Crazy Christian group wants the Dutch to swear less and respect God more

Crazy Christian group wants the Dutch to swear less and respect God more October 8, 2010

HOLLAND’S Federation Against Cursing – or Bond Tegen Het Vloeken to give it its proper name – is a quaint hangover from the Netherland’s past, but it is grimly hanging on to its original mission to get the Dutch to be less foul-mouthed.
With the arrival of darker, autumnal days, according to this report, some Dutch people tend to become more bad-tempered – and the Federation, almost 100 years old, has launched a new poster campaign at bus stops and in railway stations across the country to to combat profanity in general, and blasphemy in particular.
One poster depicts two beautiful swans showing fondness for each other, accompanied by the caption:

Talk to each other. Cursing is not necessary!

Earlier posters have become collectors’ items thanks to their originality. For the last soccer World Cup, the organisation chose an image of a striker with an angry face who had just missed a goal. The motto was:

A curse always shoots wide of the mark.

Last autumn the poster showed a colourful parrot and the words:

Cursing must be learned. Don’t repeat them in parrot-fashion!

The organisation was founded in 1917 by Calvinists and was originally called the Federation Against the Defilement of God’s Name Through Cursing. It not only tries to spread its message with posters, it also targets prominent people who, for example, use “fuck” or “goddamn!” on television.
In extreme cases it has been known to use the Netherlands’ legal system to achieve its goals. Paragraph 147 of the country’s penal code bans what it describes as “taunting blasphemy”. But it has been many years since anyone was convicted under this section of the law as judges give a high priority to free expression.
Three years ago the law was used to prosecute Madonna. The youth wing of a small Protestant party invoked it because the pop diva mimicked the crucifixion of Christ during her “Life to Hell” tour. The judge in the case said Madonna had a right to:

Express frustration over certain aspects of life.
This Federation poster urges people to speak frankly about God, but not to misuse His name

Every year the organisation publishes its “Cursing Monitor”, which shows that the use of profanity has risen considerably in radio and television. That rise has been most pronounced on private TV stations and on many social network websites.
The organisation has not only tasked itself with highlighting profanity, it also makes suggestions on how to lessen it. It has strung together a list of alternative words to use in moments of stress. Many of them are botanical in origin: instead of “Shit!” why not try “Moss!” suggests the organisation. And “Goddamn!” could easily be replaced by “Rhododendron!”
If you care to suggest other alternative botanic profanities, please feel free to do so. Don’t blame me if you come across as a complete Dicksonia.

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  • Daz

    Assuming for a moment that everyone was to suddenly start saying “Oh moss!” and “Fuchsia off!”, how long would it take for ‘moss’ and ‘fuchsia’ to become regarded as profanities in themselves? Mind you, encouraging inventive cussing could be quite amusing.

  • JohnMWhite

    One, two, one, two, three, four…
    Fuck the motherfucker
    Fuck the motherfucker
    Fuck the motherfucker
    He’s a fucking motherfucker
    Fuck the motherfucker
    Fuck the fucking fucker
    Fuck the motherfucker
    He’s a total fucking fucker
    Fuck the motherfucker
    Fuck the motherfucker
    Fuck the motherfucker
    Fucking fuck the motherfucker
    Fuck the motherfucker
    Fuck the motherfucking Pope
    Fuck the motherfucker
    And fuck you motherfucker
    If you think that motherfucker is sacred
    If you cover for another motherfucker who’s a kiddie fucker
    Fuck you, you’re no better than the motherfucking rapist
    And if you don’t like the swearing that this motherfucker forced from me
    And reckon that it shows moral or intellectual paucity
    Then fuck you motherfucker, this is language one employs
    When one is fucking cross about fuckers fucking boys
    I don’t give a fuck if calling the Pope a motherfucker
    Means you unthinkingly brand me an unthinking apostate
    This has naught to do with other fucking godly motherfuckers
    I’m not interested right now in fucking scriptural debate
    There are other fucking songs and there are other fucking ways
    I’ll be a religious apologist on other fucking days
    But the fact remains, if you protect a single kiddie fucker
    Then Pope or prince or plumber, you’re a fucking motherfucker
    You see I don’t give a fuck what any other motherfucker
    Believes about Jesus and his motherfucking mother
    And I’ve no problem with the spiritual beliefs of all these fuckers
    While those beliefs don’t impact on the happiness of others
    But if you build a church on claims of fucking moral authority
    And with threats of hell impose it on others in society
    Then you, you motherfuckers, could expect some fucking wrath
    When it turns out you’ve been fucking us in our motherfucking asses
    So fuck the motherfucker
    And fuck you, motherfucker if you’re still a motherfucking papist
    If he covered for a single motherfucker who’s a kiddie fucker
    Fuck the motherfucker, he’s as evil as the rapist
    And if you look into your motherfucking heart and tell me true
    If this motherfucking stupid fucking song offended you
    With its filthy fucking language and it’s fucking disrespect
    If it made you feel angry, go ahead and write a letter
    But if you find me more offensive than the fucking possibility
    That the Pope protected priests when they were getting fucking fiddly
    Then listen to me, motherfucker, this here is a fact:
    You are just as morally misguided as that motherfucking
    Power-hungry, self-aggrandized bigot in the stupid fucking hat

