You never quite know what’s going to show up in the Letters to the Editor section of the Morrison County Record. That’s what makes it so fun.

Recently, readers were treated to the thoughts of two women who seem to be able to read the mind of God. Lucille Blomer exhibited her talent first, in the July 15, 2007 issue of the Record. She was very concerned that people were using God’s name in vain by saying things like “Oh, God” all the time. She suggests that this casual way of saying God’s name is not reverent enough and that we should be saying things like “Oh, good grief, ” “Oh, no,” “Good gravy,” “Oh, it hurts,” Oh, Frank,” or “Oh, Molly.” She ends her letter by asking, “Who are we trying to please? God or society?”

Kim Slater followed up on Lucille’s sentiment on July 29, 2007, obviously feeling quite guilty for her transgressions. Whenever she says “Oh, God,” she asks for forgiveness. She believes that you should only cry out to God if you really need to, and if you do it “from a heart that knows and loves God and actually knows what it means to cry out to God.” Any other use is swearing, or breaking one of the Ten Commandments.

I don’t know about you, but I think these are some talented women. God is supposed to be all-knowing and all-powerful, which goes beyond what most of us mere mortals can do. Yet, here they are, telling us that God will be insulted when we use His name in a way that they just know He won’t like. (They even know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is male.) If God is all knowing, He certainly knows how we are using His name, even before we use it. Right? If God is all-powerful, and totally ticked off about our use of His name, don’t you think He’d come up with some definitive punishment? You know, smiting us with a lightning bolt or something?

Kim asks for forgiveness when she says “Oh, God” in a way that she thinks will insult God, which means that she believes that God is all-loving, too. He’s going to forgive her, isn’t He? Well, isn’t He? If you don’t think so, that means you don’t believe that God is all-loving and all bets are off. You’d better just take “Oh, God” right out of your vocabulary, because you can never be sure whether you’re insulting God or not.

Given all of these parameters, how might you answer Lucille’s question: “Who are we trying to please? God or society?” From my view, I think we’re trying to please Lucille and Kim. God’s big enough to take it. He’ll probably laugh His butt off (if God’s a He, and if He has a butt) when he starts hearing people exclaim, “Oh, Frank!” and “Oh, Molly!” But I wouldn’t know that for sure. I can’t read God’s mind.

With one fin in the water,

Phineas F. A. Pickerel