God's Comic

God's Comic


Who’s a Jackass?

posted by Brad Stine

For
those of you new to this sight and are lifelong Christians, I’ll wait while you
have sufficiently picked yourself up off the floor and taken some nitro
capsules for the near heart attack brought on by your reading of the word “jackass”
in a Christian website.

My
column has one rule, only the truth is important, because truth is designed to
renew our minds from error, which for Christians usually results in legalism.
The truth is calling someone a jackass isn’t a curse word any more than calling
someone a pig or chicken is. Sure it CAN be
used as a malicious verbal attack but I am assuming you have a dictionary and
if so look up the definition before you throw stones. For those of you who
don’t have a dictionary and are Christians, you may have already trained
yourself not to think deeper but instead to have others think for you which is
not only a sin but should be illegal and grounds for excommunication and/or a
return to the tried and true biblical motivational tool of stoning.

The
reason I believe there is a season for using harsher words to drive home a
point is because Jesus did it. Jesus referred to Pharisees as a “generation of
vipers” which means either “sons of snakes” or “snakes”. Did Jesus curse? No.
Apparently using metaphors to describe a sinful act or behavior is ok by God.
Can you honestly reason that calling me a snake is less insulting than a
donkey?

Context
allows us, when trained, to hear someone out and evaluate concepts before our
traditional, usually denominational filters kick in. There are words that are
spoken only as an insult when the word isn’t inherently insulting. What IS
insulting is what the word represents.
I’ll bring up the word “bastard” as a perfect example because I read that Clay
Aiken inseminated someone, more than likely a woman, and she had a baby. Progeny
that came from the process of insemination without the marriage commitment USED
to be called bastards.

It
was a stigma that was supposed to shame the inseminator and inseminate-e to do
the right thing and get married and raise the child responsibly. In other
words, words, were supposed to carry
weight and at times shock and disturb so as to have some shot at affecting
change.

Words
like adultery, whore, bigamist and secular humanist were all designed to shock
and shame us into remembrance of our sinful nature. Even the word “bitch” which
is still used daily in any kennel in the world to describe a female dog would
still cause outrage if used in the Christian church community even if used in context!

The
reason some words are vanishing is not because of the church and all its
holiness. It’s dying by decree of the politically correct that realized if you stigmatize
the power of a word instead of the person’s behavior, you then magically make
the act or behavior no longer outrageous.

Creating
a “bastard” now becomes your choice. I mean why judge the child right? It’s not
their fault they’re a bastard so lets just say it doesn’t matter and be done
with it. While we are at it though it would really
help to make good words bad.

“Father”
now is the equivalent of bastard since it is sexist and oppressive to believe
that a man must be involved in a child’s life to make it legitimate. I believe
in the power of words. I have made my living as a comic for 20 years by NOT
using curse words as in the case of comedy I believe it is overused and a
crutch often times for poor uncreative writing.

It is
only in specific gatherings (men only, trusted friends, hardened hearts) that I
may at times use harsh words like jackass for example specifically to drive
home a point that I know will be more expedient and forceful in delivering the
truth, just like Jesus did. That’s what words are for! If I was to say to
someone that being a legalist makes you a self-righteous jackass, I believe the
shoe fits.

If the
word demands they evaluate their behavior or worldview then it is changing
their life to drive them deeper to Christ. I also believe, as did Jesus
apparently, that it is being done in love. The best kind of love mind you,
tough love.

Love
by the way, is how we are expected to communicate; it’s not a suggestion, it’s
a command. It is time for true believers to learn the spiritual habit of always
judging words by context, not content.

 Remember all things are lawful, but not
everything is expedient. Certainly I would never use crass expletives,
obscenities, blasphemy or profanities, my point is that often Christians have
defined some words as such that clearly can’t be if we see how Jesus spoke.

Believers
are not to abuse Gods grace but to understand words are tools and not to be
feared. We as believers should be the most proficient in using them
effectively. Anything less is creating a stable of jackass’s masquerading as
Christians. MAN it feels good to say that. Why not, it’s expedient!

 



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Comments read comments(13)
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Marty Simpson

posted September 7, 2010 at 11:51 am


If I wasn’t already a huge Brad Stine fan, I am now!
Wow – you have really hit the nail on the head with this one. I think the commentary can be taken even farther, as sometimes the context is all that matters. Retelling a story about what a 9 year old child may have said to you when she didn’t know better can prove awfully funny but to some “Christians” is still very offensive just because of the words used.
To me context is king — I always use the word Bloody as the example — in England, this is totally different, but in America you just sound like a pansy saying it. Folks that would excommunicate you for saying Jackass – may have no problem with the word bloody. To me, they would be a bloody jackass.
Here is a brief story to add to your “jackass” argument. I worked for nine years at a private, Christian, evangelical school and we had parents that would create problems from time to time. My pastor at the time always told me to not make policy based on the angry parents… He was a reformed presbyterian minister with a doctorate, and he would quickly quip — “Don’t write policy for the jackasses…write policy for the masses.”
Cheers to you, Mr. Stine.
Great word.



