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Reflections: Blessing and cursing

I heard so many people talking about a TV streaming series but never had time to acquaint myself with it until COVID hit. I’m blessed with unusually good health but tested positive last Christmas. The doctor told me to stay at home for a week. As President Obama famously said, I had a phone and a pen, and I tried to carry on ministry from afar.

And I don’t watch much television. I’d rather read. I remember religiously watching “Dallas” so long ago, but I vowed never to get hooked like that again. But home confinement was a good time to see what everybody was talking about, so I watched a few episodes.

Allow me a few observations.

First, this series has no heroes since I never found “the good guy.” At least on “Dallas” we had Bobby and Pam Ewing who tried to walk the straight and narrow. And on “Walker: Texas Ranger,” Alex and Trivette always made good choices! But the new series shows humanity at its worst with murder, scheming and revenge. Thus no one to root for, and no one who says, “we need to do the right thing.”

But the most overriding observation I took away was the crutch word the cast used in almost every sentence. It’s a crude word for sexual relations. It trivializes this gift from God and debases our language. I’m not sure how this word became so popular and began to be used so frequently, but it’s in every script for this program.

Schoolteachers in my generation exhorted us not to curse but to learn the beauty of language and use it to advantage.

Two of the men on Mount Rushmore agreed.

The father of our country, Gen. George Washington, said, “The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it.”

And President Teddy Roosevelt noted, “Profanity is the parlance of the fool. Why curse when there is such a magnificent language with which to discourse?”

I know it’s just a TV show, but it’s popular enough to be in the top10. And one can’t argue that film and music don’t influence American language and culture.

Followers of Christ have a high standard since scripture teaches speech is to honor the Lord. Jesus said, “Let your yes be yes and your no but no; anything more than this is sin” (Matt. 5:37). And his brother James noted, “Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be” (James 3:10).

So that’s my critic’s review, for what it’s worth. Now it’s time to find a book.

Reflections is a weekly faith column written by Michael J. Brooks, pastor of the Siluria Baptist Church in Alabaster. The church website is siluriabaptist.com.


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