boldly her faith in Christ.

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