Filthy Thoughts

Hello, this is the intro to a series against purity. Die, purity, die!!

When I was trying to come up with a title for this series, I googled the word “thoughts” to see if there were any useful synonyms and the Twitter account Thoughts of Dog (@dog_feelings) came up.

I’ve never heard of it but it does have 2.47M followers and includes hot takes like:

“if someone could hold me for a bit. that’d be nice”

“i’ve been thinking about it a lot. and i love you”

It’s adorable. But we are not here to feel all warm and fuzzy, no, this is a series against purity—the concept, the word, the idea, I hate it all. Not really. But kind of really.

Confession: I think the sentimentalization of dogs in American culture is part of our unhealthy obsession with purity. Kill the sacred doggo.

I would hypothesize that when a culture relies heavily on sacred objects of holiness, goodness, and innocence, that culture also struggles to negotiate the moral complexities of flawed human beings.

I think the problem with “purity” is how slippery it is as a concept—it always contains within it its opposite, “impurity”—so to think of something as “pure” is to already imply its violation.

When we consciously or unconsciously use purity as a metric for morality or ethics, we slide into ever more punitive and unrealistic measures of shame and control.

Can purity be saved? Find out by reading this series that I haven’t written yet!

Possible topics:

Purity of thought
Purity of heart
Purity of feeling
Purity of identity
Purity of language
Purity of spirit
Purity of word
Purity of action
Purity of body

Resources I will draw from:

Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality by Richard Beck
Growing up in evangelical Christianity
Purity culture
I was an English major, so…

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