Obscenity and Trash Talk – The Problem With Crossing The Line

This past week in the news, there were two different incidents in which media celebrities made obscene or malicious comments about other people. Both took a fair amount of pushback from the public, and both celebrities apologized and said they had crossed the line. But I was wondering, what line was it?

zebra-814814_640 Photo by Pattern Pictures – Courtesy of Pixabay

Exactly where is the line that was crossed? I can’t seem to identify it, because if what they said was on the other side of the line, how much was okay up until they got to the line? Which obscenities are okay and how much trash talk can you say up until you reach the line?


What is acceptable today in the public arena was not acceptable five years ago.  The same is true for five years before that, and ten years before that. The line has moved with every downward shift of the cultureI have lived long enough to remember when men did not swear in front of women and women did not swear in the public arena. In fact, in the home I grew up in, you were not even allowed to swear in the private arena. Girl or boy, when you transgressed, the least you would be sanctioned with was a bit of soap in the mouth (and believe me, Ivory does not taste good!).

So, what can we do in a culture where the lines are so low that you have to don a facemask, oxygen tank and flippers to dive down and find them? First, when people have been trashed in the public arena, we can make our voices known. It is not okay to use obscenities and trash talk when disagreeing with anyone, no matter what their race, religion or political affiliation is.

Since the public standards and lines are so low, each of us must come up with our own lines and standards for communication. As a believer in Jesus Christ, I have found a few lines in Scripture that work for me. First, “Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouth,” and second, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Those two will help keep my mouth and heart in check. When I do cross those lines, and I have, I need to apologize to the person I have offended and take responsibility for my actions.

Crossing the line? Hah…what line? 






17 thoughts on “Obscenity and Trash Talk – The Problem With Crossing The Line

  1. How about, ” Every Idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matt 12:36-37

    Also all of James 3.

    Humans, made in the image of God, are the only species He created to use words to communicate.

    God IS the Word.

    God spoke the world into existence.

    Jesus is the Word, made flesh. Our words are incredibly important.
    You hit one of my sensitive areas with your post. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ivory was tolerable…..but Zest soap was a taste that BURNED!!! I distinctly recall ‘foaming at the mouth’ with a bar shoved in there 😲. My parents were good parents….they just disciplined according to what was acceptable at the time. Others had it rough. Thank goodness it’s more commonly acceptable now to NOT to shove bars of soap in children’s mouths! I fully agree that respect is # 1 and that kindness is necessary. However, some changes are good changes; and as society progresses so do attitudes to acceptance of differences of others, should that be in terms of cultural diversity, sexual orientation, etc. With kindness first ….it’s a good thing to be able to express differences without fear of abuse or intolerance ♥️♥️. That being said, I do have to have LOTS of conversations about ‘being respectful’ with my kids ….especially when it comes to language and attitude!!!! Ugh 😑. It’s a work in progress for all of us😁

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Great post! My mouth was washed out with Irish soap-I still despise that soap to this day. I have never heard my parents curse not even a slang word. I picked up some slang that I need to work on trashing it. Yes, the media has me so turned off it is hard to distinguish journalism from gossip. It has me questioning everything they put out… I might just go back to looking at the clouds for a weather update. It has come to the point where I no longer sit silent to the publications sent out. I voice in a respectful tone whether I believe someone has crossed my own personal line when conversing with me about politics, religion, media etc..

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Love the comment…great way to deal with all the palaver out there! I keep saying to my husband, “I need to find a source of news that is not biased one way or the other.” Perhaps the Wall Street Journal or the Christian Science Monitor? I don’t know. I just want the news, not a commentary nor a bunch of trash-bashing of others!


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