Sentence Sermons (Christian Inspiration) #102 --- Profanity

Quotations on Profanity

Profanity comes either from a depraved heart, or shows that a blasphemer has the scorn and contempt of God.

When you damn and cuss God, you are damning the best friend you have got. All the evil that comes to you comes from the devil. If you want to cuss anybody, cuss the devil, don't cuss God. All the trouble comes from the devil. God wants to do good. A man is mighty low down if he's cuss his mother. Better than your mother, your wife and children, is God. A man must be low down when he turns around and cusses God, who wants to keep him out of hell.

---Billy Sunday, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., Feb. 18, 1924.


Thou shalt not irreverently use the name of God, because it is an advertisement of intellectual inefficiency.

Thou shalt not pollute the social atmosphere with profanity, because it hurts people to have their ideals spit upon.

Thou shalt not profane the name of God because it will cut off thy power to sincerely say, "Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name."

---George H. Brimhall, Y News, Provo, Utah, May 2, 1923.


Profanity is a habit that usually bespeaks a vacuity of mind.

---Clarence A. Barbour, The I.S.C. Student, Ames, Iowa, Oct. 23, 1911.


Profanity is offensive. It destroys the dignity of speech. It is never necessary. It indicates a low order.

---Arthur Growden, The Commercial Dispatch, Columbus, Miss., Sept. 30, 1931.


Profanity is the first stage of depravity.

---Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, Oct. 2, 1924.


Swearing robs mankind of its sense of God.

---Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, July 16, 1925.


The habit of swearing forms a chain which anchors a man to the low places of life.

---Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, Nov. 24, 1927.


Profanity is a direct sin against God.

---J.W. Lowber, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, June 14, 1893.


Since the name of God is not dissociated from His character we cannot profane it without offending His character, and profanation of His name and character are a sure step toward moral anarchy. It is not a mystery that immorality and profanity go hand in hand; they are intimate vices in the same process. It is therefore obvious that profanity is an offense to the sovereignty of God, therefore a crime which God does not excuse in man.

---James T. Ross, Hereford Brand, Hereford, Texas, Aug. 19, 1926.


Profanity and swearing evidences vulgarity and a lowering of moral standards as Christian men and women. Somehow we lose respect for the man who indulges in a careless and irreverent use of God's name.

Swearing shows lack of intellectual judgment and ability, to say the least of it. ... Profanity is like using a sledgehammer with which to drive a tack but at dear cost to the user. Why not use the proper tool, a tack hammer? It would be much more sensible. Christ represents all that is good and holy and the highest ideals of man, and in the careless use of God's name, one lowers that standard, whether conscious of it or not, and would thus violate his own conscience and drag down and undermine the very foundation of our civilization.

---Ernest N. Bullock, Lake Charles American-Press, Lake Charles, La., Jan. 10, 1921.


Profanity is the most senseless of all our sins. It is the confession of a lack of self-control and of unexpressive diction. ... David Starr Jordan spoke of profanity as "the sign of an impoverished vocabulary." And when one stops to think of it this is the case. Interjections and adjectives galore are at the disposal of all to express all shades of meaning. But we pass them all by and cling to a few stock phrases which betray absolutely no individuality. The profane man becomes a boiler pouring forth steam at every scam with not enough left for effective power through the one vent of utility. Words that have become backneyed fall to italicize a statement.

The profane man goes before the world handicapped. His unbridled tongue is constantly cheapening his better qualities. Noble qualities many he may possess, but the world is too full of ears upon his coarseness grates to jeopardize his standing. With God's abhorrence of profanity so clearly revealed little clemency can be expected from Him "who will not hold him guiltless who taketh His name in vain." (Exodus 20:7.) ...

When men must give account in the day of judgment for every idle word they have uttered in life what a mountain of blasphemy will be the lot of some to meet.

---Charles P. Proudfit, The Register and Leader, Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 1, 1912.


[Some people], judging by the vile language they use, apparently think their tongues were meant for sewer shovels. So poverty-stricken is their vocabulary that they can express themselves in terms of the gutter with filthy four-letter words or in blasphemy as they drag the sacred names of Deity down into their devilish conversation. "Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from trouble." (Proverbs 21:23.)

---John F. Anderson, Jr., Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, June 15, 1957.


It is profanity that undermines the foundations of religion, for religion is reverence for sacred things. Create a reverence for the Holy Name and you will restore the religious feeling. ...

