Orrin Hatch Channels J. Golden Kimball

June 26, 2004 | 25 comments
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A recent article from the nefariousliberalmedia discusses the recent spike in Senate profanity. I’m proud to see that Utah senator and church member Orrin Hatch is one of the politicians who has been putting blue language to public use.

Well I say, it’s about time. There ought to be more profanity in Congress, not less. After all, Senators are important public figures. If they swear, others might start swearing as well, and that can’t be a bad thing, can it? Civility is over-rated. Politeness is for the namby-pamby. Contention may be of the devil, but it gets the votes. And dammit, that’s what matters!

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25 Responses to Orrin Hatch Channels J. Golden Kimball

  1. lyle on June 26, 2004 at 12:57 pm

    lol…rofl.

    and of course, the more ‘blue dog’ we can get…the better, eh? i find it refreshing for Hatch to be showing his “unionized,” “blue collar” roots. more in touch with the “common man” than others apparently.

  2. Davis Bell on June 26, 2004 at 1:56 pm

    I’d be surprised if Hatch’s swearing wasn’t premeditated, as pretty much everything else he does seems to be.

    I remember being an 11 year-old kid when Dan Quayle came to town and hearing Hatch declare, “Mike Dukakis scares the hell out of me!” I think that was the first time I’d heard a member of the Mormon establishment swear. (I was also blown away when I saw my sweet, mild-mannered womean in my stake parading with a sign that said, “Quayle is a chicken hawk!”) Quite an eye-opener of a day.

  3. clarkgoble on June 26, 2004 at 1:57 pm

    When did dumb-ass become profanity? I think its pushing it a bit to compare Hatch and Cheney on this matter. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a big fan of Hatch, despite being a Republican. But saying “dumb-ass idea” seems rather genteel compared to what old J. Golden would let loose.

  4. Eric James Stone on June 26, 2004 at 2:06 pm

    Yes, contention is of the devil. That’s why I’m always surprised that the antiwar members of the Church keep contending with the supporters of the war. Shouldn’t they give in so as to avoid contention?

    (I am kidding, in case you couldn’t tell.)

  5. brayden on June 26, 2004 at 2:43 pm

    I’m glad that the media has finally started to focus on the issues that really matter to the American people! ;)

  6. Kaimi on June 26, 2004 at 5:36 pm

    Comment test.

  7. Kaimi on June 26, 2004 at 5:41 pm

    Comment Test.

  8. Bob Caswell on June 26, 2004 at 6:21 pm

    “When did dumb-ass become profanity?”

    Clark, you can’t be serious, can you? You sound so innocent as if you and your family said “dumb-ass” around the table during Sunday dinner as much as “pass the salt”.

    If, at this point in your life, you don’t think it’s profanity, that’s one thing. But the “since when…” talk?

  9. Clark Goble on June 26, 2004 at 7:33 pm

    I guess I’m even more naive than I thought… (Now I’ll *really* have to watch what I say!)

  10. Bob Caswell on June 26, 2004 at 7:44 pm

    Clark, don’t do anything on my account. But please, do tell why you’ve *never* thought of “dumb-ass” as profane. I may be the naive one…

  11. Eric James Stone on June 26, 2004 at 7:47 pm

    Stupidliberalmedia obviously distorted what Hatch was saying. I believe he actually said it was a “Dumas” suggestion — that is, similar to what a fanciful Frenchman might have proposed.

  12. Jeremiah J. on June 26, 2004 at 9:10 pm

    Hatch has used the curse word for “bottom” before–I read it in a transcript from at least ten years ago from a senate committee.

    But Clark is right–isn’t it okay to say “ass” and “hell” from the pulpit from some of the more cowboy parts of Utah and Idaho? Perhaps not so derisively.

  13. Clark Goble on June 26, 2004 at 9:22 pm

    Bob, I just have never seen anyone upset at the word ass. I have seen people get upset at piss, although I admit I don’t see much trouble with that either.

