US Catholic Faith in Real Life

A week, a Lent without swearing

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A 14-year-old boy has inspired Los Angeles County (or at least part of it) to try to go without swearing this week. 

McKay Hatch is the founder of the No Cussing Club and author of a book with the same name. His middle school friends joined him in his quest to use positive peer pressure to encourage others to stop swearing when Hatch told them how much their swearing bothered him. Now a freshman in high school, his club has more than 20,000 members in all 50 states and around the world.

L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich proposed that March 3 through March 7 be no cussing week in L.A., though it’s not enforceable of course, the LA Times blog reports.

Hatch new-found fame—he’s been on Leno, Fox, MSNBC, and in other media—has brought criticism, too. It seems a lot of people are protective of their ability to swear and have even sent death threats to Hatch. While some may fear that this is a violation of freedom of speech, it's not mandatory. Hatch merely suggests that if you want to sound intelligent and respectful, you’ll refrain from swearing.  

But dang that is hard!  (Hatch says in various interviews that dang, pickles, barnacles, and other such replacement words are OK.) Maybe I could go a short time—until I stub a toe, get frustrated, or make a mistake. It’d make it a Lenten goal, minus the past week.

Could you give up swearing? What’s your replacement word of choice?