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bstine

posted September 7, 2010 at 12:53 pm


why thank u sir..



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Carole

posted September 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm


It’s a pretty good article and I personally think ‘jackass’ is a great word for an adult who behaves in a very stupid way.
This is what I am wondering. Did you bring up Clay Aiken’s name because you knew it would get you hits you would not otherwise get? God knows it got me!!
I think you cheapened what was an honest act between Clay Aiken and Jaymes Foster, the child’s mother. (He turned 2 in August.) She had long wanted a baby and had trouble conceiving with the husband she had divorced. Clay was gay and wanted very much to have a child. They were and are best friends with no desire to be married so they used in vitro fertilization to create their beautiful little boy. They share custody and protect him from the spotlight. I think you showed very poor taste – and no sensitivity – in choosing little Parker as an example of a “bastard”.



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bstine

posted September 7, 2010 at 8:15 pm


Carol, you are right “Bastard” is a powerful word. It is what the word was for, to describe what society used to label children of unmarried couples.
It represented a moral standard God demanded. So in the original context of the word Parker is a “bastard”.
Ironically the context of my blog is exactly how you responded. You don’t like what the word represents so you believe in attacking even the pragmatic observation of word power.
It allows all of us reading to see the evil of political correctness and it’s DEMAND for self censorship on moral issues. I never called anyone a “bastard” I simply used a real life scenario to examine my point.
It could have been anyone.



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barb

posted September 7, 2010 at 8:49 pm


Part of her question was “..did you bring up Clay Aiken’s name because you knew it would get you hits that would not otherwise get?…” I am sure there are many examples you could have used, why that one?



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Sean Cullum

posted September 7, 2010 at 10:38 pm


Another thing I would add Brad, is that many Evangelicals elevate things like not cussing, not drinking, etc. above things like the Gospel, the Truth, and God’s Glory, ending up with a baseless morality and purposeless faith.
I think you touched on that, but I just wanted to drive it home a little bit more :)
Sean



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Deana OHara

posted September 8, 2010 at 8:55 am


Interesting post Brad. I’ll have to admit, when my hubby was considering becoming a pastor (he’s since changed his mind-breathing sigh of relief), my present pastor’s wife shared the word “crummy buttons” with me. She thought I might want help cleaning up my vocabulary. Someone had shared that word with her – and it just doesn’t have punch. We got a good laugh out of that and moved on.
Words do have power – and punch. Personally I love the word jackass, much to my husband’s dismay. I’ve never called him that – but I have used the self righteous example you listed when speaking of some people. As for bastard — technically you are correct and I’m happy to know you wouldn’t call someone that. It’s an unfair word. I have the right to say that because my dad’s name isn’t on my original birth certificate and while I went most of my life w/o ever being called that to my face — I have been called that.
I used to work with a rather senile pastor who thought it was okay to refer to me as the office bastard. No one stood up for me, and I caved. Sady, I didn’t have the courage to call him a self righteous jackass. Looking back, he had it coming. ;-D
Good post.



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Bethany

posted September 9, 2010 at 8:06 am


I love the sentence in the last paragraph were you stated “Believers are not to abuse Gods grace but to understand words are tools and not to be feared.” I completely agree with it, well, I agree with the whole,paragraph, but I really loved this sentence.
I tend to get in a lot of debates with people, so I’ve had a few words used against me, but I don’t use cuss words. Despite the fact that I think it is possible to debate without using words most Christians would consider cuss words I still think that it isn’t really a sin to use them. So, basically…I agree.
Great post!



