Sunday Morning Sermon Aug 4 2013
Profanity is when something is considered insulting to a religion, its god(s), or people’s beliefs in them. Obscenity involves offense to taste or common decency, something vulgar enough to be taboo in a given context (often relating to sex or bodily functions).Vulgarity can mean crude, in general.There are legal nuances in all three terms.
Lets look at a common occurrence in our everyday life to illustrate this.
You just stubbed your toe on a metal pillar or maybe opened your tax statement that came in the mail, and you want to let loose with some language that would make a sailor blush. Which category would those colorful words fall under?
If you're being profane, you may not need to worry about the arm of the Law, but if you believe in an immortal soul, you might be in trouble. Profane (from the Latin profanes, meaning "outside the temple" ) originally referred to things not belonging to the church. Later it meant blasphemy, sacrilege or taking the Lord's name in vain (we just call that blasphemy now).
Obscenity (from the Latin obscenus, meaning "foul, repulsive, detestable" ) generally covers sexual or scatological references to the body or bodily functions (i.e. F*&k and s#$t). The term is also used in a legal context to describe expressions (whether words, images or actions) that offend the sexual morality of a given time and place.
Vulgarity (from the Latin vulgis, meaning "the common people," ), which used to refer to text written in a vernacular instead of Latin, has two definitions today, depending on who you ask.