Friends - Janice's "Oh My God..!"
"Oh my G*d!"
It's a phrase you may have heard before... Maybe whilst out and about grocery shopping, on the bus or train going to or from work, or when dining out with family and friends. Perhaps someone's said it on their mobile when walking past you on the street; someone could've said it to you on the phone in mid-conversation? There's a chance you may have said it yourself, possibly more times than you might've thought. Not just being limited to being expressed vocally; the phrase is written now more than ever as well, in modern literature as well as of course; here on the web - OMG NE1!!??
The "Oh my G*d!" saying is an example of blasphemy; which is to insult, show contempt or lack of reverence of God. In general, to use the phrase "Oh my G*d!" is like to say that one does not believe (or to another extent understand) the contextual situation. To look at it in a more literal fashion, it could be argued that by saying "Oh my G*d!", one doesn't believe in Him in any way.
Some readers amongst you may be thinking "Why are you going on about this? It's just a saying" or similar thoughts to that effect, and it's a very valid point to make. Is "Oh my G*d!" just a saying? Is there any harm in saying it? Well, many Christians do feel strongly about this expression being uttered. It is so reviled because it is a blatant slap-in-the-face to what's believed to be one of the Ten Commandments given down from God onto tablets of stone for the Prophet Moses to spread as far and wide as possible:
"Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. " - Exodus Chapter 20, verse 7 [King James Version].
There is no apparent corresponding verse written in The Qur'an that mentions this particular Commandment, however The Book does ask of Muslims to believe in the scripture of The Original Torah (commonly regarded as the first five books of the Old Testament of Bible); in which that verse is contained. Although many people have no problem in saying "Oh my G*d!", others replace the Lord's name with something else even though the usage of the phrase is essentially the same. Here's some examples (some are more direct than others):
"Oh my gosh!"
"Oh my days!"
"Oh my goodness!"
"Oh my giddy aunt!"
"Oh my stars!"
"Oh my goodness!"
"Oh my giddy aunt!"
"Oh my stars!"
"What the f*ck!""No Way!"
"Goodness Gracious Me!"
...You get the idea. The classic one-liner "I don't believe it!" from the BBC comedy One Foot In The Grave is another fine example of a substitute of the phrase in action. AYTD itself is guilty of purposely using the alternate "Oh dear" within posts for comedic effect, and apologises if any offence was caused from using it. Replacing God's name (so as not to directly use it in vain) with something else is an example of a euphemism. This term comes from the Greek era, generally meaning "to speak good/well" - it's meant to counter that of blaspheming. Although currently known as such, using religious euphemisms far exceeds Greek times, going back to early written recordings.
How many people do, or do not, believe in God? According to religious statistics website Adherents, as of 2005 about 16% (or 1.1 billion) of the global population are "non religious". This figure came third after Christianity and Islam, which accounted for 33% and 21% of the results respectively. There were no statistics taken for the New Age religion; Adherents has the following to say about it:
"New Age is an incredibly eclectic category, not a single religion. Although a large number of people hold beliefs which have been categorized as New Age, or participate in New Age practices, only a tiny percentage of people actually identify "New Age" as their religion. At this point "New Age" is more the umbrella term for a broad movement, rather than a religion. Some previous enthusiasts of New Age movements now prefer to be called pagans or Neo-Pagans. "
market research organsiation Ipsos MORI carried out a poll in 2003 regarding this issue, in which 60% of Britons asked said that they do believe in God. This amount was down 4% from when asked in 1998. the 2003 poll also showed that 12% professed to being atheist. The 2001 UK Census states that 14.81% of the British population have no affiliation to a religion; Christianity got the largest share of the outcome getting 71.4%. Results of the 2011 UK Census will be released in parts from July this year into 2013. With the major-scale propaganda campaign encouraging us to answer "no" to whether we believe in God or not, there's a very good chance that the stat of non-believers will increase.
"Oh my G*d!" might be just a saying, but hopefully this post will have you thinking a bit more about it. So, do you believe in God - He that has created the entire Universe including the Heavens and the Earth, all the stars and planets, all the living creatures that inhabit it, and everything upon everything else? If you don't, will you change your mind when the Day of Judgement arrives?