“To put it bluntly, we are fed up, disgusted, offended, and pissed off about having our First Amendment rights trampled, ignored desecrated and pissed on by spineless politicians that have sold out this country to corporate intrests, religious zealots that seek to turn this once free nation into an intolerant theocracy where we all MUST worship THEIR God, THEIR way, or burn
in hell for all eternity, and the so-called liberal sentries of political correctness in which nobody can dare utter a single word in that it might be construed as something that might offend someone.” -Anonymous(1)

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise theory of; or abridging the freedom of speech, the press,
or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and petition the government for a redress of grievances.” This article is

what the above comment is being spoken-out in defense of.

It seems more and more US citizens are taking matters into

their own control and losing sight of the laws and rights

established and given to us by our fore-fathers. People are

being arrested, charged, and penalized for using profane

language-”free speech”(as these protestors and many others

refer to it.)- in public.


Profane and obscene language can sometimes be

labeled as “the DEVIL’S LANGUAGE”. Obscenity means the

character or quality of being obscene; indecent; or lewd.

Profanity means showing irreverence towards sacred things;

particularly, an irreverent or blasphemous use of the name

of God. Profane and obscene language is vulgar, irreverent

and coarse. The categories of Profanity and obscenity also

need to include Blasphemy. Due to how similar it and

profanity are, and how frequently they are mixed up with

one another. Blasphemy pertains to the reviling or ridiculing
of

religion or God.

Cursing and swearing cannot be excluded from this

topic. Cursing involves calling upon divine judgement, as in

‘God damn you’; while swearing takes God’s name in vain,

as in an oath like ‘so help me God!’


Profane and obscene language include cursing,

swearing, and blasphemy. However, by definition, this does

not mean that any of these are ‘dirty’ language. it is

language that can be offensive to peoples’ feelings and

beliefs.


It is amazing the number of cases in which people

have been arrested for using profane language in public. In

many cases, the charges may not have been accurate. In

Windsor, Connecticut during 1937, a motorist was arrested

for speeding. He was fined $10.00 for a traffic violation and

another $10.00 for blasphemy due to remarks he made to

the arresting officer. More than likely the remarks made

were profanity, and not blasphemy.


Another incident in 1957, in Mt. Clements,

Michigan occurred when a man was convicted of blasphemy

for cursing at an officer, who was investigating a complaint of

spouse abuse.


In 1971, however, the Supreme Court, in

overturning an offensive conduct stated, “one man’s

vulgarity is anothers lyric”(2) The case involves a young man

who had worn a jacket, in public, that stated ‘fuck the draft’

on it to show his dislike for the country’s involvement in the

Vietnam War.


Laws regarding ‘dirty’ language, profane and

obscene, involve several important questions. What are the

characteristics of human nature? What ties laws and morals

together? What is the appropriate role of the State in a

democratic society in relation to making such laws?


Benjamin Lee Whorf describes profane and

obscene language as “Language is all about things

(nouns) and the actions (verbs) of energetic things: One

thing...acts on...another thing.”(3) He also states that if
mind is betrayed by grammar as well as by words, the

problem of language becomes very troublesome. O.B.

Hardison Jr. claims that any kind of language is a set of

conventions developed laboriously by a social group over

generations. “Each human mind is formed by a natural

language, which in turn, is a vehicle for the history of a

specific culture,”(4)


What Whorf and Hardison are saying is that

different languages develop, or progress over the years.

What we now know as slang was probably profane language

in the 50’s and 60’s. As language progressed, the words that

one was scolded for saying, or that raised some eyebrows,

have now become basically ordinary words.


The ordinary language of today is now a