(Photo by Matthew Brodeur on Unsplash)

Last week, President Trump visited the U.S. Capitol for a meeting with Republican members of the House of Representatives. Videotape captured the sound of a female Congressional intern yelling an expletive at him from across the other side of the rotunda, as Mr. Trump was walking through the Capitol Building.

The echoed obscene outburst is a current example of prevalent vulgarities in public discourse and the present degradation of the political process. Many modern politicians and political leaders (both men and women) seem unashamed to dish out vile obscenities—in public and in private.

For instance, the new leftist chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Tom Perez, who sets the style and substance of the party's platform and policies, recently went on a disgusting profanity-laced anti-Trump rant. Trump also has been known to have his share of "salty language" in public and private, though his courting of certain evangelical leaders has tamed this somewhat.

These outbursts of profane epithets are not only obnoxious and offensive to many but also tend to further the corrosion of civil dialogue regarding public policy.

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Profanity is a Corrupting Evil

Of course, the epidemic of public profanity is not limited to the political domain. It seems to have infected and corrupted many levels of our society. One popular conservative commentator said that if he did not include a few profanities in his campus colloquies, his millennial masses would think him "unreal" and "irrelevant."

Media celebrities often show a lack of good taste and use profanity to shock and awe their fans, as well. I'm sure you saw or heard about actor Robert De Niro's recent raging expletives thrown at President Trump, while De Niro was introducing Bruce Springsteen at the recent Tony Awards.

Then, later last week, far-left actor Peter Fonda ignobly tweeted a sickening suggestion for his followers.

Donald Trump Jr. defended his little half-brother, urging the aging actor to pick on someone his own size. Melania Trump notified the Secret Service of the not-too-veiled threat.

Fonda's Twitter threats may have incited unstable people to violence toward these victims of his vulgarity. Secret Service agents are reported to have visited him and may be the reason for his subsequent, more civilized apology.

Rebel Media's Sheila Gunn Reid is a journalist and commentator from Canada and revealed how Fonda's frothy and vile posting about Barron Trump has also infected CBC "comedy" writer Pat Dussault. This Canadian leftist despicably dragged Donald Trump Jr.'s four-year-old daughter into the debased dialog, tweeting, "don't worry we're coming for Chloe too."

Online public forums generate their own disgusting vitriol. Attempts by many to present a position or question/clarify a characterization in comment or response to another writer or reader often result in obnoxious and offensive epithets by often "anonymous" data-revolutionaries. Some online forums have resorted to software subsystems, known as "profanity filters," in attempts to modify or remove coarse or crude words deemed offensive by the administrator or community.

Avoiding the Rude, the Crude, and the Lewd

Maybe you don't drop the worst obscenities and you keep a special watch over hurtful or racial insults. Congratulations!

However, Jesus said it is really a matter of the heart. "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bears what is good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bears what is evil. For of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks" (Luke 6:45).

Later, in Ephesians 4:29, the Apostle Paul further advised believers to "Let no unwholesome word proceed out of your mouth, but only that which is good for building up, that it may give grace to the listeners."

Paul's list of the "works of the flesh" (Galatians 5:19-20) include sexual immorality, impurity and lewdness, along with rage and dissensions. He warns that those who practice those things "will not inherit the kingdom of God." We are to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh—alongside the rude, crude or lewd of this world.

Vulgarity entraps us in a worldly mindset and exposes us to the corrupting influence of Satan. It does not enhance political dialogue nor genuine communication and is detrimental to our children, youth, and culture.

May I make three short suggestions for a less profane and polemical election season and future society?

First, let us all soften our hearts and our rhetoric by consciously avoiding verbal attacks on others.

Secondly, let us resist responding to others with coarse and crude communication that is rude or even lewd.

Finally, let us all try to use our words to build people up and not tear them down.

We can correct our natural tendency toward coarse and crude communication by seeking forgiveness from our Maker and submitting to His operations manual, the Bible (2 Tim. 3:16-17). It will teach us what to believe and how to behave so we may please our Lord.

By the power of His Holy Spirit, we can be profanity free.

Ordained to the ministry in 1969, Gary Curtis is a graduate of LIFE Bible College at Los Angeles (soon to become Life Pacific University at San Dimas, California). He has taken graduate courses at Trinity College in Deerfield, Illinois. and Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California. Gary served as part of the pastoral staff of The Church on The Way, the First Foursquare Church of Van Nuys, California, for 27 years (1988-2015), the last 13 years as the vice president of Life on The Way Communications Inc., the church's not-for-profit media outreach. Now retired, Gary and his wife have been married for 50 years and live in Southern California. They have two married daughters and five grandchildren.

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