Local Pastor: Comedian Carlin Said Too Many ‘Dirty Words’ To Get Street Name

Head Of Corpus Christi Church In Morningside Heights Frowns On Legend's Act

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There is a controversy brewing in Morningside Heights over renaming a street in honor of the late comedian George Carlin. The local Catholic priest says it dishonors his church.

The late Carlin was a thinking man’s comedian and so some here where he grew up think it’s fitting to rename a stretch of 121st Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam, in his honor.

However, the pastor at the Catholic church and school Carlin attended says otherwise, reports CBS 2’s John Metaxas.

“Certainly he made his early work a mockery of this particular place — certainly a lot of people by name,” said Pastor Raymond Rafferty of Corpus Christi Church.

Rafferty said he does not want his school children, who would read Carlin’s name on a street sign directly across the street, to be exposed to his often profane brand of humor.

“He also was an extremely vulgar person,” Rafferty said.

Carlin’s 1972 monologue “Seven dirty words you can never say on television” set new standards.

Not only did Carlin’s seven dirty words make comedy history, they made legal history.

Broadcast in 1973 by New York radio station WBAI, the routine made it all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1978 effectively established the regulation of indecency in American broadcasting.

Indecent or not, many here say Carlin deserves the honor.

“George Carlin in another way spoke with an angry but very precise voice,” graduate student Rosalind Gnatt said.

“God always said you have free will. So George had some free will — voiced his opinion,” educator Tom Gilmore added.

“If overall he did more good than not good, then I see no harm in having a street named after him,” education administrator Fred Schnur said.

Rafferty is not having it.

“My response to that? It would be fine, but not on this street,” he said.

Rafferty said putting it here would be a slap in the face of the church.

The community board promises not to make a decision on renaming the street until it officially hears the church’s position in a public meeting.

Do you think the pastor has a point? Or is he over-reacting? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.


One Comment

  1. Bill Metlzer says:

    George Carlin, RIP, where ever you be. You will always be loved by many, many from all corners of Earth and beyond!

  2. Arius Corvinus says:

    Fred, a friend of mine, was in a motorcycle accident on a feeder road along I-35 while traveling from San Antonio to Austin. The other vehicle kept on going and Fred was left with a broken leg in the northbound lane of traffic. He said he remembered saying to himself, “God, what the hell an I going to do?” Immediately he heard a voice say, “What are ya doing laying there? Get your ass off the road.” It wasn’t St. Christopher. It was George Carlin! Fred got off the road and in under a minute a car stopped on the feeder road

    A car, with New York license plates on it pulled right up to Fred. Two guys got out of their car. One said to the other “Something told me that we should have exited back there.” Both men spoke with distinctly heavy New York accents. As they helped Fred into their car, Fred heard a familiar voice. It was George Carlin, but the voice was coming from inside the car. The two guys were playing “You Are All Diseased.”- a Carlin CD. They were listening to this when, for no reason, they decided to exit. Coincidence? No! It was a miracle. George Carlin again.

    Since then there have been George Carlin sitings in several locations Texas. Since my IQ is above 100, I have been hoping and praying that George Carlin will appear to Governor Rick Perry and turn the governor’s life in the right direction. I am writing to the Archdiocese of Galveston – Houston to put George’s name in for sainthood. Write to your archbishop and do the same.

  3. John Zaffino says:

    Tell this ‘Priest’ to stick to whatever it is he does for a living. George was a very funny social commentator and if you didn’t like the words that he used, you did not have to listen. Go away, you hypocrite.

  4. Phillip Pessar says:

    Maybe the priest should be more worried about all the priests that raped little children.

  5. Rodin says:

    “A sense of humor, properly developed, is superior to any religion so far devised.”

  6. Meme Meyagi says:

    there are 7 million mooslime terrorists living in usa. what is done about it?

    1. Dakotahgeo, Pastor/Chaplain says:

      I’d rather have 7 million Muslins than a faux christian like your kind. You make Christ embarrassed.

      1. Rodin says:

        @ Dak

        I WAS being nice. DarthVaderCheney is a Maureen Dowd moniker for Dick Cheney. Someone uses it regularly If you didn’t post this, Dak, I’m confusing two commentators and this is a purloined moniker.

        In any case, good to be with you. No harm intended. Good to be with congenial adversaries agreeing to disagree, not fanatical, impenetrable, dogmatic yahoos.

