Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras: Lent is Almost Here

It might be shocking for some of you to hear this, but I actually participate in the Lenten restrictions set forth by the Catholic Church.

The only actual restrictions placed on people by the church during Lent are fasting and abstinence.  On Ash Wednesday and every Friday during Lent, Catholics from age 14-60(ish) are required to fast.  Fasting, for the church, stipulates that only one full meal be taken during that 24 hour period.

Abstinence doesn't mean abstaining from sex, but rather abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays.  The church generally allows the consumption of fish, but I personally take it one step further and I try not to consume the flesh of any once-living sentient creature.  So I stay strictly vegetarian on Fridays.

The third thing is generally more Protestant in nature, but Catholics do it all the time, and that is making some sacrifice.  The idea is that you give up something you really love.  It's symbolic (in a small way) to Jesus' ultimate sacrifice for all of us, and largely about the temptation he faced during his 40 days in the desert.  All the fasting and sacrificing is supposed to teach us something about temperance.

So what am I giving up for Lent?  Cussing.  Foul, profane language.  Some of you might be laughing your asses off right now.  People who know me IRL likely believe I'm doomed to fail.  The way I see it is, so long as I don't give up and continue to try, I haven't failed.  But, as they say, we learn more from our failures than we do our successes.

And why set myself up for failure?  Why sacrifice something that I know I have only the slightest chance of actually accomplishing?  Well, my opinion is that if you're sacrificing something you absolutely know you can do without for 40 days, then you're not really sacrificing a whole lot.

That sounds mighty judgmental, but that's only how I feel for myself.  If you find meaning in making a small sacrifice then that's great.  Whatever helps improve your own spirituality is great.  But for me, the sacrifice must be great, and it must be difficult.

So on this Fat Tuesday, the day we are to gorge on what we will give up, I'm going to gorge on profanity.  Here is a list of words that I will not allow myself to say.  My faithful readers, please feel free to add to the list in the comment section.  Make sure the words are those that are *actually* considered to be profane.

Anal (coupled with some other word. Anal sex is a technical term and thus safe to use)
Ass-anything really
Bastard (I will use the term "illigitimate child" if referring to a bastard child)
Box (used in the context of slang for "vagina")
Cock sucker
Cock monger
Cunt (yes, ladies, I'm sorry to admit that I've legit dropped the "C" word)
Damn (unless it's in the Bible or some other text)
Dick (unless your name is Richard)
Dildo (only in the sense of name-calling, ie. "you dildo."  Naming the implement does not count.)
Dong (unless it's some Chinese name.  Dong salad anyone?)
Dyke (unless it's a ditch)
Dumbass (dumb, idiot, moron, stupid, ignoramus are all acceptable substitutes.)
Faggot (and fag.  Yes, I'm guilty of this one, too.  But *never* towards an actual gay person.  Sorry.)
Fairy (see "Faggot")
Hell (ie "what the Hell.")
Shit-ton (this includes the phrase "metric shit-ton.")
Slut ("promiscuous" is an acceptable alternative)
Whore (can be substituted with "prostitute.")

And of course, my personal favorite . . . FUCK.  Also, no profane gestures.  So here's the last of this you'll see for the next 40 days.  Wish me luck!!!

Hope you enjoy Lent as much as I will =(


Anonymous said...

I also refrain from any meats and most difficult for me is my cigars (I do not smoke cigarettes but two cigars a day for almost 40 years except during lent).

Good luck with your "cussing".

Damien Charles

Harrison said...

Shit, you might be fucked trying not to cuss.

Jersey McJones said...

It's a shame the way Protestants ahve thrown out so many of the old Church rituals. It's such a rewarding part of our culture. Today's Cafeteria Christians would do well to get back to some of the old traditions.


Harrison said...

Yeah like how many Catholics use birth control, get abortions, and go to Confession?

LOL whatever.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Interesting ideas on what one gives up for Lent.

I remember reading a while ago that people who give up bad eating habits, smoking habits, etc., for Lent actually benefit from their "sacrifice." They lose weight, feel better, sleep better, etc.

