Friday, October 19, 2007

"For the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name" (newspapers and cartoonists included?)

Again, no Darwin today. Today we will deal with a higher order of things. Instead of questions of the deluded dead deluder, we address questions of

The Living God!

In what method and manner do we speak of God?

If "god" is just like a friendly old grandfather, maybe it is OK what we call him as long as we call him for dinner. But if "God" is Creator-Sustainer-Savior-FinalJudge, then maybe protocol would suggest a tad more reverence. It takes about 15 minutes of reading most anywhere in the Old Testament to remove any wisps of uncertainty about the issue.

In particular, the Ten Commandments, still posted in a few places in these United States, have Article Four as follows: "You shall not misuse the name of Jehovah your God, for Jehovah will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name." (Exodus 20:7, "Jehovah" from YHWH)

For all you faithful Darwin-is-Dead blog-followers out there, you may recall the discussion about the publication in The Oregonian of a cartoon which uses the name of God in a non-reverent way:

That was round two. Here is round 3.a.

10/16/07 12:58 PM.

To : Editor, Oregonian

Your cartoon ZITS has done it again - using the offensive expression "O My Gawd" in a comic strip. This continues to be a violation of the fourth of the ten commandments. I have written to you twice before about this matter, and the person you assigned to reply to me last time seems to think it is a casual matter of common vernacular.

It is not merely a matter of casual common vernacular.

Please ask your ZITS writers to cease and desist, or please cease their (very clever) cartoon. It is time for the Oregonian to show some social responsibility. And would you please pass on the concern to the strip's very clever and entertaining writers. From your silence, I think the Oregonian declined to do so last time.

And here is Round 3.b, the Oregonian reply:

10/16/07, Peter Bhatia <> wrote:
Thanks for your e-mail. I will forward it to the comics syndicate that manages "Zits." With all respect, and this is just my personal view, that phrase has become very commonplace. I don't think most people would find it offensive. Regards, Peter Bhatia, Executive Editor

So, there you have it. Anyone else care to weigh in on this?

And by the way, anyone interested in etymology of words may also ponder etymology of phrases. In particular, the phrase "with all respect" likely began with substance but now appears trite - or even disdainful.

Respectfully submitted,



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