Forbidden Words


I fear the following words could not be printed in a modern history book about an American town without some debate:

“The pioneers of ’59 placed our house  on a foundation already prepared of Dutch thrift, industry and religious faith. Their children and children’s children, in like manner, added to the story, strong and beautiful, until Englewood stands today a fair edifice, harmonious in detail, into which have been built the faith, truth and ideals of the men and women of the past and of the present day as well.” The Book of Englewood, Adaline W. Sterling 1922

Ten years after its founding Englewood New Jersey had already become the home of bankers, boarding schools and active Christianity. The churches were considered the foundation stones of the city.

This was no small-minded town across the Hudson River from New York City . The writer of Englewood’s history expressed no sense of shame or embarrassment in declaring that Christian values helped build a beautiful town. Somewhere between 1922 and 2015 “Christian” and “values” have become synonymous with something akin to evil.


You can read what my characters think of their town in my novels: THE HOUSE ON TENAFLY ROAD and WEARY OF RUNNING.

RELATED: The Novel as Protestant Art

7 responses to “Forbidden Words”

  1. Christianity has become like some tired old Japanese CEO, being made to corporately weep and bow for the TV cameras. Is this what decadence looks like? I wonder if the fall of Rome happened this way?
    First there is the habit these days of western society apologising for everything past the extinction of the dinosaurs. I did not start the War of Jenkin’s Ear, Agincourt or the Boxer rebellion, honest!
    Then there is language cowardice of which the fear of words like ‘Christian’ is a part. I give you two secular examples from this very week from the craven BBC.An esteemed national treasure was on Breakfast TV. His name is Alan Titchmarsh and he leads the British congregation in their favorite pastime, gardening. He happened to be explaining how gardening does not have to be a chore or hard work. Using a phrase which has been in gardening books since Gertrude Jekyll was a girl and which has never caused offence he said he did not dig his plot down to two spade depths as the Victorians recommended, and added I do not do ‘bastard trenching’ (for that is what the practice is called). Look it up Beeb, it’s been said and written about forever. But no, the tin-eared no-nothing presenter had to chime in and apologise for the use of the word.
    And then there are the Swallows and Amazons series of charming stories from the 1930s by Arthur Ransome about middle class children who sail dinghies and have adventures. All my life the kids were called John, Susan, Roger and, wait for it Titty. Yes, that’s right, Titty. No-one laughed, no-one blushed. But the BBC is making a TV adaptation and so Titty is having to be renamed Tatty.
    I am surprised Uranus has not had a makeover. Said one way it sounds like yer ass and another like you peed yourself. Call the thought police.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha! I wonder, how many people are truly tired of this PC stuff. It seems like a decent amount of us exist, but it continues unabated.

      I can’t watch TV anymore. My family won’t let me because I spoil every show by getting aggravated at the constant barrage of mind-control garbage. So idiotic!
      How have we become so “sensitive” to nonsense and so insensitive to real danger and evil? Yes, I sound old, but who cares!

      On a class trip with 7-year-olds the teacher repeatedly reprimanded a child for insisting that “Mother Nature” was actually God. Looking back I should have told the teacher to stop forcing the kid to buy into her Mother Nature religion, but instead I seethed in anger at the dinner table for days afterward. My daughter never asked me to chaperone a class trip again. 🙂


  2. And from the other side of the pond, the new Common Core math program makes no mention of the extremely useful quantity in equation solving, called the “discriminant”. Check my recent post on this. I had to speculate on the reasons for this omission!


    • Silly, silly, silly. It infiltrates everything!!!

      My new favorite insanity is the statement that we live in a rape culture in the US. As a woman I’m offended by this. It’s to the point that almost everything a white male does is a kin to rape.

      What about the real victims in real cultures where actual hard core rape is a serious problem on a grand scale?

      Obviously innocent women in America get raped but only a small minority of men are rapists! By defining the culture as a rape one how does that really stop the sick people who are going to rape anyway? Yes, this is a tangent but it points out the strange direction the world is heading in (the western world).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Frankly, I wonder where we shall end up. Not in a very good place, I fear. Christianity is not a dirty word, nor are Christian values. It is the fashion of the times to sneer at Christianity, but perfectly acceptable to embrace all other forms of philosophy. It’s a silly (and ultimately damaging) psuedo sophistication.


    • Kate, you are so right. It’s impossible to ignore the Confederate flag controversy since it’s EVERYWHERE, but what bothers me is that I can’t help feeling it’s manufactured (not that some people aren’t grieved over the flag).

      I find it very interesting that this amazing story about a forgiving church in Charleston, a church that inspired and united a community was given such short coverage when THAT’S THE REAL STORY!! Imagine race relations if those stories were told with the same vim and vigor as the sensational ones about flags.

      The young shooter is mentally ill and addicted. He doesn’t speak for all white people just as we wouldn’t expect a young addicted black man to speak for all black people. The narrative is fishy.

      Maybe I’m too optimistic about people but I really believe there are more people who are like those Christians and more people who want to hear about them, but the sophisticates hate that simple and beautiful story.


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