Monday, 17 February 2014

Are we right not to be offended?

Blasphemy, so I believe, is no longer a crime in British law. Shame.

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.


  1. I don't recall which priest or brother recommended it to me but it a good thing, when hearing these blasphemies on radio, tv, etc. to say "Jesus, Mary, Joseph".

    But when you are obligated to face someone one-on-one over taking God's name in vain, be prepared for some interesting backlashes (as I learned to my cost).

    1. Yes, we always need to make reparation.

    2. Aged P, yes, I do that also. Spend half my evening praying!

  2. I also recommend saying a prayer in reparation to the Sacred Heart when His Holy Name is blasphemed.

  3. I was told by a Rabbi that we have taken the commandment "Thou shalt not take thy Lord God's name in vain." completely out of context.
    What the commandment means according to their/our law is. Do not use the Lord's name to do evil. A perfect example of this sin is when the Mohammedan screams"allah akbar" as they chop someone to bits as they are walking down the road, fly an airplane into a building, etc... This is what the law is talking about. Saying. " g_d damn it" is not the same thing according to the Rabbi.
    Also, cursing shows a clear lack of control when intelligence is required.
    The Rabbi went on to say that Christians have messed up the commandment. "Thou shalt not kill." as well. It is. "Thou shall not murder" Huge difference. This Rabbi said we need to kill those that murder if there are three witnesses (paraphrasing).
    And while we are on the subject of misinterpretation, the protestants really messed up the "judge not lest yea be judged." missive. It simply means do not judge any one to hell or heaven.
    One last thing.
    Pope Francis first encyclical, that will be written by his holiness, will be called. "Blessed be the poor." full stop. If he would just finish the line that Christ said. " Spirit." It would show that he understands that the rich and the middle class are just as capable of being poor in Spirit as the poor and just as worthy of the Kingdom of God.
    I pray this Pope stop creating divisions in our Church. It's already bad enough.
    Pray for our Church, Pray for Pope Benedict & Pope Francis & Pray for Souls
    BTW I love your blog.