Do People Think Before they Speak?

July 4, 2008
By Allie Modica, Ardsley, NY

Do People Think Before They Speak?

“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless…” Those were God’s words to us, but how many people truthfully follow this commandment 100%? To curse or take God’s name wrongly is “to throw mud in God’s face” and to undervalue his name is reprehensible. Many people subconsciously say “Oh my God” or “God damn” and rarely think twice that they are speaking of their God. Although we have freedom of speech in this country, we should not take God’s name in vain.
Of the Ten Commandments, the third one is probably the most difficult one to decipher. It can have so many different meanings and that is why it is controversial—many people have diverse views about how to interpret this commandment ( Many times, using God’s name may be completely innocent. For example, “on hearing of the sudden death of a friend, if you cry, ‘Good God!’ you may mean it as a sort of prayer. But if you make the same exclamation, when you meet a friend suddenly, the idea is entirely changed,” (Wilpin 444). Now, a large handful of people would say we have the freedom of speech, and it’s true. However, whom do you obey more: our lawmakers or God?
Some may think that by following the law, they are respectively following God as well. However, I would beg to differ. The first amendment entails the idea of separation of church and state. The government is not allowed to pick a certain religion or favor one over another. So it is often hard for people to get into the mindset of following God over following the government. In reference to that, our behavior should stay consistent with our beliefs. If you don’t believe in God, although cursing is still wrong, it is not such a/n unlawful act. On the other hand, if you are religiously active, then taking the Lord’s
name in vain is directly against the third commandment. In fact, so many people use God’s name casually these days—it has “become the ‘catch phrase’ of our time”
( In addition, hardly anybody really thinks about how many times they curse or say God, but when and if they do, several come to realize that they do it more often than they thought.

Often, people will use the expression “I swear to God it’s true” or something of that form. But don’t people say that to make what they are saying sound credible—if it’s not normally? When using God’s name, it sounds like you need back up and of course, it is also using God’s name fruitlessly ( More specifically, if you swear on God’s name that you will do something or that something is true, and you don’t do it or it isn’t true, that is dishonoring God’s name and all that you believe in.

In the big picture, this topic may seem like a very small issue. However, ultimately it is a matter of respect. If you don’t believe in God, then you have no need to use his name at all. On the other hand, if you revere God, then you should treat God’s name with the respect he deserves. Taking God’s name in vain is a habit that people can put an end to if they care enough about it.

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This article has 4 comments.

on Dec. 31 2012 at 7:22 pm
Various people in every country receive the loans from various creditors, just because that's comfortable and fast.

on Aug. 15 2008 at 3:50 am
While you have a point and a good one at that however if we want to bring up commandments "judge not lest ye be judged" comes to mind.

on Aug. 12 2008 at 1:38 am
Congratulations Allie!

This article was amazing!! I'm so glad you entered this.

I remember when I was reading it over for you before it was due lol.

I was going to write OMG at the beginning of this comment but then I remembered your article lol and decided to use a different expression of excitement/enthusiasm.

Congrats again <3

on Aug. 11 2008 at 3:58 pm

Congratz allie!!!

Thanks for linking me!


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