Reflection is the best means of overcoming this meanest of all habits. When you get up in the morning think you have been profane the day before. Think of the bad example you are giving to the young, your own children, that you do not wish to use bad language, but who will get the habit from you as you got it from others.

I would not advise a man who is trying to break off swearing to substitute such expressions as "doggone," "I'll be hanged," or "By George." These are only milder forms of the same disease and instead of helping to eradicate profanity. There is more likelihood that persons who use them will progress unwisely to outright profanity.

Most men have a favorite oath. That is the one they should try to rid themselves of first. Prayer and a continual reminding one's self of the Second Commandment are the best remedies.

Profanity is meaner than other crimes against God, because what are considered the grosser offenses, such as immorality and gluttony, bring their own punishment through the operation of nature. But a man who is profane offers a direct insult to God and can go on and on. He is guilty of ingratitude to the Almighty.

---Timothy Dempsey, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis, Mo., May 27, 1910.


[Exodus 20:7; Matthew 5:33-37; Matthew 12:33-37.] Profanity is an offense against refinement and good manners, as much as an offense against moral and spiritual decency. ... Profane words indicate a profane mind and a profane heart, a lack of rightful response to goodness and love and truth. The willingness of men to trail holy things in the dust is an evidence of their inner unholiness. ... Evil language may be on the lips rather than in the heart, but nevertheless it reveals a lack of right thinking and right attitude. The closing verse of our lesson is broadly true that men are justified or condemned by their words, for their words indicate what they are.

---William E. Gilroy, Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, Pa., Oct. 1, 1938.


Profanity does not hurt God or Christ, but it plays havoc with the human beings that are addicted to it.

Words are the symbols of ideas, of hopes, of aspiration and power, and the ideas, hopes and prayers of a man are all there is to him, the rest being but animated matter.

To lightly treat words, therefore, especially the great words that symbolize the great thoughts, hopes and desires of the spiritual man, is to lightly treat, and eventually to despise, one's own better self.

Profanity of speech leads, logically, to profanity of thought and desire, and the man who has no reverence for the symbol is in danger of losing his reverence for the thing of which the symbol is the reflection.

It is as sure as anything can be in this world that the young boys growing up today with the habit of profane swearing fixed upon them will not have as much faith in themselves and in the world, as much hope for the future or as much beauty in the present life as their forefathers had who were taught to hold the high names in reverence and to speak of the soul's hopes in a low voice and with bowed head.

---Thomas B. Gregory, The Sunny South, Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 9, 1902.


The devil's way: First he gets a man to doubt and then he gets him to damn. The reason we don't have more prayers is because our mouths are so filthy with cursing.

---W.E. "Bill" Hawkins, Panhandle Herald, Panhandle, Texas, Aug. 21, 1928.


Erase completely from your vocabulary all profanity, blasphemy, obscenity or irreverence.

The use of profanity or blasphemy is a dead giveaway that one lacks the word power to express his emotions properly.

Obscenity, off-color jokes and the double entendre are resorted to only by the boor who lacks the cleverness to be really funny or amusing.

Irreverence, to one's own Deity or that of others, is always in unforgivably bad taste.

---Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, July 5, 1956.


Swearing is the symptom of spiritual disease. It is the surface manifestation of that disease of the heart which is fatal unless cured, and that is the disease and irreverence. Irreverence for God leads to the taking of His name in vain. Irreverence for the personalities of others leads to the use of exaggerations and overstatements which mislead.

---J.B. Hunley, Christian Standard, Cincinnati, Ohio, Sept. 25, 1943.


Nothing appears more disgusting to the feelings of virtue and refinement than the use of profane language. Aside from religion and from the sacred obligations we are under to revere the name of the Supreme Being, and never to use it in vain; profane language is almost invariably a proof of low breeding. It shows the absence of those finer sensibilities, of those many and dignified virtues, or those elevated notions or propriety and wisdom, and of those moral obligations we are under to set an example, worthy to be copied by all, which every candidate for the circles of good society must possess to insure a successful entrance there. ...

When the man who bears the natural image of his God, and has professed a conscientious regard for the precepts and laws of religion, and then indulges in profanity, he stamps his profession with the seal of hypocrisy and makes his religion a burlesque on good sense. It is disgusting to an enlightened mind to hear profanity from an acknowledged wicked man; to hear it from a professed [disciple of Christ] is shameful in the extreme; but to hear it from an ordained minister is most outrageous. It gives humanity the blush, and causes true religion to hide, with shame and confusion, its humbled and dishonored head. ... No man in whom the Spirit of truth abides will, for a moment, indulge in this disgracefully criminal language.

