At times I can have a pretty foul mouth, but nothing is as offensive as…

There are times when I have the vocabulary of a proverbial sailor or trucker. I don’t talk like this all the time.  I try to use “colorful” language for emphasis.  I understand that there is a time & a place for such things.

Sometimes it comes out more when on stage with the band, due to the nature of our music & lyrics.  I generally don’t write offensive words here in my blog or on social media like Facebook & Twitter.  Being involved in Church & camp, there are words I don’t use that could be considered offensive to religion.  I usually don’t swear in front of my mother or ever in front of my grandmother.  Sometimes I use words that are incredibly foul in one long string just because some single words aren’t foul enough to express my frustration, and I even try to make up new ones.  (This is usually behind the wheel of  car,  just ask my wife.)

We all probably have our own rules about what others might consider foul language.  I can turn it “off” without a problem according to the company I’m with.

My point?

It’s easy to turn it off.

Most swear words refer to a bodily function or body part that we somehow collectively decided to find offensive.  I say that when you need to express anger or want to make people giggle, use those words until your heart’s content.  Everyone understands what you mean when you use those words.

On the other hand, there are some words that we should try to never say, like “the N-word” and any other racial slurs (except “cracker” — that will always be funny), like words that are offensive to homosexuals (the other “F-word” & calling things “gay” in a derogatory way), and the focus of this blog:  “The R-Word

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not perfect.  I have used all of these words offensively… but I have cleaned up my language as far as those last few go.  I’m not someone who tries to be politically correct or anything, I just know what I feel is right or wrong.  It’s definitely wrong to use the word “retarded” to describe something, or to call someone a “retard”.  It’s killing me just to type those words.

For the last several years at our summer camp, I have been working with Jr./Sr. high age kids, and my wife and mother have been working with special needs adults.  We’ve all become directors of our respective camps that happen at the same time at the same facility.  The camps get together for several activities like crafts, skits, or singing at meal times & around the campfire.

We have met so many wonderful people that might get ignored or avoided by society because people are scared of what they don’t understand or scared of someone that’s so different.  Some people are just scared that they might react in a bad way.

Living Waters - Jr./Sr. High Camp & Recreation Camp - July 2010

These are some of my friends. (Living Waters - Jr./Sr. High Camp & Recreation Camp - July 2010)

It has brought me to tears to see the joy that all of our campers have when the groups are interacting.  I don’t tear up easily, but seeing those kids spark when they help or learn from the special needs campers… or seeing the special needs campers’ joy in the simple fact that a group of kids wants so spend time with & sing with them… it makes a guy that tries to be a hard-ass punk rocker into a big blubbering mess.

My friend Tom has Down Syndrome.  Tom taught me sign language for “chicken” when he was calling me one at a wave pool on a field trip.  He knew I didn’t know sign language.  He knew his fellow camper friends did.  After I told him that the water was too cold, he started making the sign at me and laughing.  Some more of his friends did too.  Finally I got someone to confess the meaning and I of course had to go into the cold water streaming down from one of those goofy mushrooms.  We all laughed, and Tom patted my back to let me know that he was just joking around.  Tom is not stupid.  People like Tom aren’t stupid.  Don’t use the R-word when you mean stupid or dumb.

You can come at me with all 7 dirty words or any other ones you can think of and I won’t blink an eye or be offended.

When you use the R-word, it’s offensive to Tom, people like Tom, Tom’s family and friends, and me.  If I hear you say it, I might correct you or shoot you a dirty look.  This is your warning.

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25 thoughts on “At times I can have a pretty foul mouth, but nothing is as offensive as…

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  3. Great post! I, too, work with special needs kids. I teach a camp at my zoo in the summer. There is nothing more offensive to me than people using the “R” word in a slang manner. It enrages me.


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