  • Hey Bond Tegen whatever-the-fuck-your-name-is, fuck you.

  • OurSally

    Actually they have a point. I am an atheist now, but I was brought up in a very Methodist area, so I never swear unless in a sanity threatening situation (like dropping the last jar of blackberry jam while in a hurry to go out and while wearing white clothes). Consequently walking around in England causes me to wince because of the constant cursing.
    Swearing constantly is a sign of small education and limited intelligence; it is also very boring to listen to or read.
    English is a wonderful language, blessed with a huge and varied vocabulary. There’s no need to limit yourself to those few four-letter words your primary school teacher frowned upon. Grow up and curse richly.

  • Har Davids

    The funny thing about this Bond is, that nobody seems to know who’s behind it, willing to waste good money on a worthless cause. However, every now and then, their posters are out for us sinners. I hardly ever curse, so their message is wasted on me. Like OurSally said, swearing all the time is boring, as the curses lose their edge.

  • Neuseline

    I personally don’t like swearing and I don’t call on the so-called Allmighty or his strange son for help in a stressful situation out of consideration for my less enlightened friends. Years ago I would occasionally be heard shouting “stinking helleborine”, but it did not catch on, not even with me.

  • tony e

    It would be interesting to note if this lot refrain from using the word ‘hell’ at their meetings, as in my experience, when talking to christians, they are always quick to tell me that I am going there. Or does freedom of expression only apply to them?

  • Sven

    Ha, I’m Dutch, and I can tell you these posters have been ridiculed here for years.
    Posters saying:
    “Cursing must be learned. Don’t repeat them in parrot-fashion!”
    Are often found overwritten with this pearl of wisdom:
    “The same goes for praying.”
    A Dutch comedian has also made a mock poster saying:
    “Cursing, what a relieve”

  • stargraves

    I can appreciate that gratuitous over-use of swearing, or inapropriate swearing – eg in front of children or even (as I travel on public transport in Liverpool daily) swearing BY children – can be tedious / offensive / tiresome etc.
    But swearing can be wonderfully amusing.
    I think stephen fry should take over my point at this juncture:

  • Overuse of so-called taboo words just lessens their currency. The odd F word coming unexpectedly in a TV programme, for instance, can have far more effect. So that’s a practical reason for keeping swearing to a minimum. Nothing to do with morals, just that they become meaningless after a while.
    In the excellent UK TV series Rev, about a London vicar, the vicar turned to another character he’d been talking to, and in a resigned sort of way said, “Fuck it, eh?” and walked off. It just worked somehow. If he’d been using swearwords throughout, that one line would have gone unnoticed.
    The whole thing reminds me, though, of the trainee nun who stubbed her toe and exclaimed: “Oh Jesus! Oh bugger, I said ‘Jesus’! Oh hell, I said ‘bugger’! Oh shit, I said ‘hell’! Oh fuck it, I didn’t want to be a nun anyway.”

  • Brian Jordan

    Phallus impudicus!
    Arum maculatum!

