Language: salty or seasoned with salt

Headline on the front page of the Elkhart Truth

The dictionary says that salty language is course, provocative, or earthy.  Surely the author of Colossians 4:6 did not mean that kind of language, instead he is asking us to avoid it. In this instance, the literal translation by the King James scholars does not help us know what the writer meant.So The Old Fool likes the:

  • Common English Bible: Your speech should always be gracious and sprinkled with insight so that you may know how to respond to every person;
  • Complete Jewish Bible: Let your conversation always be gracious and interesting, so that you will know how to respond to any particular individual;
  • Contemporary English Version: Be pleasant and hold their interest when you speak the message. Choose your words carefully and be ready to give answers to anyone who asks. 

The Old Fool wishes Collosians 4:6 to be the standard when he presents his own notions and responds to the notions of others.  So in that spirit the Old Fool writes about Jeremiah Wright, the  former pastor of Barack Obama and his family in Chicago. The Old Fool will choose his words carefully in the hope that the conversation will continue.

Wright has lived a long life and has spoken many words, some seasoned with salt, and some salty – course, provocative and earthy.  He was denounced for saying in the heat of sermonizing, “damn America.”  The Old Fool wishes Wright had said, damn “that” America.”

For The Old Fool is keenly aware of an “America” that is worthy of Wright’s ill will. Slavery and its injustices are embedded in the cultural memory of America’s Negros.  At that time a black man could be lynched for looking into the face of a white woman.  A black woman could be exploited by a white man, and she, her husband and her brothers had no legal recourse.  The sheriff was white, the judge and the the jury were white.  There was no justice.

Much of that America is gone, but the evil spirit still lingers in lower rates of employment, longer jail terms, and suppressed voting rights for “that” America and in the attempt to limit Barack Obama to a one term presidency. 

Now monied interests are attempting to purchase the judiciary and rob it of fairness. With Jeremiah Wright, The Old Fool wishes that all unfairness could be abolished, and replaced by the rulings of just justices, and a fair electorate.

Is that too much for The Old Fool to wish for while longing for a world well fed, free from fear, and having an equitable access to all that pertains to health and wealth?

Some day soon, The Old Fool hopes to post his thoughts on how to wage and win a war that’s fought the Jesus way.


About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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