Wednesday, April 29, 2009

from the blog called Inhabitiato Dei

i really like what this very committed christian has to say.

Dave Horstkoetter has plunked up a disturbing YouTube video of a neocon hack opining that Christianity and torture are just all hunky dory with one another. No surprise there of course. What is surprising is the fact that the whole discussion over there has turned into a goofy little kerfuffle about whether or not it’s really “Christian” to denounce endorsing torture while…uttering the F-word.

Leave it to us Christians to make conversations like this.

However, in the interest of settling this debate once and for all, I have a syllogism for us. Given that nearly all Protestants and certainly all evangelicals affirm Luther’s theological genius, especially his famed “theology of the cross”, let’s start there. Thesis 21 of Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation states that “A theologian of glory calls evil good and good evil. A theologian of the cross calls the thing what it actually is.” I’m sure we can all agree on this point. Thus…

P1: Theologians of the cross ought to name things, events, and persons in accordance with what they actually are.

P2: Some things, events, and persons can only be truthfully described as fuckdragons and assclowns.

C: Ergo, the use of profanity is not only permissible, but essential for anyone who claims to be a theologian of the cross.

2 comments:

Kelly Lawson said...

Interesting. I absolutely see the argument being made. And I certainly appreciate the humor. I laughed right out loud about this one.

However-- in some seriousness, to throw something else out there-- in an attempt at being relevant and speaking the language of our culture, I think an important issue is being overlooked. The true power of language. Language can convey much more than what's actually being said. I want to speak the language of the kingdom-- where my actions AND my words speak things like love and patience. Not anger and hostility and carelessness. (I am NOT saying everyone who cusses is angry and hostile and careless. But when I personally get to that cussing place, that's were I am and what I'm conveying.)

I know words only have the meanings we give to them. But I don't think that we can use that as our excuse to say whatever we want.

I think we need to be careful with our words, remembering the power they have to speak things into people's lives. Obviously, there's a difference in calling sin what it is-- we just have to be careful to not ascribe those things/words to people-- who have very real value in God's eyes. I'm glad God doesn't call me an assclown, even though I may act like one sometimes.

I also can't help but think of Paul's warnings in Ephesians about coarse language and making sure what we say is good and helpful. That certainly could be a subjective thing to measure, and with everything in the biblical text, you run the risk of getting trapped by legalism and becoming a modern day Pharisee. I don't know. I still think it's worth considering and thinking about.

Anyway, I'm rambling/ranting. Didn't mean to.

David said...

I use profanity, sometimes out of anger, but usually when I am struggling to make a point in effort to communicate the depth of my feelings and exasperation. I don't agree that we should use profanity, however, just to be "relevant." That Machiavellian lack of authenticity is the opposite of relevance.

It is all about knowing your audience. Were I in discussion with friends and colleagues about a serious topic like torture, I would feel free to use whatever language I needed (stopping short of calling names, which is juvenile, though I use those when referring to Hannity and his ilk). Were I debating opponents, using that language would likely serve as a roadblock to communication, rather than a helping tool.

However, focusing on the language someone uses in an argument is an obvious red herring, and one that Christians are too often guilty of allowing to derail true debate. It is usually a disingenuous tactic, at best.