Scientology and profanity, or I guess any religion and profanity

I recently watched Tom Cruise in “Tropic Thunder”, and John Travolta in “The Taking of Pelham 123” and they dropped F-bombs like a pissed off sailor. I’m sure Jason Lee has dropped his fair share too, perhaps after conversion? I’m just wondering if there’s anything that might prohibit the use of profanity in Scientological teachings.

Is there written doctrine about profanity in other, more mainstream religions? I know that it’s often frowned upon, but I’ve never heard the exact explanation for it.

Oh and “profanity” for the sake of this discussion, would be words you are not allowed to say on TV ([sub]credit to George Carlin[/sub])

In Christain and Jewish scripture, Exodus 20 prohibits using the name of the Lord in vain. Because of this, some would consider expressions such as “goddamn” or even “oh my god” to be sinful.

Actors are called upon to do or say many things they would never do in real life. I’ve never heard of an actor refusing to use profanity because of personal religious beliefs. What happens if they have to play a rapist or murderer?

The part about them reading lines, and not using such language in everyday life, was in my thoughts, but didn’t make it to page.

Certainly some people draw boundaries even with acting though.

I guess it just struck me as odd given the high level of vulgarity, and the prominence of said actors in their religion.

For the sake of argument, though, lets say my religion insists I go on a fast. But if I’m an actor and I’m scheduled to do an eating scene that day, should I? Would I get dispensation because it’s my job? I’m thinking not…

Likewise, if a Christian or Jewish actor is given the line “Goddamn it!” and they say it, would they be “absolved of the sin” because they had to do it and didn’t mean it?

Case in point: Kal Penn (whose birth name is Kalpen Modi) is a vegetarian, but as Kumar in “Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle”, is shown stuffing his face with the little sliders. (I don’t know if he spat them out in a bucket off-camera or not.)

From what I’ve read, David Miscavige, the leader of Scientology, curses like a sailor, so I don’t imagine they have any sort of outright prohibition on profanity. And if they do, they probably don’t take it very seriously.

Tony Hale in Arrested Development refused to use profanity (though the words were always bleeped out, the other actors generally did actually use profanity; they show would hide their mouths so you couldn’t see what they were saying). The one time Hale was supposed to go on a long rant of obscenity, he recited the alphabet.

The trivia section of the IMDB entry for the movie says that they made up vegetarian sliders for him to eat. And I believe for the lobster-eating scene in Splash, they made up a tofu paste for Daryl Hannah to eat. (But the lobster shells were real, and she was upset over their sacrifice for the scene.)

And remember Steven Hill, who played D.A. Adam Schiff on Law and Order? Well on the original Mission Impossible series, he was the original lead, before Peter Graves’ Jim Phelps. But Hill left the show after one season because he’s Orthodox Jewish and could not work on the Sabbath.

Well, they aren’t actually raping or murdering people, while they are actually using profanity.

He did? If it’s the scene I’m thinking of and my memory isn’t failing me, I recall seeing an unbleeped version that had him putting on a sufficiently long silly diatribe about diarrhea.

Anyway, either way, I’d be interested in reading more about this (I was aware that Tony Hale was a devoted Christian, but I didn’t realize he was so averse to swearing). Do you have a link?

Is this the point to bring up the “example” of Isaac Hayes, or does that get saved for later in the thread?

The Third Commandment is rather interesting because it is the only time God says he’ll never forgive a transgression for a commandment. You can murder, rape, steal, and mix milk with meat and God will still forgive you (you still have to pay the price of your sin, but God will forgive you.

Most commentators believe the real prohibition is using God in a way to promote something false. For example, “God told me that you all have to give me money.”

I find many Fundamentalist Christian tracts I’ve seen passed out contain many outright fabrications. When I point these out to many of the people who are passing them out, they like to point out they’re preaching a higher truth. Sure, there might be one or two little fibs in their tract, but if it gets people to believe, it’s okay.

It’s this situation that is really the basis of the third commandment.

This, and things like swearing oaths in God’s name (“As God is my witness …”) and then not keeping the oath. It’s why Jesus later said (paraphrasing), “Don’t swear oaths, just let your ‘yes’ mean ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ mean ‘no’.”

Oh, I agree that’s a more sensible interpretation, but I remember as a kid thinking it was mostly about the cussing. I’m pretty sure I was taught that somewhere!

Actors really do other things in their jobs that they might consider wrong outside work though, like making out with people other than their spouses.

Slight hijack: As a teenager growing up in the church, I always wondered why rock stars who sang songs about the devil or what have you were labeled “Satan worshippers”, but actors who portrayed devil worshippers or demon summoners weren’t tagged with the label. “Oh, well, they’re just acting!” Huh. And the rock stars aren’t?

Can’t see why not, in the RCC you’re automatically exempt from fasting if you have to do physically-demanding work, among many other things. If the “eating” is part of your job you do it. Depending on the relationship with the director, you may be able to get the scene rescheduled, but I certainly wouldn’t try that with most of the bosses I’ve had.