The taking of the Lord's name in vain has become increasingly commonplace and, as with all things the familiarity aspect is leading to even greater examples of foul and profane language.
|How ironic, to accuse the Son of God of blasphemy|
Yet we Catholics, along with other Christians, sit back and do nothing.
Can you imagine linking the name of Allah or Mohammed to an oath in the company of Muslims?
They would be down on you in a flash and you would probably be lucky to walk away in a straight line.
Not that I am recommending violence as a means of stamping out blasphemy.
There are, of course, occasions when a split second ejaculation can be a prayer rather than an oath.
This was explained to me by an old Irish Canon in Ross-on-Wye where we lived at the time.
"Very often" he said: "When we use the name of God or, even, Jesus Christ as an exclamation, it is a prayer rather than a blasphemy"
He meant, of course occasions such as accidentally locking the baby in the car together with the car keys and remembering that the handbrake is off.
Then, and only then, "Oh my God" is a prayer; a cry for immediate aid from the Almighty.
Use it in a text on your cell phone and it becomes a profanity, a breach of the Second Commandment and a most grievous sin.
But, thanks to the small silver screen in the corner of the sitting room, the use of the name of Christ or God the Father, has become 'acceptable' to those with little knowledge of the serious consequences of such exclamations.
I include (sadly) many Catholics who seem unaware of the grave offence they are committing, not only to God but to those who revere the Holy Name.
Wherever you are these days, on the train, in the pub, you can hear blasphemies left, right and centre.
What to do?
Risk a punch on the nose or worse by politely pointing out the error of their ways?
Would it do any good? Probably not.
But when the offender is a barman or a shop assistant or anyone in a face to face situation with the public, then I think we are entitled to make our case.
The thing is....will our complaint soon land us in court on a charge of being annoying?
We live in interesting times.