Profanity?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by russell55, Oct 27, 2004.

  1. russell55

    russell55
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    I'm going to start off with an admission. I am very, very sensitive to what seems to me to be profanity. It may be that my profanity sensors need a little adjusting to make them less sensitive.

    So, here's the question: Does the term "God forbid!" as used in the King James Version of the Bible border on profanity? It always feels to me like it might.

    Here's why I think so.

    1. God's name did not appear in the texts that were translated, so Paul didn't feel using God's name was necessary to express his meaning. Therefore, God's name may be used gratuitously here.

    2. If my children started using the term "God forbid" to express that they thought something really, really, oughtn't happen, I'd slap them upside the head. Actually, I'd probably send them to their room. Anyway, I wouldn't allow it in my house.

    What say ye?
     
  2. Johnv

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    God forbid? It may be profanity, depending its usage. I have used it on occaision, but rarely.

    Just because it's in a translation, doesn't necessarily make it appropriate for all audiences. I don't go around using the word "piss", even though "pisseth" is in scripture (KJV) as well. I also don't go around discussing "spilling one's seed", or comparing women's breasts to pomegranites.

    Still, what I am sensitive about is not necessarily what I expect others to be sensisive about. When interacting with others, we shouldn't necessarily conform to others' quirks, nor should we require others to conform to ours.
     
  3. russell55

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    I think of profanity as taking something sacred and treating it as if it were common.

    So by my definition, the bathroom terms wouldn't really be profanity. They may be vulgar, and not suitable for public usage, but they aren't profane.

    So, "Oh my God!" if used lightly, just to express disgust or surprise is profanity. If used as a genuine plea for God's help in time of trouble it isn't profane.

    Then, "God forbid!" as a true plea to God asking him to keep something from happening wouldn't be profanity. I don't think that's the way its used in the KJV usages though. I think it means something less than that, and as such verges on profanity.

    I guess the question is, can "God forbid" be using God's name in vain? Is it in these places?
     
  4. robycop3

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    The term "God forbid" appears quite frequently in the old chivalry-knighthood stories i've read most of my life...and many of these knights were considered paragons of virtue, even going so far as to leave the room to avoid sneezing in front of a lady. From what I can see, it's a rather strong negative expression, more or less calling upon God to forbid something from happening, which has fallen into almost complete disuse today, the equivalent of "No way, Jose" or similar.

    I don't think it's vulgarity. Many people say, "by the grace of God" or "May God do such-and-such" many times every day. However, I respect the opinions of those who DO consider it a misuse of God's name in today's English, according to 1 Corinthians 10.
     
  5. Johnv

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    I think russell makes a good point in regards to profanity vs vulgarity. Thanks for touching on that.
     
  6. dianetavegia

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    Context is everything. God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

    I keep children in our home. One child told me last week that HIS mother said he couldn't say butt, stupid or idiot but he COULD say 'Oh My God'. NOT IN MY HOUSE... I replied.

    Why would 'God forbid', if used in a proper context such as praying a catastrophe not occur be different than saying 'if it's God's will'? Just thinking out loud before I head out to AWANA clubs. [​IMG]

    Diane
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    And why were words classified as "vulgar"? Because they were used by the common uneducated folks. The erudite masses could pull out Latin or Greek terms that said the exact same word but more politely (in their opinion).

    Is "piss" less acceptable and vulgar compared to "urinate"? Are both less acceptable than euphemisms of late - "powder my nose", "go the the bathroom", or "#1"?

    Profaning (profanity) is using such common terms on the holy or sacred or the holy terms in such a common way; don't think anyone is doing that here in genteel society!

    (And of course NONE of this has to do with "swearing" or "cursing". God forbid.)
     
  8. HankD

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    Another fact: "God forbid" is a command and not found in the original language Scripture.

    What is found is "May it never Be" without the word for deity.

    IMO and to make it proper and align with Scripture (apart from using the English word for deity) one should say "May God forbid" to turn it into a request rather than a command.

    HankD
     
  9. ScottEmerson

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    I've never said, "Oh, my God!" I've never even had the stomach to say that. (We didn't even use words like, "Gosh," "Darn it", and so on as the heart seemed to be saying the same thing in the context, just with different sounds.) However, I once got in a pretty bad wreck, and I remember crying out, "Oh, God!" in a way not unlike David's crying to God for help. I don't think that was profane or using God's name in vain. I was asking God for his immediate protection over the other three guys in my car. Thankfully, all four of us were able to walk away from a nasty blindside.
     
  10. Phillip

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    My mother, who was a good Christian, bless her soul, had a problem and would not let us kids say: "darn", "gosh" and other words. Why? Because she considered them as nothing more than replacement words for "damn" and "gosh" was considered as using "God's name".

    I was somewhat shocked when I heard my pastor talking about a situation that occurred and he said it caused "all hell to break loose". To me that would have been considered problematic; however, the more I thought about the situation that he was describing, the more I realized that he was NOT using it as a word of profanity, but as a real and true description of a situation that had caused great problems.
     
  11. Deborah B.

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    I used the phrase "God forbid" here on BB, but I used it in context to exactly something that He forbids in the Bible - to add or take away from His word. I used it as a warning, but it is His warning not mine! Therefore, since God is never wrong and I used it as His very own warning, there is nothing profane about it! I would hardly consider using "God forbid" in context to something that He forbids as offensive.

    Praise God!
    Deborah
     
  12. ScottEmerson

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    But God doesn't say, "God forbid" That's an English translation - forbid nor God is nowhere to be found in the original language.
     
  13. Ziggy

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    How about that good Mormon phrase, "Oh my heck"? Equally not to be found in the Bible or BOM.
     
  14. Johnv

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    heheh!!! Ziggy, I've used that phrase for years. I didn't realize it was a Mormon phrase. I'll likely continue to use it. It typically gets a chuckle out of the crowd!!!
     
  15. Dr. Bob

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    Just as long as "Boy Howdy" is not a cuss word in anybody's religion we'll be friends . .
     
  16. Deborah B.

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    ________________________________________________

    I don't speak Aramaic, Hebrew, or Greek :rolleyes:
     
  17. HankD

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    You don't speak 1611 Elizabethan Jacobean English either.

    HankD
     
  18. Dr. Bob

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