Swear Words in Christina Literature
I’ve always been a clean guy. Well, at least my language. And hygiene, I mean … I shower also. So, when it comes to writing a story, should we have our characters cuss or curse or use those words our mothers told us not to?
To a point, yes. Here’s my reasoning. If, for example, your character is in prison and he’s going to talk to someone, they’re going to cuss. Sorry. That’s the way you roll in prison. The most common word is Mutha-Fudga. What is a mutha-fudga? Honestly, I’m not sure. It must be something cold as in “It’s colder than a mutha-fudga.” At the same time, it steams with an inner fire as in “[Hoover] Dam, it’s hotter than a mutha-fudga out here.” It’s a term used when you’re mad at someone like, “Sitsu, some mutha-fudga stole my socks.” Yet you can use it to address someone you care about, spoken with deepest endearment and a tear in the eye: “Merry Christmas, mutha-fudga.”
So, if all convicts in a novel say things like, “Darn, it’s cold out there,” he ain’t in prison and the reader knows it.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I believe we should keep our language clean, and our thoughts on things above. When we do, people may think we’re weird. They may think we’re too good for them, but if we listen to them and show concern and interest in them, most will change their minds. When they go through a rough time, they’ll quietly ask for your advice or even prayer. Yeah, you’ve seen it happen.
So, let’s paint that prison scene again but this time put a Christian in it. Yes, a Christian in prison with all the crud and anger and petty selfishness around him. Everyone cusses around him, but he keeps it clean. Doesn’t it make the contrast between light and dark more apparent? Doesn’t it make the light shine?
I believe we should keep our language clean and our thoughts on things above, but not everyone does. And if we clean up all our characters to make them good examples, where then does redemption lie? Where is the contrast between good and evil if all is good?
What are your thoughts?