Baptist Non-verbal Swearing

I was brought up right, born into a Southern Baptist family in eastern Kentucky. We were “three-peats”! That is, we were in church Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday night. Once in a while, I’d fake a cough so I could stay home on Sunday night and watch Walt Disney…back in the day when it was wholesome with Hayley Mills, Old Yeller, and Mary Poppins.

My parents never used swear words. The worst we’d hear them say would be, “Shoot!”, but having no connection to firearms. So I didn’t cuss either! Swearing was a sign of our fallen nature, and even though I was fallen I had reached and grabbed hold of the branch of purified speech on my descent.

I’m still that way. It doesn’t mean I don’t think thoughts that would resemble the words of a sailor, I just don’t say them.

However, I’ve noticed that I’m developing a toolbox of ways that I non-verbally swear at others. They’ve come as a result of driving on the same roads as NASCAR wanna-be’s and people who have come to believe that the world revolves around themselves.

For example, when that BMW sedan buzzed by me and cuts in front, I extend my left hand forward as if I’m outside the supermarket entrance and telling someone “You go ahead.” If the BMW motorist happens to look in his rearview mirror, he will see my hand extended. Outside Safeway it would be a gesture of politeness, but on Research Parkway a few blocks from our house it’s my way of silently shouting profanity. Forgive me, Lord!

Another way I’ve entered into the land of quiet expletives is when someone doesn’t stop at a four-way stop. For that transgression I extend both hands heavenward, like a Sunday morning praiser, to express my disbelief. Once in a while, the sinner whispers an apology. Other times it looks like he whispers something a bit more “earthly”!

Finally, I sometimes use the confused shaking of my head to convey ridicule. I see it quite often on the faces of Detroit Lions fans during televised games on Sundays. Their expressions of disbelief in player and coaching decisions need no words attached to them. You can read their cussing minds! I use this non-verbal swearing technique most when I’m on the sidelines coaching a basketball game. I get the eye of one of the officials and pierce him with my frown and head-shaking.

I guess you could say my lips are pure, but my mind is tainted. I have, however, stooped to the low level of saying the word “crap”!

Forgive me, Lord!

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One Comment on “Baptist Non-verbal Swearing”

  1. Vincent Says:

    I laughed out loud at the double hand raise! Thanks for your meditation!


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