The Terror of Free-Flying Haymakers

There can be no better way to start off a workday then with an argument over the (im)mor(t)al legality of using the word “goddammit.”  Some view it in direct violation of the “thou shalt not take thy Lord’s name in vain” commandment.  Which, apparently, covers associating (however correctly) God with the (generally unfortunate) consequences of its actions here on Earth.  Just turn your eyes away when the giant, omniscient, bumbling baby starts painting on the walls.  It has a plan after all, just one that’s (supposedly) unfathomable to us.

Now I see the word “goddammit” as being permissible under God’s own much lauded “prayer” clause.  When using the word properly, you’re merely asking it for some assistance.  It is, after all, still permissible to petition the Lord (“The Soft Parade” be damned!) for help; people do it all the time.  Some pastors base entire television shows off this type of divine begging.

It’s not like the Christian/Catholic God is adverse to throwing its divine might around.  It’s quite fond of throwing said might as far as it can.  For when God realized that its magic, err… “miracles,” were thoroughly unable to topple the uncooperative Pharaoh, Yahweh became the first leader to reply with what’s known today as “total war.”  Too feeble to strike the man himself, Jehovah decided to strike out against the Pharaoh’s people and children; snuffing out the first born of every family.  Due to God’s hard-on for either abusing his power, or murdering innocents, everyone in Egypt was held responsible for Pharaoh’s actions.  So many innocents died all because Pharaoh’s magic protected his own palace too well.

During WWII, when Berlin’s industrial center proved too strong, too hardened for Allied bombing, Britain and U.S. forces were also forced to change their tactics.  Powerless to cripple the Reich’s war machine, the Allies then chose to turn the Reich’s populace into cripples.  We did this by (fire) bombing the civilian centers; rationalizing that if we can’t destroy the factories, instead we’ll destroy the factory’s workers.  Production will stop, come hell or high water.  Few historians view this, easily one of the U.S.’ darkest moments, of actively bombing civilians as Biblically inspired, although clearly it is.  Let’s give God his due, even when it makes him look like an ass.

Lest he throws a curse our way.

Maybe that’s the rationale behind the “don’t use his name in vain” edict.  The Old Testament as God’s (numbered) glory days.  The New merely an account of its settling down, starting a family, laying the foundation of a home.  No one wants to mention the elephant in the corner.  After all, Pharaoh and his protective power is no longer accessible to us.  Similar to a drunken father whom you’ve managed to drive back off the wagon; there’s no hope when Yahweh gets riled up anymore.  Best to just let the beast sleep.

Either that or perhaps God just can’t cut it anymore.  As the equally deplorable father attempting to relive his glory years, God doesn’t realize the times have changed.  He’s not quite so vital anymore.  A divine version of Al Bundy talking about his four touchdowns in a single game.  Your own father trying to put on that old tux one last time; just to prove he can.

He can’t.  Hasn’t been able to for quite some time, thank you very much.  


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