---Orson Hyde, Frontier Guardian, Kanesville, Iowa, March 21, 1849.


You show me a cusser and I'll show you a man that doesn't stop at cursing. You're commanded by the Ten Commandments not to curse and not to steal. Bud, you young cusser out there, if your moral nature was as subject to putrefaction as your body is, you would stink. It's the height of ill manners, you disreputable old scoundrel.

---Sam P. Jones, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., March 9, 1896.


Don't swear. I have but little patience with a man who says it "slips out." Do you know a dog can't run out of a house if he [is not] in it? So it is with Christians. If you [haven't] got swear words in your heart they won't slip out. I would just as soon have a polecat in my stomach as cuss words in my heart.

---Sam P. Jones, The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky., May 13, 1899.


Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." (Exodus 20:7.)The sin of profanity! What do you want to cuss for? What is there in it for you? What is there in it to add to your manhood, to your character, to your integrity, to your honor? I want to look you in the face and say a thing that burns like fire if you have sense: A man who will habitually and persistently break one of God's commandments, if you will turn him loose he will break them all. ... You cussing scoundrels, listen to me. ... I want you to hold up tonight and show you what an infernal scoundrel you are if you curse. Yes, he will cuss in a minute; he will cuss a preacher, cuss before a woman, cuss anywhere--he is a cusser from Cussersville. ... They say if the devil wants to catch anything else than a cusser he baits his hook, but if he wants to catch a cusser he just throws the hook in without any bait on it and the old fool swallows it.

Escape from profanity; it is disreputable, it is dishonorable, it cuts the grit from under your manhood. If you are a profane swearer you lack that much of being a gentleman, for no gentleman is a profane swearer. Quit cussing.

---Sam P. Jones, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Oct. 14, 1893.


The trouble with profanity is not so much that it is wicked, but that it is just plain dirty.

It is not so much that you shock religious people, as that you disgust decent people, that we object to it.

Swearers are behind the times. They are holdovers from a former century. A hundred years ago or so swearing was a habit indulged in by all classes. Hostlers swore in the stable, gentlemen swore in the club, boys swore in the street, and ladies swore in the parlor. Husband and wife cursed each other across the breakfast table. ...

The world has grown more decent since then. A gentleman that would curse in the presence of ladies would be hustled away, and never invited again.

Nowadays anybody who swears is set down at once as being coarse or vulgar.

The young man who wants to succeed needs to take advantage of everything that may help him on. And swearing will be a black mark against him in any job he may have.

And if he wants to associate with the right sort of girls he must keep his talk clean.

Nobody wants a swearer in the office or in the workshop or on the train or in the hotel. The only place swearing fits is the saloon.

Swearing means that you don't know how to talk. Your vocabulary is limited. It is the sign of ignorance.

Swearing means weakness. You will notice that forceful men, whose words carry weight, use simple, plain words.

When you swear it shows your impotence. It is the petty refuge of the helpless; if you can help a thing, help it; if not, keep still; anyway, don't swear.

Swearing has bad kin. It goes with ignorance, brutality, cruelty, drunkenness, licentiousness, viciousness and anger. And you can tell a habit by the company it keeps.

Swearing that is the sudden, impulsive exclamation is not so bad, compared with swearing that has become a vile habit. And when a man gets the habit of sprinkling oaths through his speech constantly he ought to be tied out in the barn with the pigs.

To abstain from swearing does not mean you are a sissy. It simply means you're decent.

To show you are manly you don't have to have a dirty face or black fingernails or greasy clothes, or tousled hair. You can be manly though clean. And you are not showing any manliness by filthy talk.

Even if you want to hurt anybody's feelings or insult anyone the worst way use plain English; it hurts much worse than curses.

Altogether, swearing is a useless, unclean and offensive habit.

Quit it!

---Frank Crane, The Chicago Daily News, Chicago, Ill., April 4, 1918.


Profanity is the irreverent, passionate or flippant use of that which is serious and sacred. Profanity is the taking of holy ideas to express unholy tendencies. ...

