Using the Lord's Name in Vain Question

For my Literature class we were assigned groups and we had to write plays. I came up with the general idea for the play, and me and another person came up with the script. I mostly handled the transformation of the script from handwritten notes to printed scripts.

Here’s my problem: one of the lines in the script that somebody else wrote used the Lord’s name in vain. Since I am the guy who transfers the notes to the printable script, I simply transferred the notes to the script without censoring the Lord’s Name in Vain to “gosh” because I didn’t want to mess with the script. I figured I was okay because I was just a middleman who was transferring somebody else’s notes to a script. Now I’m second guessing myself. :shrug:

Why should I be in a state of sin because I didn’t want to cause trouble? :shrug:

Oh yeah, you’re going to hell for this.


One takes the Lord’s Name in vain by
SAYING or WRITING something by
taking His holy Name in vain. You do
well by avoiding this. Even “gosh” is
considered “God” to some. It is for
the sake of the angels that we do this!!
cf 1 Cor. 11:10

Its a good sign that this bothers you. So many have accepted these insults to God because they are so common place in our secular society. It may have been an opportunity to point out that some would find it offensive and that it should be changed.

It s funny how people don’t worry about Christian’s sensibilities but you wouldn’t hear them cursing Allah in a play for fear of offending Islamic people.

Just read the scenario, and then the posting history of this particular user.

Hey melodeonist, you gotta stop posting on here and just bring all these things up with a priest. You’ll get the hang of discerning sins after a while.

Not taking the Lord’s name in vain is interpreted to mean (essentially) not using your deity’s name to back up your false claims.

Example: After getting pulled over for speeding, don’t say “I swear to God that I wasn’t speeding!”

As far as I can tell the commandment has nothing to do with expletives. It’s clear that “God” is used in bewilderment and frustration simply because the word is impactful and it neatly expresses emotions in a single syllable. The actual meaning of the word has nothing to do with its use in such cases.

Let’s take a walk through the question. It’s meant in jest, not to put you down for being concerned with avoiding sin… Hopefully it will help to illustrate my point.

So you wanted to say “gosh.” But isn’t “gosh” just a derivation of “God,” and therefore also sinful? So is “golly”! Gee, I wonder if - wait, “gee” is the letter that “God” starts with! Oh my goodness! And isn’t “goodness” what God is essentially and therefore also just another way of profaning the Lord’s Name?

Zoinks! What is left for us? Wowzers…


“God” is not the Name of God.

We teach little kids in Catholic schools not to say, “Oh my God.” We tell them it’s a sin against the 2nd Commandment… It is really? It might dispose to sins of irreverence and blasphemy and perjury, but… It is really not. (Even worse is that we tell kids that all bad language is sin against the 2nd Commandment, as if these words were the Name of God!) This does not seem to me to be how language works. Maybe I’ll do a post on the topic later, even just to organize my own thoughts.

The 2nd Commandment is primarily against perjury and directly, intentionally blaspheming the Holy Name so as to denigrate the One to Whom that Name belongs.

Melodeonist - For every thread you create and read through there is time gone which you could have spent actually educating yourself through studying principles rather than individual cases. For the second time, consider whether it might be sinful to be so lazy and obstinate as to ignore literally a hundred repetitions of the same advice because you, as you said elsewhere, “just don’t like reading” or something like that.

I think this is the last time I’m going to comment on one of your “was it a sin” threads. I’m confident that everything you have asked about and will ask about in this area (until you educate yourself) is either not a sin or is so breathtakingly slight that all the contrition needed on your part is an apologetic eye roll.

Get a director, read the Catechism.

I think this is really the crux of it. These sorts of questions are a distraction from the fundamental issue, which is actually a really big deal. But until the OP can reach out in a genuine way, this will continue. I think spiritual direction and an evaluation by a competent psychologist would be very beneficial, if the OP took their advice seriously.

I think you are right not to want to write blasphemy. As another poster pointed out ‘gosh’ is itself really blasphemy. It is called a minced oath. If you don’t know what they are look it up. There are lots of minced oaths commonly used in our language. They are a way to get around saying the literal thing intended. I myself have a tendency to say these. I’m working on stopping that but like any bad habit it takes a while to stop.

Having read other threads you write I encourage you not make sure you talk to a priest because I fear you have a tendency towards scrupulousity. While we shouldn’t be saying or writing even a minced oath we need to be mindful that we are on a journey towards perfection and that God is merciful.

As a party going, beer drinking, girl chasing,ever swearing,non church going teenager…back in the sixties…I had a profound experience one day…for no reason whatsoever a voice inside my head said…and I still remember the exact words today…“why do you take the name of the Lord in vain”…that voice was convicting me of using the name “Jesus Christ” as a swear word…now I have to say that absolutely rocked me to the core…this was before it ever became a common swear word on TV or the movies…I cringe hearing his name used in such a profane way nowadays…I don’t think people even realize they are blaspheming our Lord…I think using his name as a profanity is different than saying “oh my God”…I think that is said in a benign way and not directed towards God directly…where as using the name Jesus Christ is more specific in nature and has a more aggressive meaning…finally I believe that it was the Holy Spirit that spoke to me those many decades ago and convicted me of using our Lords name in vain…I don’t only believe it…I know it.:slight_smile:

This is dead wrong, and dangerously so.

Not for this poster, no.

Sorry, you are wrong. Do you know what a minced oath is? It is an attempt to get around saying another word. Gosh is a substitute for God. Zounds is a substitute for ‘by His wounds’. When people say ‘gosh darn it’ what are they avoiding saying? We have lost an appreciation for what our minced oaths. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t minced oaths.

Why is thinking this wrong dangerous? Why would avoiding profanity be dangerous?

I noticed it in the new star wars film - they actually use the Lords Name in vain in the movie - I couldn’t believe it! It has become nothing more than a curse word to some people - in movies its ridiculous how often we hear it.

How does it even belong in a star wars movie when its based on a different reality .

Yes, I read your first post. Did you notice you described it as “avoiding saying”? Isn’t that exactly the point!? Do you really want to suggest one is guilty of blasphemy for avoiding using the Holy Name in vain (which is not even occurring in “oh my God”)?

There may be appropriate situations where it’s appropriate as part of a story to have a character use the Lord’s name in vain. Not all characters are perfect 100% of the time. Not all characters are even good people. This is not to say it should be done casually or without thought, though I don’t think we should stress about it either. It should serve the point of the story, and so long as the story is not about blaspheming the Lord or glorification of sin, it can have characters who do sin.

So its ok under certain circumstances to break the 2nd commandment and take the Lords name in vain?

Let me point out that walking through these things is not productive for scrupulosity. Because that walking track always goes in a circle with “buts” and “what ifs”. The more information and options there are to deal with, the more anxiety is produced.

No, with respect, it’s not a good sign.

Yes, the point is to say the thing without exactly saying it. You do not say the literal thing but something that stands in substitution for the thing. You can certainly be happy the literal thing was not said, but it seems to me best of all is to avoid saying something which stands in substitution for something that is by its nature designed to be like saying that which you aren’t actually saying. In other words if I was to recount stories from certain relatives I might substitute ‘gosh darn it’. But that doesn’t mean I need to exclaim ‘gosh darn it’ when something goes wrong.

I still wonder what is dangerous about this?

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