    2. Rodin says:

      Off topic. Pay attention! We’re talking Christslime sharia here, as bad, if not worse, than “mooslime.”

      1. Dakotahgeo, Pastor/Chaplain says:

        Believe me, as a Christian, we are most certainly talking ‘chrstslime’ shari by the faux christian extremists and it IS worse than ‘Muslim’ in any area.

  7. Rodin says:

    “Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.” ~ MARK TWAIN

  8. Rodin says:

    @ Jimmney

    I’m proud of most posting here. Superstition be damned!

  9. Mary Beth says:

    There are a lot of streets that are named after people that they shouldn’t be. What’s one more? And how many people really call the tribourough bridge the RFK?


    1. RIP George says:

      No one knows what’s next, but everybody does it.

      -George Carlin


  10. Morality, not Dogma says:

    The Catholic Church has absolutely no right to dictate anything to anyone – particularly on what they may of may not deem offensive.

    You know what I find offensive? Child Rape.

    Old, celibate, delusional men part of a corrupt system that protects molesters should shut it.

    1. Slim Pickens says:

      You beat me to it.

      1. Rodin says:

        Pay taxes, THEN demand!

  11. Rodin says:

    “It was the schoolboy who said, ‘Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.’”

    1. Dakotahgeo, Pastor/Chaplain says:

      RODIN!!!!!!!!!!! Hallooo, lolol. Now, you know i have to disagree with you but it’s great to see you here!!! The best to you this week!!! Pastor Daaaaaaaak!!!

      1. Rodin says:

        Not disagreeing with me, with Mark Twain. I just happen to agree. Argue with him.

  12. Rodin says:

    “A little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika.”

    Rafferty said he does not want his school children, who would read Carlin’s name on a street sign directly across the street, to be exposed to his often profane brand of humor. “He also was an extremely vulgar person,” Rafferty said.

    “Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.” ~ MARK TWAIN

  13. Rodin says:

    Maybe the good father doesn’t want his TAX DOLLARS going to pay for that sign.

  14. Ed Anger says:

    WGAF what this pastor has to say?

  15. Rodin says:

    “People seem to be offended by facts, or what used to be called truth.”
    (1909 – 1992)
    Irish born British artist

    It’s not VULGARITY that offends the pastoral and reverential. It’s the naked truth.

    “Religion easily has the best b’llsh¡t story of all time. Think about it. Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man…living in the sky. Who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer, and burn, and scream, until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you. He loves you and he needs money.”

    “Something is wrong.  War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, crime, torture, corruption and the ice capades.  If this is the best god can do, I am not impressed.  This is not what you expect to find on the resume of a supreme being.  It’s what you expect from an office temp with a bad attitude.”

    “I’m completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.”

    “The local Catholic priest says it dishonors his church.”

    “…at the Catholic church and school Carlin attended”

    “Rafferty said he does not want HIS school children….”

    “Rafferty said putting it here would be a slap in the face of the church.”


    “Who will say with confidence that sexual abuse is more permanently damaging to children than threatening them with the eternal and unquenchable fires of hell?”
    British ethologist, zoologist, Neo-Darwinian evolutionary biologist and theorist and popular science author

  16. harlemzapatista says:

    “Humor is the sign of divine light. When that light strikes the mind, it tickles it, and this tickling of the mind produces humor” – Hazrat Inayat Khan
    The mystics have always known that no concept of God can even begin to approach the reality, hence to argue about who God is, what God is “like” etc., is really just another excuse to start a war.
    It would be an honor to have West 122nd Street named after George Carlin.

  17. What the Fukc? says:

    How does this nobody from a morally bankrupt religion get press?

  18. Jimmy says:

    He didn’t kill anyone did he?

  19. bullett says:

    I remember one of George’s lines, and I believe it was as follows: “We all know the speed of light, but do we know the speed of darkness”? My connection to this line has bearing to a question for Pastor Rafferty.
    I ask you Pastor Rafferty, Mr. Carlin can lay claim to using profound language, but was never to have been charged with sexual abuse. Can the Catholic Church lay claim to same? I believe it time for you to come out of the dark!

    1. DarthEVaderCheney says:

      But…but….buttttt, the Catholic church hierarchy loveeeeeees to live in the dark. It makes it harder to se the victims’ faces!! Not that they care that much! The churches’ thinking is, “Give them another 10 bucks for their whining. That’ll shut ’em up.!”
      Not any more, Toots!