Just why do people become profane in speech? At least four reasons have been suggested. First of all, it is caused by our associations. ... Men have their conversation colored by the men and women with whom they ordinarily talk. For many people the cure for profanity is a new group of daily intimates. Much, however, of the profanity with which we are is cause not alone by association, but with association coupled with thoughtlessness. We do not think; therefore, our speech becomes profane. There is a further reason for some profanity; it is the belief in the mind of some people that swearing adds emphasis to conversation. ... The use of profanity weakens speech. Still another cause of profane speech is the result of an explosion of pent up emotions within the heart. A person becomes violently angry; he is heated within; and to relieve himself of his emotions, he begins to curse and swear.

Not a single advantage accrues to the man who violates the sanctity of speech in the use of profanity, but on the other hand he becomes a sufferer in the finer realms of life. He is obliged to pay a price in intellect. Profanity breeds laziness. It is a sure sign of ignorance, a confession that the speaker has no knowledge of good English and that his vocabulary usually points to impoverished thought. ... The user of profanity pays a heavy price in his emotional life. Profane words spoken in anger often lead to a man's losing control of his higher nature. He lets anger run riot to ruin his self-control. Not only so, but he pays a stiff price in his social life. In spite of the fact that we live in a profane time, when many men are frequently taking the name of the Lord thy God in vain, yet the fact remains that great bodies of men and women are repulsed by the use of profanity, and refuse to accept upon terms of intimacy those who are guilty of such a habit. Therefore the failure to observe sanctity of speech cuts men off from many worthwhile friendships, and shuts many doors in every city in their faces. It spells contamination of all that is highest and best in social life. Yet another item to enter upon the debit side of the account is the moral and spiritual loss. Profanity opens the gates to a host of allied sins. of vulgarity and drunkenness you may not be guilty, but temptations come most frequently to men whose voices are heard raised in profane speech. It puts you in the wrong crowd, and lays upon you the suspicion of guilt for other evils. It brings contamination to the soul to drag into the filth the name of the Lord of life and love.

All profanity does not consist of cursing. There is a violation of the sanctity of speech commanded by this edict even by those men and women who dare not use the common words of cursing. The sanctity of speech is violated by the very attitude of some believers towards things which should hold paramount importance in their lives. ...

There may be a place for humor in the church, but never a place for jesting about matters holy and reverent. Humor is a great gift of God, a precious grace, a sense of the fitness of things and an amused perception of the incongruity which results when that fitness is lacking. Like every other grace humor has its counterfeits, one of which is sarcasm. Sarcasm is not humor, but a perversion thereof, nothing else than the humor of an unhumorous man. A man of God never swears. No Christian speaks with sarcasm of the things which pertain to the Lord. It is a violation of the sanctity of speech. The other base counterfeit of humor of which believers are sometimes guilty is buffoonery. The buffoon is a fool. ... A Christian will never jest with holy matters. If he does so, he takes the name of the Lord his God in vain.

---Charles Haddon Nabers, The Pensacola Journal, Pensacola, Fla., Jan. 26, 1930.


It has become a noticeable fact that the use of profane language is greatly on the increase, and that otherwise respectable people are addicted to a coarseness in this respect which is very reprehensible. ...

The language of a people is a pretty correct criticism of their spirit and practices. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Those who are habitually coarse, vulgar, profane or obscene in the common use of language cannot truthfully lay claim to a high standard of moral feeling or virtuous action.

Profaning the name of the Deity is particularly obnoxious to persons of a religious nature, yet their ears are continually assailed by expletives which do violence to their feelings. They might expect to hear language of this character from the lips of ruffians and rowdies. But profanity is common among men who know better, and who claim to education and position. Swearing can be frequently heard among so-called gentlemen, who would be very much offended if classed among the low-lived and vulgar.

The effects of bad language are evil on both the speaker and hearer. The utterer of foul words tarnishes his own nature, and those who take delight in listening to them are also proportionately defiled. Especially is this the case with the rising generation. They hear the loose language of their seniors and adopt it quickly. And the use of words that convey corrupt ideas soon produce in the young the same kind of thoughts which gave rise to the language they learned from the old. And thus the stream of impurity swells while vice is fed and nourished.

Slang language assists in producing a low standard of thought and feeling, and should be discountenanced by all who wish to elevate mankind and improve the condition of society. Words are only sounds, but they represent something more than tones, and a higher standard of morality will never be reached while the fast style of the times continues to be fashionable. The use of correct and refined language has a vast and beneficial influence on the mind, and we should hail with delight a change for the better in the common expressions of everyday conversation.

---Charles W. Penrose, Ogden Junction, Ogden, Utah, March 17, 1876.

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