Whatever happened to: ‘Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain?’

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The name of Jesus Christ was recently on the tongue of one of the world’s most famous Buddhists, Tiger Woods.

TigerCurseThe champion golfer had just stretched his long arms and readied his powerful shoulders for what he hoped would be a Tiger-classic shot on the 18th hole at the British Open. His mind was riveted on the ball, and perhaps Tiger was envisioning its trajectory into the hole when his eardrums were suddenly assaulted by batteries of clicking cameras. …

A frustrated Tiger shouted at the photographers the name two billion people worldwide honor as the most sacred sound that can come from human speech. … Tiger Woods is but one more of the famous and not-so noted members of the choir that utters the name of Christ as an expletive. Strangely, as theologian-psychologist Dr. Dan Montgomery notes, the name of Christ “is America’s favorite curse word.” …

Mass media have done with the name of Christ the same as with other spiritual and moral phenomena. They gradually stretched out the boundaries and desensitized millions by, first, a few limited shocks, and then, over time, a slowly increasing profane profusion. The same strategy embedded four-letter words in a culture that once could blush. Clark Gabel shocks audiences with a four-letter expletive in 1939 in “Gone With the Wind,” and the rest is history.

Novels and other books aided the profusion of the profaning of the name of Christ, and the practice began to work its way into public use. Dr. Montgomery tells of watching a Steven Spielberg movie. “I found myself counting the times the Christian name for the Son of God” was used in the Spielberg film. “I quit counting near a hundred,” Dr. Montgomery said.

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