Disclaimer: I firmly believe that all profanity is wrong. I do not use profanity, nor do I allow students involved in our ministry to use profanity while at our ministry. This is not a piece about profanity as much as it is a piece about hypocrisy.
This morning I watched this video on the Today Show, that showed several news anchors who without knowing they were on camera said some profanity. The most recent incident being an anchor in New York that made a mistake, and then apologized on air for it. As I was getting ready for work I asked my wife, why this was a big deal.
I have long believed that I live in a world where most people view profanity as a non-offensive thing. People just assume that it does not offend anyone. I have walked into gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores and heard profanity. I can go for a walk in my neighborhood with my wife and baby and hear profanity laced lyrics pumping from cars. And I am sure none of these people are thinking, I wonder if my profanity is offending anyone around me. They just do it. People are able to say what they want, when they want, where they want.
With this New York anchor I realize the complaint will be, when we turn on the news we do not expect to hear profanity. People will say hypocritical things like, my kids were sitting with me and they heard it. I think the real problem is not the profanity, it’s that we think we should be able to control when we hear it and who says it, but this is hypocrisy. Because those same people are not giving that same respect to those around them when they use profanity.
Now I personally do not want to hear it, but am I being hypocritical then. I watch movies and they have profanity in them. So I guess I could just not watch any movies that have profanity in them, and that may be the right thing to do. Even with the hypocrisy I am still not going to personally use profanity.
Maybe our culture views hypocrisy the same way we view profanity, hypocritically.