  14. Jim F. on June 26, 2004 at 10:59 pm

    So, are we going to create a list of the words that offend us and those that don’t? I’m not offended by that discussion. I curse occasionally–mildly, in my opinion, but who knows what someone else might think? But it does seem like an odd discussion.

  15. Nate Oman on June 26, 2004 at 11:17 pm

    I curse fairly regularlly — it is hard to spend a several years driving regularlly in DC and Boston without developing colorful descriptions of one’s fellow motorists (“Ye fiends of hell!” is my favorite).

    However, I always try to keep my profanity theological rather than scatelogical. Damn and hell seem sort of avuncular and Brigham-esque, while shit and other derivatives seem simply crude. Also, I avoid cursing that I consider overtly blasphemous, e.g. taking the name of God or the Savior in vain, vocalizing the tetragramaton, etc.

    As far as I am concerned my basic approach is completely correct and ought to be adopted by every good Mormon. ;->

  16. Clark Goble on June 26, 2004 at 11:35 pm

    That’s interesting since I almost without question avoid theological swear words. It seems to me that those are *real* swear words while the rest are, at worst, uncouth.

    There was an interesting interview on NPR the other day on the history of swearing. (Indirectly related to Cheney’s epithet) They suggested that as society became more and more secular, the “power” of using theological curse words disappeared. No one would slap you for saying the name of the Lord in vain. The very foundation of *why* they were sacred was becoming lost. (And I note that by and large those words *are* acceptable on TV, for instance) To replace them people started using more scatalogical and sexual swear words to try and capture the power that using the Lord’s name in vain once had.

    I can honestly say that while have let loose a few words that I shouldn’t have while climbing, I’ve never used the Lord’s name in vain. Not that I’m criticizing anyone else, just perhaps giving my perspective on what is really bad. After all to me the “alternative” Utahn swear words like fetch, flip, crap, and so forth seem silly with effectively the same denotation in context that the other words have. Why some words get the burden of social unacceptability while other words don’t escapes me. For instance no one bats an eye when someone yells “screw it” and walks away. If someone were to use that other word that starts with a letter prior to ‘g’ though, there’d be ____ to pay.

  17. Bob Caswell on June 27, 2004 at 1:47 am

    “Hatch has used the curse word for “bottom” before”

    Jeremiah J, why didn’t you say “ass”? Could it be? The first person other than I to have heard it through the grapevine that this word is considered by some to be profane?

    “So, are we going to create a list of the words that offend us and those that don’t? I’m not offended by that discussion.”

    Jim F., glad to hear it. It it’s not obvious, I really don’t get offended by words like “ass”. I’m just really surprised to find a crowd like this somehow missing the swear-word education in their childhood.

    Clearly, damn, hell, ass, shit, etc. are all considered profane by some or else why go to the trouble of using dang, heck, butt, and crap? That may be the first indication of accepted profanity – whether or not the word has a cover up word.

    But I’ll stop here. I’d love to hear anyone else’s input about it. And those interested could check out the discussion we had at Sons of Mosiah:

    The History of Profanity

  18. lyle on June 27, 2004 at 2:42 am

    Dear Admin: Can you give us a google update on how many new hits we got due to people searching on “profanity” & “cheney”? ;)

  19. Melissa on June 27, 2004 at 5:22 pm

    This post made me laugh since I’ve given myself permission to read T&S only on Sundays now. With topics like this one and all the war and politics topics this week, perhaps I should rethink my day off so as not disturb my Sabbath :)

    Bob,

    My siblings and I were carefully taught not to use profanity. My parents went so far as to forbid all euphemisms as well (especially “oh my gosh” and “fetch”). If we *had* to say something then we could say “rats” but that was it. Saying “rats” was usually so embarrassing that most of us grew up without using expletives of any sort. On the rare events when I heard my parents say “rats” it turned whatever it was into a joke anyway. My parents were so serious about profanity that they even made all of us learn and recite the following quote: “profanity is the effort of a weak mind to express itself forcibly.” Since none of us wanted to admit to having a weak mind we almost always refrained. However, I can attest to having my mouth washed out with soap once when fairly little (can’t remember what on earth I said, but I do remember throwing up afterward)

