What is or isn't Blasphemy? The Grey Areas?


I know pretty well what is an outright blasphemy, or taking the Lord’s Name in vain.

I do wonder about the grey areas of blasphemy or of taking the Lord’s Name in vain. Are saying gosh, gee, goodness, dear, etc., sins?

What about ‘Oh my God’ and the like as exclamations for ordinary situations? My understanding though is that the ones with the actual names of God, Christ or the saints etc., are clearly sin.

I’ve been trying to get such exclamations out of my vocabulary but every so now one of those seemingly innocent ones just flies out of my mouth and I regret them immediately.

I’d very much like to listen to the different opinions on the above,

With thanks, Rove


From the Modern Catholic Dictionary:


Speaking against God in a contemptuous, scornful, or abusive manner. Included under blasphemy are offenses committed by thought, word, or action. Serious contemptuous ridicule of the saints, sacred objects, or of persons consecrated to God is also blasphemous because God is indirectly attacked. Blasphemy is a grave violation of charity toward God. Its gravity may be judged by the capital punishment in the Old Testament, severe penalties of the Church, and in many cases also of the State for blasphemous speech or conduct. In order for a person to sin gravely in this manner, he must use blasphemous expressions and realize the contemptuous meaning of what he says or does. (Etym. Latin blasphemia, blasphemy; from Greek blasphēmein, to speak ill of.)


Speaking irreverently about something sacred.

So its more than just saying “gee whiz” or “gosh”.


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