      1. Rodin says:

        Hi, Maureen!

        1. Dakotahgeo,Pastor/Chaplain says:

          Maureen?? Rodin, be nice, lolol…it’s Dak!

        2. Rodin says:

          @ Dak

          I WAS being nice. DarthVaderCheney is a Maureen Dowd moniker for Dick Cheney. Someone uses it regularly If you didn’t post this, Dak, I’m confusing two commentators or this is a purloined moniker.

          In any case, good to be with you again. No harm intended. Good to be with congenial adversaries agreeing to disagree, not fanatical, impenetrable, dogmatic yahoos.

          “You can’t teach an old dogma new tricks.” ~ DOROTHY PARKER

  20. michaelfury says:

    “Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice . . . you don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own, and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought, and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls.”

    – George Carlin


  21. The Realist says:

    The Church has NO STANDING TO SUE because it has not lost any money (nor will it) due to the renaming.

  22. Bob Villa says:

    George Carlin was a very funny man. He existed. God, seems to be a very angry one. No poof of existence. Carlin game, set, match.

    1. There Is says:

      No proof except for Christ walking the earth and rising from the dead. Witnessed and documented proof.

      1. Rodin says:

        There is NO historical / documented proof of any Xrist’s existence. THAT’s your biggest problem. Let me see it…, if you can find it..

      2. Rodin says:

        “A little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika.”

  23. English Speaker says:

    “Metaxas can’t report the words are because he might lose my job.”


  24. Kevin Carroll says:

    George Carlin was an absolute genius and pointed out the many ironic contradictions and absurdities in the World. His unique interpretations helped make these all seem more bearable. I will very much miss his take on the status quo and I’d love to hear what he’d say about our current political and economic woes. He was very hard on the church and ultra cynical but considering all the scandals that have surfaced he was justified to an extent. Pastor Raymond Rafferty should allow the man his due. In fact her deserves more than a street named after him, how about a cathedral?

  25. DrJimmy says:

    There`s no such thing as a bad word. Bad thoughts, bad intentions and there`s words.
    George Carlin

    1. Rodin says:

      “In art, immorality cannot exist. Art is always sacred.” – August Rodin

  26. mj says:

    he was a genius and he was honest . more than politicians who get buildings named after them.

  27. bullettt says:

    True, George Carlin may have used the “seven” dirty words, but he used them to express life as it was, according to his view point.

  28. Unapologetic fan says:

    One of the things that makes New York City a great destination is its appreciation of unvarnished truth. George Carlin touched a nerve in powerful places precisely because he exposed hypocrisy, absurdity and humanity. He was among the most brilliant voices of his generation. Those who feel threatened should put their words up against his, and let the free marketplace of ideas determine the winner. Give the man his due.

  29. Scott says:

    Hey Rafferty. “a slap in the face”, you say. Every time you pick up a newspaper your church is getting slapped in the face. And your doing it to yourselves, no less. Child molestation, robbery, stealing, etc. What you fail to understand is one fundamental premise. That is, Carlin’s jokes were meant to make people laugh by shocking them with words not in the mainstream. He did this effectively and he was outstanding. This was his job, not necessarily his belief. I doubt every time you stand on the pulpit and read a sermon you actually believe what you are saying. That would be impossible. So, Your job is to get money, church goers. His job to make people laugh.

  30. bjmack says:

    Religion is for people who fear hell, spirituality is for those who have been there.
    George Carlin grew up in the later.

    1. Rodin says:

      Religion is for people who fear death.

  31. fester60613 says:

    The “pastor” is pissing into the wind. Carlin was a realist and a rationalist whose plain talking helped people. A street named for him is a fitting honor. As for the priest, the Vatican STILL tacitly condones the sexual abuse of little kids.

  32. Jimmney says:

    I’m not Roman Catholic, a priest or a child molester and I’ve found some of Mr. Carlin’s wisecracks disturbing. The most memorable was his out and outright blasphemy of God himself. If you don’t believe in God then fine but its not necessary to say the most profane things about what others revere as dear and sacred. That’s indecent! If he did not repent, then I have no doubt as to Mr. Carlin’s final destination.

    1. fester60613 says:

      Freedom of speech is not limited, regardless of how fundamentalist theists would have it so. If you don’t like what Carlin said, don’t listen. And have you given thought that you might wind up in hell for judging Carlin? And if god is all powerful, how can he be hurt in any way by language from some theologically insignificant human? Is your god that much of a sissy? That weak? That in need of protection?

