Joel D. Vaughan: Let Us All Return to Civility in Our Everyday Lives

While driving my kids home from an appointment the other day, children who are in the fourth grade and just really embracing the miracle of reading, I pulled behind a car at a red light. There, staring right at us, was a window sticker with these words: 

“Baby up in this b – – – -.  I have no idea what the slogan meant, but cringed that my son or daughter’s next question, would be, “Daddy, what is a b – – – -?”

When a family in a small SUV pulled up beside that car, I saw their window sticker, a message which normally I would agree with other than the implied profanity it carried: “An F-bomb gun family.”

From stickers like these, to explicitly sexual slogans on T-shirts worn by teens in the mall, to profanity in otherwise innocuous television shows, one must wonder what has happened to civility and propriety in American life.  The major networks got together in the 1970s to create “The Family Hour” where all programs airing between 8:00 and 9:00 pm were suitable for the entire family.  Cable might have been the ruin of that plan, but at least they tried.

Now, in 2019, children and other tender hearts are likely to be faced with everything from profanity, to double entendre terms for sex acts, to soft pornographic images, simply from the commercials which appear, even during family-friendly programs.  An ad for an adult hygiene wipe even promises to make one young man fresh while he goes to visit his intended’s parents for the first time.

Slang has also run amuck.  I recently have observed our local television news casters use phrases such as “Flipped him off” to describe the cause of road rage, and “Pinched her butt” in a story regarding office harassment.  One must wonder if Webster did not include the appropriate terms for such actions or body parts in journalism school dictionaries.

So, when did this slide into degradation began in American daily life?  Was it two years ago when the size of a candidate’s body part was discussed in a Republican presidential candidate debate?   Or when one of those same candidates was secretly recorded using vulgar terms regarding the female anatomy?   Or was it decades earlier when newscasters found it incumbent to use even correct terms for President Clinton’s extra marital dalliances?

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Joel D. Vaughan