Take Not the Name of the Church in Vain, by Randall Smith

To Jesus Through Mary at Christmas: The Wedding, by John Grondelski
December 13, 2022
The Gap Between Papal Rhetoric and Action, By Phil Lawler
December 13, 2022

*Image: Moses Indignant at the Golden Calf by William Blake, c. 1799-1800 [TATE, London]

By Randall Smith, The Catholic Thing, Dec. 13, 2022

Randall B. Smith is a Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. His latest book is From Here to Eternity: Reflections on Death, Immortality, and the Resurrection of the Body.

I’ve never found very convincing the notion that the commandment against taking the name of the Lord in vain is about swearing.  I’m not defending swearing, but I also don’t think God expended one of only ten commandments to rank as a mortal sin saying “g-dammit” when you’re aggravated. God is just not that thin-skinned.

And “God” isn’t his name anyway.  The Scriptures tell us He “has the name above all other names,” which for some purposes is signified by use of the “sacred tetragrammaton” – so sacred that the four letters YHWH, which may represent “I am who am” or “I am with you,” were not to be spoken. …

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