One of the things about living in northern Portugal that didn’t start to manifest itself to me until I got a better hold on the language is the propensity for the locals to use the dirtiest, foulest language imaginable in public settings, without any shame at all.
I’m told that people only talk that way in the north. I’m not sure how true it is, only having lived in the north, but one thing is for certain….it is bad.
I’ve had meetings with school teachers in a professional situation that have only stopped short of dropping F-bombs.
And, today while I was waiting in line at the grocery store, I heard a string of filth come out of a grandmotherly woman’s mouth of about 75 years old that would make Richard Pryor sound tame.
All of this is done without any shame whatsoever. The teacher didn’t even realize that his speech was objectionable in a professional setting. The five year old boys were only repeating what they heard for hours on end at home, from Mom and Dad.
But, grandma? Talking to the checkout girl? She wasn’t cussing her, but it was rough. Very rough, and sad.
But worst of all – telling. It’s telling because people can speak about how religious they are and how much their religion means to them, yet what James said about a foul-mouthed person tells us a whole lot more about what’s really going on. In the 1st chapter and the 26th verse he said:
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
If a person appears religious but can’t hold his tongue, one thing is certain about him, or her. Their religion, whatever it may be – Buddhist, Hindu, Catholic, etc. is totally and completely empty. It amounts to nothing if they are not able to bridle their tongues.
Grandma could say that she is Catholic all she wants, but when she talks about someone’s mother and about doesn’t even spare the granddaddy of all cuss words during everyday conversation, all I can think about is the fact that what she says that she believes in must not mean squat to her.
It’s shocking to hear, I know, but it is even sadder once we realize what it really means…that woman’s religion doesn’t mean anything.