The interesting question is, if people see the temporary suspension of those habits at Lent as beneficial, why take them up again afterwards?

Anyway, good luck with the next 40 days. And if you are tempted to cuss, you always have the choice, in texting, anyway, of expressing yourself thusly:


Jack Camwell said...

Yes, the idea is that you ideally continue the sacrifice as an improvement to your life after Lent is over.

Historically, I don't do that, lol.

I will likely be a ball of frustration by the time the 40 days are up.

manapp99 said...

I don't get how cursing is a sin or even a bad thing. Words are just a way to describe thoughts. This is like saying the inks used to portray porn are pornographic. With words as with giving it is truly the thought that counts. The word fuck is so useful for so many situations I do see how we were able to communicate properly before it's widespread use. Look in the sky....it's a noun, no it's a verb, no it's an adjective no it's a super fucking word.

Fuck giving up saying fuck. That's fucking nuts.

Jack Camwell said...

I never said that cursing is a sin, but it's definitely not a good thing. And we can say, "well they're just words," but that's a cop out.

All words, then, are "just words." They're all just sounds that we articulate to convey meaning. But meaning is the crux of the issue, and that's why they're not "just words."

Curse words convey a very specific meaning and attitude, and those meanings and attitudes are offensive to people. Those same meaning and attitudes, however, can be expressed in different ways, ways that are considered not vulgar or profane.

Think of how many words you can use to replace the F-bomb that are A) Less vulgar, and B) Actually more precise in expression.

Also, some words are hurtful and carry heavily derogatory connotations. Right or wrong, that's just the way it is.

Think of the word "Nazi." That word has a very specific meaning, and although the word itself is not intrinsically bad or vulgar, you still would never want to be called a Nazi.

Either way, not cursing is a part of social convention in polite society. I personally don't see it as a bad thing for me, but I know that other people are offended by it. So my goal is to be somewhat less offensive.

manapp99 said...

"But meaning is the crux of the issue,"

My point exactly. If your hanging with your friends and says something dumb you might reply..."you fucking idiot" and not mean nor be perceived as meaning anything hurtful. However you could also use that same phrase in a heated situation and truly mean that the other person is a fucking idiot. It is about context, body language, voice levels and inflection and not words.

Another for instance. If while playing spades with my sister and her husband I were to fuck up and say fuck when forced to take the last trick as I attempt to go nil I would have to put a quarter in the cuss bank. I could simply say fudge and not have to pay even though there is clearly no fudge anywhere in the vicinity. Silly I believe but since my sister is against cuss words I try and respect that and do not use the words that offend her. It does not mean the words are bad it is her perception that fuck is bad and fudge is good even thought the sentiment is the same.

Therefore I disagree with you that cursing is definitely a bad thing. I guess we will have to fucking agree to disagree.

Jack Camwell said...

A very good point, manapp, and that's something that I was actually thinking about yesterday. Is substituting the word any better, especially when I essentially mean the same thing, or the same sentiment is behind it?

I don't rightly know, but again cussing has more to do with offensiveness than it does actual meaning or feeling, and it more has to do with my actions and how they are perceived rather than anything intrinsic.

The feelings behind those curswords are not necessarily wrong or sinful, but violating someone's sentimentalities when I could easily avoid that is not a good thing, and that's what I'm more focusing on.

Harrison said...

Anybody who says "cheese and cracked" or shit like that instead of just shutting up or cussing is a retard. If you're going to swear do it right.

Anonymous said...

May The Grace and Peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, The Love of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be With You Always, May He Protect Youy from Harm, Give You Strength this Lent and May our Loving Father Guide you every Day of Your Life, Grant this Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Anonymous said...

Remember the story about the man who decided to give up sex for Lent, but didn't discuss it with his wife beforehand?

After several days of not feeling sufficiently loved and cherished, she got fed up and finally asked her husband, "Why's wrong? We haven't made love in ages, and we used to do it every night."

"It's Lent," he answered laconically.

"Oh yeah?" she replied sarcastically. "Well to whom and for how long?"

~ FreeThinke