      1. Jimmney says:

        Excuse me, but have you cried fire in a crowded theater lately? Do it, and find out what happens. There “are” limitations on speech. No, I do not believe I will wind up in hell for judging Carlin. If you read carefully you will see that my statement is conditional. Moreover God(of the Bible) is very much concerned with what we say and do. “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” Matthew 12:37.

        God is by NO means weak nor a sissy, but your argument is another thing. You should know better than that. God is all powerful, wise, holy and just. He is also gracious allowing you even the precious gift of life that you recklessly assail Him
        with by your words. To avoid hell my friend YOU will be in need of HIS protection. Thank You for your response.

        1. DarthEaderCheney says:

          Phbbbbbbbttttttttt!!!!!!!!!!! Another Bible thumping, holier-than thou christian using the Holy Bible as a weapon of mass destruction against God’s children! Make sure your own deck is swept before you start complaining about other peoples’ decks!

          1. Jimmney says:

            Believe me, I sweep my deck everyday and if there is any part that isn’t, unlike you and fester60613 I will at least exercise enough descretion by not showing it to anyone.

            1. GWBunnypants, President says:

              Ooooppps!!! (I see some pretty big spots (called “holier-than-thou). Better get the broom out!).

        2. fester60613 says:

          Bull. I’ve been a blasphemer for 40 years and have yet to see any divine intervention. I do not fear that which does not exist – especially your god of the bible.

          1. Jimmney says:

            “I’ve been a blasphemer for 40 years and have yet to see any divine intervention.”

            Are you suprised! Your statement is self-exclamatory. Whew!

            1. Dakotahgeo, Pastor/Chaplain says:

              Sad to say that George Carlin has had more of an effect (in a positive sense) on the general public than the RCC in particular for many years. Jimmney, if you are a pastor, that would be blasphemy in and of itself!
              Dakotahgeo, M.Div Pastor/Chaplain

        3. Greg says:

          Yelling fire in a crowded theater is reckless endangerment, a street named after a comedian isn’t. God being all powerful, wise, holy, just… That’s your opinion. God giving us life is your opinion. There is no way to know if god exists or not, i’m sorry but it’s the truth. George Carlin assaulted religion because it is one of the largest reasons people start wars, If he were assaulting Muslims or Atheism people wouldn’t have as much of a problem with it. There is no reason a street shouldn’t be named after him, he made people think for themselves and live for themselves. People shouldn’t sell their body and brain to any god, benevolent or otherwise.

          1. Jimmney says:

            “…a street named after a comedian isn’t”
            Not the point, if you read carefully, I was responding that there are limitations to speech not street naming. Reading is fundamental.

            “God giving us life is your opinion. There is no way to know if god exists or not, I’m sorry but it’s that truth.”
            Perhaps but it’s more of a believe and conviction to which I have an ascertainable point of reference(Bible, facts, science, history,etc.)and basis.
            What’s yours?

            “…he made people think for themselves and live for themselves.”
            You need George Carlin to “make” you think for yourself. This appears to be a contradiction to me.

            “People shouldn’t sell their body and brain to any god, benevolent or otherwise.”
            I agree, that’s why Jesus paid the price for me. Acts 20:28
            Take care! 🙂

            1. Rodin says:

              “It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”
              ~ MARK TWAIN

        4. Rodin says:

          “Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.” ~ MARK TWAIN

    2. GWBunnypants, President says:

      Judge not, lest ye be judged! You will be judged by the same method as you judge others. Make darn sure you can find a sale on asbestos clothing and buy a fire-proof casket… although it may not help your situation. Bad, badchristian!

    3. mj says:

      if you DO believe in god … then you must accept that he made carlin what he was .. plus dont forget , carlin brought a lot of joy to a lot of people .. if you didn’t appreciate him thatsYOUR freedom of choice .

    4. Rodin says:

      While it’s perfectly fine for theists to demonize non-believers in the most horrid, condemnatory and violent terms….

  33. One Who Knows says:

    Yes, I’m sure all those molested boys and girls would be aghast at having a street named after George Carlin! Why not name ALL of the streets after the Priests who did the molesting? I’m sure the Catholic church’s face wouldn’t be “slapped” if THAT happened!!
    George Carlin has told the truth more times that the RCC ever has!

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