Religious CaPiTaL LeTteRs

From contributor Gordonliv - Anti-church forum

Am I the only one who gets a bit confused and fed up with religious people using Capital Letters All The Time? I'll tell you what I do when I write about this Stuff... If I write "God" or "Jesus" or "Mohammed", I use a capital leter at the beginning of the word. Why? Because it's a name - a "proper noun", as I was taught in school... and proper nouns begin with capital letters, in exactly the same way as Sentences Do. If I write about "The Bible" then I again use a capital letter, because I'm talking about a specific book ( the word "bible", etymologically, means simply "book", but if I mean "The Book" (and we all know which book I'm talking about) then that's the book's name, so a capital letter it gets). None of this is in deference to religious doctrine. It's in deference to the English (ooh, a capital letter!) language.

But I get sick to death of sentences like "The Glory of God shall be upon Thee according to His Word, in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit for All Eternity." What's all that about? A faulty typewriter? A lazy typesetter? It's nonsense... completely outside the rules of grammar and the English language.

But it's a double edged sword, this capital letter business. For example, I think that deliberately spelling the word as "god" (i.e. without a capital letter 'G') is just silly. I mean, it is his (note: no capital 'H') name, after all, whether he (see previous parentheses) exists or not. Bugs Bunny didn't actually exist as a real, live rabbit, but his name still gets two capital 'B's. I myself might feel a little hard done by if someone spelt my name as "gordon" instead of "Gordon". And the "Bible" (as opposed to the "bible") is again the correct way of writing the title of that book. I have no trouble with talking about a "god" when it's non-specific, but when we talk about "God", then if we pay homage to our language, his name should have a capital letter.

I've recently learned that "God" (with a capital 'G') is a translation of "Elohim", which in the ancient Hebrew texts (whoops! Nearly typed "txts" there... too much SMS activity! What's God's mobile 'phone number? Want to send him a txt or two. Reckon he'll read them?) means a "collection" or "family" of gods, of which YHWH or "Yahweh" was only one.

(Yahweh - sometimes referred to as "Jehovah" - is the guy Christians have adopted as their "god".) This is indicated quite clearly in Genesis 1:26... "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:" etc.

In ancient Hebrew texts, the scholarly (ha!) writers were clearly of the opinion that there was more than one god. Translators put paid to that idea by simply translating the word "Elohim" (a family of gods) as "God". But there it is in the Bible; clear as day. It seems capital letters have a mysterious (well, OK, not that mysterious) significance.

Deliberately abusing the English language to create pejorative terms is a bit immature, don't we think? Oh, dear. I've just realised I'm assuming God is male. Feminist religious zealots, feel free to take me to task on that one, according to Her Word in the Name of the Mother, the Daughter and the Holy Au Pair, Now And ForEver More. AmEn.

1 comment:

Eek said...

OH... except his name isn't God, thats his title. He is a god to the point that he's referred to as The God.

But God's not his name lol. Haven't you seen Life of Brian... his name's Jehovah. (that Brian stoning scene is hilarious, with all the women and their fake beards lol) :D

Same thing goes for the "Lord". Again, its a title.

Hmm, I think we should apply to this logic to real life. Ok, so my name's Jo or Eek if you will. But I want a capitalised title too. How about... um... I can't think of anything that encapsulates all I want to be... help? God's taken, the Lord is taken... the Master sounds too male. Help?