A sin to hear someone take the Lord's name in vain?

A buddy of mine who I attended high school with and currently attend college with is a Capital “A” atheist (I do not say this derogatively. I am simply stating what his belief). We barely hung out during high school and we have even less time in college. We used to airsoft together, but he hit some financial troubles so he could not afford to go airsofting anymore and college did not afford us time to airsoft. However, he and I found a way to hang out with each other: through online video games.

I truly do have fun playing games with him, but there are times when do feel apprehensive. Most notably when he starts profaning the Lord’s name. He does not handle stress really well and gets angered quite easily. He is also facing a lot of job problems and college work. So, whenever something unfortunate happens, like when we are fighting other players, the AI, or even each other, he starts profaning His name.

I, myself, do not get indignant or agitated when anyone takes the Lord’s name in vain in my presence. I was raised in a society where such a thing was commonplace and I did it myself before. I know profaning His name is wrong, but I am so desensitized to it that I do not feel any negative emotions. The problem is that I am unsure if it is wrong for me to just passively listen as my buddy does so. What I did was just encourage him and support him through whatever unfortunate event we faced in the game. I would even joke around sometimes to lighten the mood and get him not so stressed out. I am afraid of asking him to refrain from profaning His name outright, due to fears of me being rejected by him and fears that he might perceive this as proselytization (he said another Christian, I do not know which sect, tried to proselytize him before).

So, is it a sin just to hear someone take the Lord’s name in vain? Also, what should I do in this situation? Should I just out rightly tell him to not profane His name in my presence or do things to lessen his stress? I would appreciate any advice.

No, it’a not a sin to hear someone else take the Lord’s name in vain. You might just tell him that it bothers you and not proselytize.

What is airsoft? What is “Al”?

To Brigid34

Thank you for your reply. Like I said before, it does not really bother me so to speak. Its just that I do not want to be an accessory to profaning the Lord’s name if that was the case in this situation.

By the way, airsoft is a military simulation activity that involves the use of replica guns that fire plastic BBs. AI stands for artificial intelligence.

CCC 1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:

  • by participating directly and voluntarily in them;
  • by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;
  • by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;
  • by protecting evil-doers.

When do we have the obligation though?

The better question would be ‘When do we not have an obligation?’.

In the OP’s situation, the first thing out of my mouth is “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

To JM3

So, does that mean I do have an obligation to hinder my buddy from profaning His name? It could be my incompetence, but I find your answer a bit ambiguous.

I think “hinder” is the wrong word to focus on (it won’t be cool to duct tape his mouth). Instead, focus on “disclosing”. Correction should be done with charity. It may be accepted or it may not. To paraphrase St. Paul, correct once and maybe twice, then walk away. Obligation satisfied. :twocents: That’s my two copper’s worth of opinion.

(Ambiguosity B Us. :hmmm: Think I’ll start a rock band. :smiley: )

Though this is not an official Church document, the Old Catholic Encyclopedia has a helpful article on fraternal correction that outlines the conditions where it would be required:


people forgot the fear of god
look at the jews they dont even say his name, i say we can learn from that

Thank you all for your replies. The Lord’s name is truly something that should be used sacredly. I would like to close this thread now if no else wants to post.

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