Monday, March 20, 2006

Hypocritical

We had the grove this evening, and for all intents and purposes, things went well. Chad and I were lazy this week, choosing to go with the same format of the previous gatherings. We re-ran several old bumps, so I only had to write one this time around. I was starting to get scared, thinking that we might run out of material, when Chad happened upon a treasure trove of at least three bumps I had written back in February and never used. I added six more to these during the week, which means that all we have left to do for this entire series are a few small things. This should give me time to get some real work done on memorizing lines for the play, writing those three or four skits I’ve been planning to write, and maybe get started on The Book™. I figured since all the cool kids were writing books these days, I might as well join the fray. It’ll never get published (because it has to be written first, and that is likely to never happen), but it makes me feel intellectual and somewhat bohemian to perpetually be in the process of crafting the next great American novel.

After the grove, a large group of us (probably everybody that was there this evening), retired to a local pub and eatery to hang out, relax, and celebrate [enter couple here]’s good news (I don’t want to spoil it if you haven’t heard). While we were there, I had the chance to sit down and talk with Bill, Katie, Nate, and Mike. Bill does the sound for the grove, Katie is in charge of all the kids, Nate doesn’t do anything (because he sucks!), and Mike is the young adult pastor at my church. That means he does a bunch of pastor-y things.

In the course of the conversation, I mentioned something about this blog ‘o mine (because my life is so exciting that I actually have to tell other people about it in order to fill the vast lapses of quietness that exist in my conversations), and Mike asked for the address of my site. I gave it to him of course (which means, if he’s really bored, he’s reading this … and thinking “I thought I was bored until I started reading this. Now I understand the depths of boredom. And, lo, I am depressed.”), and I followed this statement with the caveat, “you’ll have to watch out for all the swear words in there.”

One of the things that I have never understood is why so many people believe they have to handle Christians with kid gloves. Every once in a while, friends of mine will catch themselves swearing or making references to what they believe are unchristian things. They inevitably apologize, thinking I was horribly offended. For some, this apology is genuine, but for others it is thinly veiled condescension. I want to grab these people by the shoulders, shake the shit out of them and say, “I can recite ‘Pulp Fuction’ from memory and have done so, unprovoked, in large crowds for no good reason. I’m the guy who, in college, guzzeled five (or maybe 6 ..or 7?) beer bongs in a row and then attempted to chase down a team of midgets dressed as oompa loompas. And I would have succeeded, too, if my friends hadn’t tackled me in the middle of the street. So don’t pretend that your pathetic use of the word ‘bitch’ is going to offend my sensitive little Christian ears, alright!!”

It doesn’t make me mad. It just confuses me. It’s like people think Christians live in a bubble universe, plugging their eyes and ears to the world around them. Some do, but not all; and certainly not me (for the most part). They think we are so shocked by Reality™, that any encounter with such with either send us into a rage of self righteous indignation or cause us to spontaneously combust in a cloud of sawdust and holy water.

I strive to be as honest and authentically human with everyone I meet; not merely a collection of loosely-related morals that others define as Christian. And yet there I was this evening, pretending as though a few semi-creative uses of profanity might make Mike’s head explode. As if he’s never heard anybody say “fuck” before (that’s impossible. He’s met Chad). He’s a pastor, not an idiot, and he likely has to deal with a lot more Reality™ than I do on a daily basis. I’d like to believe I was being genuine, but the truth is probably different. The truth is that I exhibited my own bit of idiotic condescension. And that pisses me off.

No, I probably shouldn’t swear as much as I do. But I have not yet mastered the ability to correctly express the rage I experience when I accidentally hit myself in the face with a large shovel. And “fiddlesticks” just doesn’t make the grade in that scenario, mister.

I hope I don’t do that again. It really makes me mad when I do stuff like that. And if Mike or anybody else thinks less of me for this fault, that’s a good thing. They probably had too high an opinion of me to begin with.

5 comments:

jimi said...

Hey Joe (everytime i say that, yes i do want to bust into song) -
My response to the rhetorical (yes, i do understand that these are not intended to be answered) question somewhere in the middle of the post of - "why so many people believe they have to handle Christians with kid gloves," i think lies in the fact that more often than not, the only Christians people outside of those Christian bubbles do know are the ones who do respond in your "cloud of sawdust and holywater." Sad but true. Not always true, but generally true of those who scream the loudest, and its generally the idiots we remember, not the "normal ones."

i've always wondered though why "profanity" was one of those markers. That's the one that i can't seem to get my head wrapped around. "Thou shalt not say shit" does not appear anywhere in the Bible that i know of (probably in the handbooks of a few universities...but that's another story). Any ideas what the basis of that prohibition is?

The Sasquatch said...

jimi:

Don't worry about responding to rhetorical questions. Most people don't respond to my direct questions, so I've made a habit of taking what I can get.

Yeah, I see why those outside the bubble do it. It just makes me mad when I do it. Because I hate it when people do it to me and I should know better.

I can't say for sure, but I always assumed the reasoning behind the prohibition on swear words was that they were formerly profane on the level with things like pornography. The words in and of themselves were not offensive much in the same way that the act of having sex is not offensive (unless it involves Bea Arthur), but the former intention of profanity was to express an emotion of extreme hatred, derision and other such things that would not be considered "morally upright."

Today, I think profanity is much less profane. To the common ear, words like these are not meant to offend. They are meant to express frustration or pain. Even if I say "fuck you jimi," it carries little weight if I mean it jokingly.

I see it mostly as a colloquial social convention; one which our society, for better or for worse, is in the process of outgrowing. Fairly soon, words such as these will be on par with biting one's thumb. They will seem archaic and silly, but not offensive.

But what do I know, eh? I was a business major when I was in school.

xMiles Tegx said...

love the dialog, but I just want to point out that I don't have time to do anything, because, out of all the people you mentioned, I am the only one that waits intently for a blog post. :D

The Sasquatch said...

We still love ya, Nate.

Meg said...

It's funny. I find myself being more afraid of offending other Christians now than I did offending Christians when I wasn't really one.