Ohio Scumbags

At last, we now have a scientific, objective explanation for potty-mouth pollution at Xenos. It is, perhaps, one of the most unique and controversial issues surrounding Xenos Christian Fellowship (XCF) – from Columbus to Northeast Ohio, Cincinnati, and everywhere else Xenos fellowships appear in the state – cussing seems to follow.

Please understand, this is not an effort to condone cussing, since it is a crass and ignorant form of expression, no doubt, and yet cussing somehow permeates our culture. From the Oval Office to the factory floor, people unleash foul language, and follow it with a standard apology: “Pardon my French.” So of course the dirtiness leaks into the informal, public prayers and – more rarely, but undeniably – in public teachings at XCF.

Before reading further, if you are under-age, please take note: don’t cuss! Underage people especially get in big trouble for cussing, since it is an adult-only activity. So whatever this article means, please do not read it as an endorsement for potty-mouths!

Now a national survey released last week can help us understand why Xenos is so dirty. In case you missed the glaring headlines blasting across the nation, Ohio was declared the “heart of it all” – but not as you might think:

This was big news coming from a vast survey, and many New Yorkers sighed with relief to learn about Ohio’s dirt. As one article explains it:

Marchex used data collected from 600,000 phone calls to business across 30 industries. The company scanned for curse words and linked the frequencies of these words to all states. They found that people in Ohio are more likely to curse…Ohioans curse more than twice the rate of Washingtonians, according to the data. Washingtonians curse about every 300 conversations whereas Ohioans swore about every 150 conversations…In second place for the state which cusses the most, Massachusetts. Third is Arizona, fourth is Texas and fifth is Virginia.

Christian groups are notorious for extreme censoring of any and all cusswords, or words hinting at such filth, like WTF or WTH, or words like “crap” which sound somewhat dirty (to be fair, there is controversy whether “crap” is a cussword). Yet Xenos was always exempt from the global Christian community, even going so far to print shirts proclaiming that “Cussing is not a sin” and wearing them at prominent Christian conferences (drawing more than a few stares).

Now that we know Xenos was born and bred in the most-cussing state in the nation, there may be reason for compassion from our more cussing-conscious brothers and sisters. If it is true that “cussing is not a sin” (as my previous blog on “Cussin’ for Christ’s Sake” demonstrates), then Xenos is in the same, uneviable position Paul found himself, at times:

1 Corinthians 9:21-22 (NLT) When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.

Since we live in the “most-cussing state” of Ohio, all our friends, neighbors and families are undoubtedly big-time cussers. It would be a shame if Xenos became holier-than-thou towards other, less-fortunate Ohioans suffering with potty-mouths. May it never be!

3 thoughts on “Ohio Scumbags

  1. Jordan

    One of my last days of my co-op for school I was ganged up on by 6 co-workers explaining how bad it is to say “God Damn” even if not directed at someone. They said, I quote, “Don’t f**cking say God Damn”. Quite ironic if I were to buy into their game.They accused me of using the Lord’s name in vain. The poor guys didn’t even realize that what I said Isn’t even what taking the Lord’s name in vain even is!

  2. Uber Genius

    Would be interested how you reconcile Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen,” with profanity?

    Especially in Leaders. Especially from Senior Pastors? Seems like a attribute of immaturity and lack of self-control. Granted we all have those areas and we need to focus on the major areas before the minor ones. That said, it boggles the mind that leaders would have not developed this level of self-control. Further, in the case of many Xenos leaders one could hardly be in their presence for 5 minutes without hearing the F-bomb. So now we are into Roman 1:32b they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. Now you have a culture of leaders (not just members) that get regular encouragement that their speech is not something they need to bring under control.

    Immature leaders produce immature leaders, who knew? And in case anyone doubts, I am talking about the ones who have been there since the 1970s, not the new Christians leading high school Bible studies.

    I smoke cigars daily, drink scotch and bourbon weekly (more if I am able), and do cuss a blue streak when I smash my thumb with a hammer. I am no legalist, but I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. I don’t equivocate. And I don’t make excuses. I press on to maturity.

    Seems that you haven’t figured out what makes you Xenos (foreigners). You are Xenos when you act with love for one another and ambassadors of Christ. I think you are further along than most in the former and lag in the latter. “You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”

    1. Keith Post author

      Sorry for letting your reply languish, it’s very thoughtful and well-stated. The “unwholesome talk” passage you cite is aimed specifically at “unwholesome talk”, not “cusswords”, per se, although certainly cuss words can qualify as “unwholesome talk”, depending on the context and intent. But the Bible doesn’t give us a list of cuss words for a very good reason – they aren’t the point. Besides, Paul cusses (in the strictest sense) in Phil. 3 “dung” is a polite translation of the word he uses. I think that’s my only real point here – context is vital. Apparently in Ohio, people cuss like sneezing and don’t really consider it “unwholesome”.

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