    Although I am personally glad that I don’t have to concentrate to refrain from profanity (like a colleague I have who slippped up badly when he first starting teaching) I think this emphasis on “appropriate language” in my home growing up was unfortunate. When I was at BYU profanity functioned as a sign for me by which I could judge “worthy” men. If some poor guy swore while on a date with me–no matter what the word, no matter what the reason–that was it, he was history. Isn’t that pathetic? I’m almost ashamed to admit it now. What can I say except that I had been carefully taught.

    To be perfectly fair, however, I don’t think that this emphasis in my family was solely church-inspired. I think it went hand in hand with the requirements to become an “accomplished young lady.” Growing up I was often reminded what an “accomplished young lady” is and does. Always using appropriate language was just expected as part of that package. It took me a ridiculously long time to recognize that the concept of an “accomplished young lady” was an upper east bench leftover from 19th century English society and not a requirement of the Gospel for women. My brothers don’t swear either, but that was also an expected part of being a “fine young man.”

  20. Russell Arben Fox on June 27, 2004 at 9:04 pm

    I don’t think I ever really cursed or used crude language until I left to serve my mission. By the time I came home, I was swearing like a Marine. (Long story.)

    Today, like Clark, I prefer (if that’s the right word for it) the anatomical and scatological to the theological. All those wonderfully base Anglo-Saxons are just too useful and expressive in their proper context to get rid of, though obviously they can be overused into banality. On the other had, I police my own and my children’s language pretty strongly so as to protect the “do not take the Lord’s name in vain” line. Melissa and I have learned to listen very closely and correct whenever necessary Megan, who (like every other seven-year-old girl) heard “omigod!” dozens of time a day at school.

  21. Heather Oman on June 27, 2004 at 11:06 pm

    My father tells a story about talking to his father about swearing. As an adult, my father said to my grandfather, “Dad, something I admire about you is that I’ve never heard you swear.”

    My grandfather looked at my father and said, “Well, hell son, that’s a damn shame!”

  22. Bob Caswell on June 28, 2004 at 12:36 am

    Melissa, thanks for sharing.

  23. Mike on June 28, 2004 at 3:30 am

    I have never heard my father swear- my mom claims she has heard him swear only once. It was when he unintentionally backed the chevy celebrity through the closed garage door- which elicited (acording to my mother) an absolute barrage from my father consisting only of a single “dammit”
    27 years of marriage and one dammit- I have no idea how the man does it.

    Conversely, I have heard my mother swear a number of times- and almost all of them were on sunday mornings while trying to get three bratty kids to stop attempting to kill one another and actually get to church on time. This swearing was of course warranted because all three of us were in fact “little shits.”

    While visiting a friend recently and having dinner with her brother’s family and their friends, a very similar discussion took place- and in the midst of it I heard about a Heather Oman calling from a walmart parking lot in Arkansas distressed about being a bad mother because her son swore when something was dropped. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume that was the same Heather Oman in Arkansas.

    What I don’t understand Heather is why you didn’t just blame it on Nate.

  24. Heather Oman on June 28, 2004 at 11:52 pm

    I don’t know what you are talking about. We never use such language in our home, dammit. And I’m sure I wouldn’t call from a Walmart parking lot. I prefer Target.

  25. Luke T on January 2, 2005 at 4:01 pm

    I didnt think dumb ass was “profanity especially since it is used in scripture!

    2 Pet. 2: 16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

    Mosiah 12: 5 Yea, and I will cause that they shall have aburdens lashed upon their backs; and they shall be driven before like a dumb ass.

    And you know what they say out of the mouth of two witnesses!

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