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Meditation 384
Is Your Name A Swear Word?

Reverend Jasmine OM Taylor

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First of all, you may wonder what kind of a question this is to be asking my Apathetic Agnostic brethren.

Well, know this, that where I live, New Zealand, "Is Your Name A Swear Word?" is the tag line of a television advertising campaign, apparently trying to rid the country of blasphemy.

The mind boggles.

So, the gist of the ad is as follows:

A rugby (football) player is in the changing room after a game, we see a close-up of his leg which is marred by a bloody scrape, he says something along the lines of ,"Oh, Jesus", and then some weirdo walks in and says, "Hey, is your name a swearword?", to which the rugby player says, with a look of utter idiocy, "Eh?", then we are asked again by this weirdo to decide whether our name is a swear word.

This is not only the most shoddily made advertisement I've seen come out of New Zealand in a while, but it's just such a pointless question - no, my name is not a swear word, nobody's name is a swear word. I didn’t even think blaspheming could be the same as swearing, by definition.

I took it upon myself to look up the word 'blaspheme' on the Merriam Webster online dictionary and thesaurus, which reads, "to speak of or address with irreverence", and it also suggests that I look up "blame", as the word's root is from the Greek "blasphemein", meaning "to blame".

So, when the rugby player says to nobody in particular, except perhaps for Jesus, "Oh, Jesus", he's actually saying (with irreverence, I guess) "Oh, Jesus, why'd you let this happen to me?" - So here's the question; is this swearing? And here's the answer; no. I can justify this again using Merriam Webster online dictionary and thesaurus which defines swearing thus; "to use profane or obscene language."

Hey, I'm no Christian, but I'm pretty sure that Christians don't consider the word, nay, the name "Jesus" to be obscene or profane.

So, what's my point? Well, my point is that Christian advertisements (or I could even go further and say Christians) are not only absurd considering they spread the word via catchy punchlines, but are so easily disproven (by something as banal as looking inside a dictionary, no less), that we should take time out of our busy secular schedules to pick and scrape at these advertisements and their taglines until they are as meaningless as coincidences.

Plus, you know, the advertisement just bugs me.