Written by Gregg Brekke
Cleveland (UC[fake]News) — In an unprecedented act of linguistic justice, leaders in the United Church of Christ have called for a stop to the use of “pirate” language in society. Citing its longstanding position on the use of respectful dialog, leaders of the 1.2 million member U.S.-based Protestant denomination are urging the end of “International Talk Like a Pirate Day,” annually observed Sept. 19.
“We don’t object to pirates,” said one church official that refused to be named. “In fact we love pirates dearly and welcome them into our churches.”
“But I don’t think we’re ready to change our slogan to ‘No matter who you are or where you’ve pillaged and raped, you’re welcome here…’ It just sends the wrong message!” they said.
Several objectionable pirate phrases were lifted up for prayer and discernment with the following commentary, including:
- Scurvy Dogs – “Not only is it a scientific fallacy to believe a carnivore could contract scurvy, the phrasing is inconsistent with a narrative understanding of scripture. Sure, Jesus called the Syrophonecian woman a ‘dog,’ but we think he was talking to her more as a cute puppy than a slobbering pit bull, that, being one of God’s special creatures, deserves our love and care as does all creation.”
- Shiver me Timbers – “Though timbers in northern climates may become cold, we feel the anthropomorphic quality of shivering should not be applied to trees, shrubs or various species of thickets. Even though Jesus incorrectly stated that the mustard seed would grow into the largest of trees, he had a good point. Mustard plants could shiver, I guess.”
- Where’s me Booty? – “Your booty is on your backside. End of discussion. It is not in a trunk buried on some remote island. I don’t know what these kids are talking about these days. Who puts junk in a trunk anyway?”
- Blow the Man Down! – “You really think I’m going to touch that one?” (That’s what she said!)
- Thar She Blows! – “Oh, geezey Pete! No comment.”
- Hornswaggled Landlubber – “The use of the government’s resources to force its will upon international policies is antithetical to the goals of Christ’s church. We pray for an end to war and for taxation policies that don’t fund war and for an end to human trafficking and for food assistance for poor families and for better care for God’s creation and an end to frikin’ fracking and for a new pair of sealskin boots. What was the question?”
- Swab the Poop Deck – “In an age where human slavery still exists, we demand fair labor conditions and living wages for all workers everywhere. Though it’s really nice to have someone else swab the poop off my deck, they should be paid accordingly.”
Conservative factions of the United Church of Christ strongly support International Talk Like a Pirate Day and have responded with a flurry of irrelevant blog posts.
The Biblical Witless Fellowship had this to say: “The longstanding, Orthodox, position of pirate language is not something we can throw away with every passing wind of political correctness. We can’t give the ol’ heave ho to an entire linguistic tradition just because some scallywag is worried about timbers that God Himself and Jesus Christ His Only Son along with the most Blessed Holy Spirit could shiver if He Himself wanted to!”
Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer and Pirating (LGBTQP) associations across the UCC are calling for congregations to study, and possibly vote on the widespread use of pirating language that may or may not create factions in the church.
“We want everyone to feel welcome,” said a spokesperson. “But that’s no reason for me to think we can go on shouting ‘Yo Ho Ho!’ and not raise the ire of hos who have been marginalized by use of this language that is offensive to some but embraced by others who haven’t yet discovered the offensiveness of the language when it is used to offend, even when offense isn’t intended.”
The congregational nature of the United Church of Christ prohibits the denomination from proscribing linguistic standards in its 5,200 local congregations. The denomination is said to “speak to, not for” its churches and their members.
One thing is for sure; the United Church of Christ won’t be speaking to anyone using “Pirate Language” any time soon.