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Oh my Buddha.

December 4, 2010

You hear it all the time. “Oh my God” this and “Jesus Christ” that.  Why is that? Why not “Oh my Buddha” or “what in Allah’s name”? Now that I think about it, it seems like the media would probably have a field day if someone started using ‘Allah’ the way that Jesus’ name is thrown around. One thing is for sure, His name is not used often because it is feared and awed. Instead it’s the opposite, it’s the name (representing the Truth) that people loathe. God’s name is the ONLY one used like that. Out of all names, gods, and dieties contrived by man, only God’s name is used that way.

As I was thinking about this reality of verbal culture, it struck me that the fact that God’s name is the only one used like that says something. I think it’s another part of Romans 1 and the suppression of the truth that all people are engaged in. What a better way to resist God than to turn His name into a curse and throw it around in a meaningless, demeaning way? It’s also interesting to remember that this is the very thing condemned per the Third Commandment. In an odd way, cursing is a reminder of the greatness of God. His existence is so deeply embedded in human beings (no man is without excuse, Romans 1 again) that even their sin seems to cry out, “there is a God and you’re acknowledging Him by your own words, curses though they be!”

“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” – God (Exodus 20:7)

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 5, 2010 2:45 pm

    Very good point.

    It’s interesting, in The Republic of Plato, they continually say “By Zues” which would be swearing in their culture since they viewed Zues as the highest diety in their crazy circus ring of gods and goddesses. I guess in all cultures, you can tell who is viewed to be the highest diety by whose name is turned into a swear word.

  2. December 12, 2010 5:17 pm

    Good post Adam…

    I don’t have an interesting point like Liz did…. Sorry!! 🙂

  3. Anoymous permalink
    December 13, 2010 9:53 pm

    You bring up a good point, however you fail to look at some of the reason behind this. Our culture is very largely a Christian culture so God is relevant to most people. I don’t say “Oh my Buddha” or ” “Great Muhammad” as they are not relevant me and my culture.

    Also another possible reason why people use the Lord’s name as a curse is because at certain points in history it was a curse. If you didn’t beleive in the Lord you were forced to change your views or face exile and death.

    Just a few points you might want to think about.

    • Unknown permalink
      August 8, 2013 4:15 pm

      It’s true that our culture is generally “Christian”, and I use general loosely, but hardly the Christianity that the Bible talks about. However in other cultures I don’t seem to see other people using their gods names in vain? If our culture is a Christian culture and we use God’s name in vain, then wouldn’t other cultures that are generally Buddhist, Islamic, Hindu, etc. tend to do the same?

  4. January 19, 2011 12:34 am

    In the English language, god is not a name. It is a noun applied to male deities of any origin. Thor, Zeus, and Osiris are all gods, as well. The god of the Bible also has a name, but that name is never recorded, to keep people from using it “in vain”. You can use the title Elohim (lord) if you like, or you can try to pronounce the tetragrammaton YHWH.

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