Jun 29, 2007

No one should say, "Oh, my G--"

The June issue of the New Earth, the monthly newspaper of the Diocese of Fargo, has a commentary (click on this post's title) by Tanya Watterud, its editor, on why people need to stop saying, "Oh, my G--," as so many do all the time.

What a much-needed commentary!

Editor Watterud asks what if your name was "Jim" and you heard people saying, "Oh, my Jim" all the time. Then she says:

"Now imagine that you are God. That scenario, where the name of God is used rather than 'Jim,' is played out in fast food restaurants and school hallways, at business meetings, baseball games and even at church dinners every day. People say God’s name, yet don’t want to talk to him. They exclaim 'Oh my God!' yet he’s no part of what they’re excited about. God is called upon and spurned within a single sentence countless times each day."

She ends her commentary this way:

“'You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain' (Exodus 20:7)."

No one should say, "Oh, my G--," and we should tell that to people who do -- but always charitably and not self-righteously or sounding condemning, and in a way that indicates we do not have a personal beef with them, we are trying to help them do the right thing.

By the way, I should note that many people in Spanish-speaking countries say, "Dios mio," but more in the sense of a prayer and not in the way people say, "Oh, my G--" here.

20 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree. First of all, "God" is not a name...it's really more of a job description. God's name is Yahweh and you rarely hear anyone use it in a proper context, much less an improper one.

Second, according to Dennis Prager, a reliable Jewish scholar and commentator, the commandement in the original Hebrew is better translated as "You shall not bear the name of the Lord your God in vain." In other words, do not claim to be one of God's people and then act as though you weren't.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Ray said...

I get very upset whenever I hear this phrase used. My response whenever I hear this phrase is: "Blessed be His Holy Name."

12:30 PM  
Blogger Kenneth M. Fisher, CRCOA, crcoa.com said...

I read where St. Padre Pio said that there are special graces for those who, when they hear the name of God being used in vain, say "Blessed be God and His holy name". Conversely he said the opposite for those who take God's name in vain.

Since when are we as Catholics, to take our teachings from a Jew, even if he is a good one!

God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher, Founder & Chairman, Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc., www.crcoa.com

9:58 PM  
Blogger Kenneth M. Fisher, CRCOA, crcoa.com said...

Pope Benedict's recent letter to the Chinese Catholics begs the question: since he wants the Catholics loyal to the Faith to work with the so called Patriotic Catholics, does that also include acceptance of the Partriotic Catholic Church's obvious obedience to the governments One Child Policy?

Let's hear some comment on this!

God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher, Founder & Chairman, Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc., www.crcoa.com

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have been taking our instructions from Jews since the beginning since our Faith is rooted in Judaism, Jesus is a Jew, and we have the Hebrew Bible as an integral part of our Sacred Scriptures. Since the Old Testamant, the Hebrew Bible, came to us from Judaism, it makes absolutely perfect sense to take instructions from Jewish commentators and scholars regarding what their texts mean to them!

12:21 AM  
Blogger Kenneth M. Fisher, CRCOA, crcoa.com said...

anonymous,

In case you don't know it, we Catholics stopped taking instructions from Jews after Pentecost and the New Covenant!

God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher, Founder & Chairman, Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc., www.crcoa.com

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Fisher--I think you're anti-Semitic. Your attitude towards Jews, especially that "even a good one" remark, gives you away.

P.S.
I hope I'm wrong, especially when you meet the Jew we worship as God and his Jewish mother!

7:54 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous,

I think Kenneth was using "good" in the same sense you were -- namely, "reliable scholar and commentator," in your words.

You can't deny that Catholics have always held that cursing is a sin.

7:49 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Ray and Kenneth,

Thank you for pointing out that we should say a prayer of reparation every time we hear someone take God's name in vain.

Jesus, Mary, I love you, save souls!

7:51 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous,

Let's not make accusations about other commenters. I have never known Kenneth to be prejudiced about anyone. This site will not tolerate anti-Semitism, and I'm sure all commenters know that.

I think Kenneth's point is simply that Dennis Prager is not the only source to check. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is one, and so are the writings of the saints, including doctors of the Church.

It is nice to know what Dennis Prager said. But you can't deny that Catholics have Catholic sources to check, too, and that Catholic scholars are totally familiar with the entire Bible.

Also: Everyone knows Jesus and Mary are Jewish, but you can't deny that they are Catholic, too. Jesus founded the Catholic Church, as we know.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Kenneth M. Fisher, CRCOA, crcoa.com said...

Anaonymous,

If only you knew how ridiculous your last statements are!

God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher

1:15 AM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

Anonymous,
I am a regular Denni Prager listener and resect him in most aspects. However, whether he is correct or not about the 2nd Commandment, I agree with Quintero that people who say "Oh my G--" all the time are misusing the name of the Lord. Also, don't you think it is funny that the Jews -- even in temple today -- will not say the name of God (Yahweh) in Hebrew or even read it aloud from the Torah, but instead day or read Adonai?

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Former Altar Boy,
Thank you for affirming my original point--"God" is not God's name. Yahweh is a name, Jesus is a name, Allah is a name, but God is not. When one says, "Oh my God," one is not taking the name of God in vain.

Let's add another dimension to the debate...what difference does it make since we are not under the Law, as the New Testament teaches? For example, the Church does not observe the Sabbath; rather we observe the Lord's Day.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Former Altar Boy,

Thank you for backing me up about people who say "OMG" all the time!

4:45 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous,

Let's start a campaign to get people to say, "Oh, my Job Description" all the time!

Just kidding. But that would be better than speaking mindlessly and disrespectfully of God, our Creator, Savior and Consoler.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is available online at www.scborromeo.org/ccc

Sections 2142-2149, 2150-2159 and 2160-2167 of the Catechism discuss speaking of God in wrong ways.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous,

We have to recall that Jesus tells us to keep every jot and tittle of the law, and that He says, "If you love Me, keep My commandments."

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Quintero,
If we are to keep every jot and tittle of the law, there are millions of Catholic males, each long overdue for his bris!

As Mr. Fisher said, we are not under the Old Covenant but the New Covenant. It is because Jesus fulfilled the Old Law that we are exempt from its 613 prescriptions and proscriptions.

Excuse me...it's time for lunch: shrimp salad folowed by a BLT!

12:06 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous,

Everybody knows we are under the New Covenant. And everybody knows that it is a liberal dodge, trick and misrepresentation to say that because we advocate adhering to the Ten Commandments we must therefore, to be consistent, advocate adhering to all of the O.T. rules.

Sorry, but your defending "Oh, my G--" is not a worthy cause, and the purposes to which you are putting your defense of it are unworthy as well.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous,

I've just deleted your most recent comment, because in it you say, "OMG," but thank you for agreeing that I can urge people not to say it -- and that includes you.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Quintero,
Actually, I rarely use the expression "Oh, my God." I'm more likely to say something like, "Dear Lord!' However, I still contend that saying "Oh my God" is neither a violation of the Commandment nor a sin simply because the expression contans nobody's name.

11:27 PM  

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