Guest post by Michael Blaylock

Can Christians cuss? Are cuss words even as bad as we think? This is a topic I've been dying to explore, so I thought I'd do it publicly. I could end up being corrected left and right, but that's half the fun of exploration: finding the wrong paths that narrow you down to the right one.

If you have opinions on this matter, holler 'em! Whether you agree or disagree, let's explore this together. WARNING! I'll actually be USING the cuss words to properly look at them. This post is rated R. Well...this SPECIFIC one is more like PG13, but still...

For a little background, read this first post I made about cussing in general.

And now, to look at the specific words Christians supposedly cannot use. I've broken the topic into parts so I can give good time to each word without making a forever-long post. In this chapter, I'm focusing more religion-oriented "bad words."

The Lord's Name

Probably the biggest in Christian circles because it's spelled out the clearest. Exodus 20:7 gives Commandment #3: You shall not misuse the name of God, or abuse it, or use it in vain, depending on your translation. The verse specifically says you won't escape judgment if you do.

Scary stuff! But what does it mean?

From what I've seen, it means two things. A: Don't associate God's name to anything ungodly (God told me to cheat on my wife). B: Don't use God's name lightly. The latter is probably more prevalent because God's name gets tossed around so often it can lose all meaning.

For Christians, this one is easily defended. God is real and he is holy. His name should be treated with respect and care. Not that you should get stoned for saying "Jehovah" like in The Life of Brian, just remember there is power in the name of Jesus.

The D-Word

You know what's odd? Damn is a word you can use in a movie and still get even a G-rating (The Rookie). It's used so often and freely that it's virtually the lightest of the cuss words.

But don't you think it should be the biggest? I mean even worse than the F-Bomb, C-Bomb, or any other alphabetical explosive? Think of the implications!

Damn: verb. To send to Hell. That's about the worst thing you can ever wish on a person. I mean Hell? The place of eternal fire and darkness with no hope of return? Is there any worse punishment you can think of? And the world uses it so freely?

This is probably because most people don't really believe in God or fear his judgment, but this article is to Christians, so I'd say this one should be really carefully used. Do you really want that person to go to Hell? I mean Jesus didn't.

As for damning impersonal things, such as damn this phone, damn this car, etc, the line is a little fuzzier. Soulless things don't go to hell, so the word really means nothing. However, I'd still advise caution. Use a word too freely in the right context and it can slip in the wrong one.


Who thought of this one? Seriously, who first said that Hell is a bad word when it's explicitly in the Bible? Christians believe that Hell is a real place, so how do we talk about it if we can't say it?

I think Christians are referring to a few specific phrases, primarily "What the Hell?" Incidentally, I'm not sure if you capitalize it or not. Anywho, the expression seems to mean "This is so baffling or horrible that it must have come from some unexplored reaches of Hell."

Kinda doesn't make sense, does it? My only advice for this one is to treat it like damn. Careful how you use it just because Hell is a real place and the more we throw the word around, the more fictional the idea of Hell becomes. Other than that, why the Hell/hell not?

So far so good, right? Hahaha, just wait until next time! We cover words that start with A, B, and S. Do they deserve their scorn, are are we over-exaggerating their badness? We'll talk about that next time. For now, what do YOU think of these three particular words?

Michael Blaylock is a writer and editor with dual passions for God and art. He lives in Denver with his wife and son.