This morning as I rounded the corner to depart the Metro station in our nation’s capital, the man behind me uttered a four-letter word devoid of any apparent context. For a moment, I wondered what I had done to offend him, and then I looked forward and realized why he cursed. Both escalators were broken, so he was going to have to walk up 72 steps to get to the street level.
My first thought was that his vulgar, one-word outburst is proof that America truly is plagued by an “obesity epidemic.” We’re so fat and lazy that we can’t even bear the thought of walking up the stairs. But another thought came to me as I read an article about how coarse our discourse has become. People are cursing so much that government officials feel compelled to punish it:
Language isn’t the only evidence of a country headed over a cliff into the abyss of spiritually defiant vulgarity. At our 12-year-old son’s soccer tournament over the weekend, I saw the kind of soccer mom who gives rednecks a bad name. She had a bare-breasted woman tattooed onto the back of her right shoulder — a shoulder that she proudly bared so hundreds of young children could see her body porn. She’s an embarrassment to soccer Moms, all Moms and all womankind, and sadly, she doesn’t care.
We can’t regulate bad words and bad behavior like hers out of existence, nor should we necessarily even try. But decent people who say nothing as filth continues to saturate American culture — and parents who tolerate it among or, worse, teach it to their children — should be ashamed.
We, the people, have allowed a great nation to become the United States of Profanity, and only we can steer our children and our country onto a more wholesome path.
UPDATE, 6/12: Residents of Middleborough voted 183-50 for the fines on public profanity. Ideally, Americans would take the hint and wash their own mouths out with soap so their neighbors or the government don’t feel compelled to act. But that’s unlikely.
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