Using God's name

Crowded into a ski lodge, I overheard conversations of enthusiastic skiers gobbling their lunches before an afternoon on the slopes. Some of the language I heard was offensive, especially when used by younger children. Hearing a pink-jacketed little eight-year-old exclaim lightly, "Oh, my God! Look at that hamburger," and her six-year-old friend respond in kind, bothered me.

Of course, God used merely as an exclamation can be heard daily not only on ski slopes but in supermarkets, at school, in business offices, in films. It's part of the contemporary vernacular. "Why does it matter so much to me?" I began to argue with myself. "Everyone does it. And yet God's name is sacred, the most special of all. Surely it shouldn't be treated casually." I searched further: "Why do I treat God's name with reverence?"

Christianity: again a religion of acts
March 28, 1988

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