Swearing in church

I was raised by a devout Christian and an atheist. My mom would read her Bible, pray, cry while listening to Christian music, keep a devotional, and take us to church as often as she could. My dad’s cries to God usually had the word damn in it somewhere. 

My brother Matt developed Tourette’s over the years. Readers, I bet you can see where this might be leading… His Tourette’s involved body tics, eye twitching, coughing, gagging, and, yes, a propensity to repeat swear words. 

Church was always a bit dicey for my mom taking 4 children by herself. Aunt Grace and grandma were pretty faithful paritioners so that helped. Seems like mom cried more after getting us home than she ever did at church. Luke liked to roll around under the pews during service and screw around which usually resulted in dad spanking him until he cried. Church was, well, stressful. 

I’m sure people rolled their eyes when they saw us coming or braced themselves for a good show. And a good show they usually got. It’s amazing how fast a litany of f*ck, f*ck, f*ck during the liturgy could get you on the home bound list. The farmer’s wife, who knew squat about the Bible, became Matt’s home Sunday school teacher. I think she was the only one willing.  She was a good person and often took my other brothers and I swimming with her kids. She was a minor character who helped me survive through this difficult time. 

The pastor also came out to the house to give communion to my brother. He also helped my mom through some very difficult times. (When I was little, I asked my mom if he was Jesus. She told me he was not. He looked like Jesus, but I always imagined Jesus to be a better singer). And that is what happens when you swear in church…

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