  • The Woggler

    Swearing is neither clever nor funny. But to borrow from the movie ‘Lethal Weapon’ when it was first broadcast on British TV, “Fun those funsters.”

  • David Anderson

    Thank you JohnMWhite, I couldn´t find the fucking words anywhere.
    Just one example of where any other word wouln´t be right.

  • L.Long

    Its amazing how the ‘living language’ always makes things meaningless.
    Like I always considered myself gay, but heterosexual.
    You say that today and most people don’t understand it.
    The 7 words are NOT swearing or cursing but they are profane.
    but mostly it is just that someone DOESN’T LIKE THE WORDS. Why?
    Why is pluck yew OK and fuck you not??? They sound the same!!
    My mom always said not shit but shucks. Why? if they are the same thing? why is shucks OK?
    Most people I talk with don’t even know what profanity really is, because its definition has changed so much. When in the worshipin’Hut and you are speaking holey about the buyBull or the psychotic sky-fairy than all is OK. When the guy next you asks ‘when is the store open?’ he is using profanity. When outside the worshipin’Hut and he asks the same question he is being profane cuz he is not discussing the buyBull but ordinary or profane things.
    When using the names of demons, g0ds, spirits, or just made up shit to bring badness of some form onto someone you are cursing them.
    And swearing is using g0d to make a point which can be good (swear to g0d to tell the truth) or bad (I swear to g0d to kill you).
    But since most people are incredibly lazy and dislike thinking they lump it all together into the simple….
    ‘I don’t like hearing what you said so lets make it a law not to allow that’.
    As far as ‘fuck’ is concerned I don’t think anyone knows what it means. Cuz if fucking is having sex then ‘fuck you’ should be a compliment and a wish for a fun time. And I can only image what ‘fuck this hammer’ will be about.

  • Harry

    It seems very likely to me that Fuck was once a euphemism. People didn’t want to talk about having sex so they talked about spreading seed instead. Over time the euphemism overtook the actual meaning, the word came to mean fucking as we know it today and other euphemisms needed to be chosen.
    I have heard people using Special Needs as an insult. Where will it end?

  • Janstince

    You know, swearing is absolutely wonderful for immediate pain management. If you’re using the same fucking word, over and fucking over, to the fucking detriment of one’s hearing nearby, well, fuck that fucker. Fuck him/her right in their ear.
    Imaginitive swearing is the absolute best. Particularly great when you can make completely random things fit together and come out with a general sense of something really dirty having just been said, but you can’t quite put your finger on it (or in it, as the case may be).
    Sometimes, I wish I had that talent. Then I go back to making dirty pictures and things using math.

  • JohnMWhite

    L. Long hit the nail on the fucking head. Good post. I also like Stephen Fry’s take on it, as provided by Stargraves. While it can be tedious to hear people use “fuck” as punctuation, it is just as tedious to hear them use “like” or “y’know” or in my neck of the woods “y’ken” in the same manner. Neither morality nor education come into it – it is simply that some people are lazy and sloppy with their language and some people are not. It is the manner of use which indicates that laziness, not the word, and the actual use of such words does not make someone bad by any means. To attribute a moral value to an arbitrary utterance from the mouth and throat is just another absurdity brought to us by the religions that wish to tell us where our genitals should go and what day of the week we can light a candle on. So fuck them, I don’t give a shit.

  • DS

    Shut your fucking face, Uncle Fucka
    You’re a cock sucking, ass licking Uncle Fucka
    You’re an Uncle Fucka, yes, it’s true
    Nobody fucks uncles quite like you
    Shut your fucking face, Uncle Fucka
    You’re the one that fucked your uncle, Uncle Fucka
    You don’t eat or sleep or mow the lawn
    You just fuck your uncle all day long
    What’s going on here?
    Fucker, fucker, Uncle Fucka
    Uncle Fucka, Uncle Fucka
    Shut your fucking face, Uncle Fucka
    You’re a boner biting bastard, Uncle Fucka
    You’re an Uncle Fucka, I must say
    We fucked your uncle yesterday?
    Uncle Fucka that’s U N C L E
    Fuck you, Uncle Fucka, get out
    Suck my balls

  • I live in the Netherlands and see these pathetic posters on a daily basis…
    We should follow the new Atheist Equal Opportunities Swearing Ethos that me and some twitter mates…. use something from all religions as it makes them all look as silly as they are ..and plus it negates some of that poor old persecuted christian crap…
    Try things such as
    By Thors Hairy Testicles !!
    By Big Mo’s Six Year Old Sex Slave !
    Ganesh’s Gonads !!!
    Aphrodites Nipple !!
    Buddha’s Backside !

