Jim LePage Art & Design
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Art and design by Jim LePage

Fuck Satan

I received some negative feedback on this piece when I posted it to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook yesterday. It brought up a couple things I'd like to address.

How I Rate Thou Art

I received some feedback about how I shouldn't use the word "Fuck" because cursing is against God's will or that message is theologically incorrect or that I'm not being a good witness. I'm not going to address those individual objections (though I have opinions on them all), but I'd like to address an idea that all of them presuppose—the idea that when someone's art doesn't meet your standard of approval or expectations, the artist is at fault and needs to be corrected. 

This is a piece of personal art. If people like it, that's great, but my goal is not to get other people's approval. My goal is to express something that comes from within me. In this case, it came from a place of frustration, desperation and anger. In my mind, "Get behind me" or "Away with you" didn't convey that as well as "Fuck." If you disagree, that's totally fine! But please know that ultimately this is a piece of personal art. Interpret it however you want, but the final piece of art is what I choose to make it. You are free to make your own personal artistic expressions—ones where I cannot dictate to you what you "should" or "shouldn't" say and do.

Watch Your Language

There's a Christian idea that saying "fuck" or "shit" is a sin (no matter what the context) but saying "frick" or "crap" (again, no matter what the context) is not. It's the forbidden sin of (gasp!) impropriety and offending others. (And if those things are sin then Jesus is the biggest sinner who ever lived.) It's gotten to the point where often there is more outrage about swearing than about things that actually deserve outrage. I love this quote from Tony Campolo:

I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said "shit" than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.

The presupposition is that God is more concerned with what specific words you use than the heart behind them. As though he is happier with the person who says "I am displeased with child slavery" than the person who says "I fucking hate child slavery." The book of Job clearly shows that God would much rather have your honesty—no matter how raw—than your propriety.

Obviously, this does not mean that I'm free to cuss out people in my everyday conversations. I—just like you—use discernment with my words, especially words with such potential to offend. But for me, it does mean that I occasionally use those words in certain conversations and in my personal art that I post on my personal social channels that people have chosen to follow.

God cares about us serving—not judging—others. God cares about us loving our enemies. God cares about us fighting for those who are being marginalized and oppressed.

God doesn't care if you swear.