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Leigh Harrison

posted September 22, 2010 at 12:28 am


Hey, Brad. I agree with you about how we use words. I’ve decided which words are actually CURSE WORDS, like “damn” and which words are just plain VULGAR. Even if we do curse, does the Bible speak against cursing? Jesus cursed a fig tree, and it died. When people “curse” now, it doesn’t mean anything. It just means, “Oh, look, I can get an ‘R’ rating because said the ‘f’ word 6,000 times.” Although i don’t usually say jackass :), I don’t have a problem with words like that or the ones you used in your blog. What I DO have a problem with is hearing my christian friends say the ‘S’ word or the ‘F’ word. That makes me sad. They don’t sound Christ-like when they say stuff like that. Something a leader in our church said, honestly, to a group of people one night, is that he had been, “pissed off” about something. I was proud of him for being so brave to say that in front of people at church. Sometimes, we feel how we feel! We feel pissed off or like we’re living in hell. And GOD KNOWS our feelings! And He loves us anyway! Shoot me an email sometime, I’d love to hear more about what you think.
Leigh



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2weak2Balooser

posted September 24, 2010 at 4:10 pm


I hang out with a great many liberals, in a very PC workplace. None of them think “father” is an inappropriate word.
By the way, if you think “secular humanist” is a word to “shock” and “shame” that says a great deal more about you than it does about secular humanists–and it doesn’t say anything good about you, either.



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Sarah

posted October 19, 2010 at 10:53 am


I just have to say thanks!
I watched some of your videos, and have read a few blogs, and I just have to tell you that I agree with every word you say!
It’s about time someone stood up for Christians, and it’s about time someone told us to ‘calm down’ too. As if regular politics aren’t bad enough, now there are ‘church politics’…Even our churches are being ‘wussified’!
You make good points, and I cannot wait to see more of your work!
God Bless.
Sarah



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The Masked Elephant

posted February 9, 2011 at 11:57 am


This is an older thread, but I thought I’d come freshen it up a bit. ;-)
It’s interesting to read varying perspectives on this. Personally, I try to take a balanced view of the whole thing. On the one hand, I have little patience with folks who don’t let their kids watch great movies because of some language, however mild. Heck, Chariots of Fire is probably the greatest movie ever made, and I have friends who won’t watch it again because it had a “damn,” a couple “hells” and one s-word. OMIGOSH!!!
But having said that, I think it’s good to draw a line, and I respect people who keep standards, people like you who have the integrity to take the high road and be clean. And I think it’s healthy for us to have a wince when we hear truly vile obscenities. There are levels to this kind of thing. And it does irritate me just a little bit when some Christians try to say that other Christians are getting their knickers in a knot over nothing when they object to bad language. There was a Christian artist named Derek Webb who stirred up huge controversy over using the s-word in a song of his, and some people were acting like he was some kind of a hero. “Stupid sissy Christians, can’t handle a little swearing, bwahaha.” And really, to me it just seemed like an arrogant gesture and a slap in the face to his audience, not to mention that the song had a pretty insidious PC message.
Another thought on euphemisms: Sometimes you see Christians going around using euphemisms like “freakin,” as though they expect us to fall all over ourselves thanking them for not using the original obscenity. And it’s that kind of thing that honestly just leaves me unimpressed.
So on the one hand I’m not going to ban all cursing as a cardinal sin. I love referring to people I don’t like as “pompous asses.” But on the other hand I would say that Christians should have higher standards than the rest of the world. Sadly, not everybody does.
Okay, hopefully I didn’t offend anybody there…for some reason everywhere I go people get offended by me. Here’s hoping I can get a little loud around here and nobody will mind. :-)



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Stacy

posted April 5, 2012 at 3:50 am


Like Brad Stine, if I offend someone with an honest and uncruel comment, I don’t care one bit. I’ve never been one to dip my comment in chocolate before I handed over a piece of my mind. I was on a popular forum, talking to some Christians and wouldn’t you know it, atheists had to drop by and try to poke holes in our beliefs, mock the Bible and make fun of God, which is strange, because to them, He doesn’t exist. It still doesn’t stop them from throwing Bible versus at us but only when it suits them. Wherever we Christians go, they follow, nipping at our heels. I’ve supposedly offended a whole bunch of them with my God. Makes me wonder then, why do they keep sniffing around the Christian forums? I don’t believe as an atheist does and you certainly wouldn’t find me making myself at home with them. I’m not a subtle person and I’m so tired of PC, I could scream. They ask for an honest opinion and then get miffed when I give them one. But, no matter what they throw at me, I never use one curse word or attack them verbally, yet they’re still ticked. Just for the mere fact I admitted I’m a Christian is enough to start the insults. I’ve read the Bible and jackass, ass and damnation are in it. As long as it’s not used to hurt someone just for the heck of it, I don’t see how it’s wrong to voice them. People, including some Christians, are so focused on being PC; so focused on rules; so worried about what others are doing, saying and eating; whether the women are wearing jewelry, piercings, makeup or pants that God starts to get lost in the shuffle, so to speak. I’ll get off my soap box now. But I’ve had this on my chest for a while and needed to let it out. Keep up the great work, Brad. God bless.



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