  • Daz

    Anyone who’s owned an old brit bike will know that the only true way to curse is by Lucas, Prince of Darkness. [/obscure joke]

  • ROFL@ DS. I’m apparently not the only one who had that ditty going through my head when I saw those stupid posters.

  • Holland

    Those shitfaced bitchy fuckbrains need a good lashing before they give-up their curse on cursing.

  • MrGronk

    Was it not Dutch sailors who gave English all its sweary words? “Kunt” in particular.

  • NeoWolfe

    I think there is something kinda classy about a freethinker who, for his own reasons, doesn’t use profanity. It sounds more educated, for sure. For example “dropped the ball” is much more politically correct than, “fucked the dog”.
    I find it necessary to apply restraints in my work place, not only to insure that those in earshot, who might be offended, don’t hear me making god jokes, or right winger jokes, but also profanity. Blatant blasphemy, my favorite subject, is entirely off the chart. So please, in this forum, let me vent:
    Fuck every form of religion and it’s caustic erosion on civilization. Fuck the conmen who have used it for power and wealth. And fuck the idiots who lend them their power because they cannot muster the personal strength to face their own mortality.
    I find it hilarious that humans are so intelligent that they can split the atom in order to kill each other, but, so stupid they cannot rise above their superstition or their vane search for a purpose in life.

  • William Harwood

    Cunti was an Indian sex goddess. Nuki was an Egyptian sex goddess who became “Noah” in the flood myth. Frig was a German sex goddess. And since it is relevant, “fuck” is an evolved form of fuchen, Old English for “strike” or “bang.”

  • andrea

    Personally I like swearing.
    I’ve always worked in a predominantly male environment and once when starting a new job my manager expressed his relief that there would be a woman in the office so the men would swear less.
    He hated swearing and was of the opinion it meant you couldn’t express yourself properly (He was obviously unaware of Stephen Fry).
    There was an awkward silence in the office for a few days until I muttered my first “oh for fucks sake” when there was an audible sigh and everyone got back to their usual potty-mouthed ways, much to the disappointment of the manager.
    Inventive swearing and insults are an expression of the richness of our language. – and blasphemy winds up the faith-heads of course.

  • Angela_K

    I agree that over use of swear words diminishes their power but there are times when swearing is a great release of pent up frustration.
    @Daz, “Lucas, Prince of Darkness”. Yes, I’ve cursed Mr Lucas and his crappy motorcycle electrical systems many times; at the side of the road, usually at night, in pouring rain, miles from anywhere.

  • Daz

    Ah, the heady smell of burning insulation, the joys of negotiating unfamiliar twisty lanes with a flickering 6 volt light…

  • Lucy

    Any one remember that ‘On the hour’ interview with the excellent Chris Morris speaking to a real fundie about blasphemy?
    It went a bit like this
    CM-so you object to anyone taking the lord’s name in vain?
    F-oh yes blah bah
    CM-what about obscenity?
    F- just as bad blah blah
    CM- So if I said, By Christ’s fat cock, you would be offended?
    F- after a very long pause…..yes
    That’s one of the preferred phrases to express exasperation in my famiy now.

  • Draken

    Interestingly, the Bond Tegen het Vloeken managed to have their, often clearly religiously inspired, posters published on buses, train stations and other public ad pillars. Yet, when some websites tried to publish the equivalent of “There’s no God, so stop worrying” poster, they were denied by the company in charge of these advertisements- as far as I’ve understood on the grounds that they would not allow religious advertising. I still wonder.

  • Stubby56

    “By Christ’s fat cock.” I love it!
    Fuck god.