Why do people use the name of the Saviour as an expletive? And why do they think it acceptable to do this, particularly in conversation with Christians?At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.- Philippians 2:1-11
The Saviour's name is held in such high regard among Christians that many terms used by us to refer to Him stem precisely from not wishing to utter the name of Jesus casually. So we say things like "the Lord", "Our Lord", "Christ", "the Saviour", and such like, all out of reverence for the Holy Name. Indeed, in the Western tradition, there is a holy day in the Church calendar set aside for honouring The Most Holy Name of Jesus, and indeed, the people bow their heads during services when it is uttered in prayers. So when we hear this holy name being cheapened, used commonly and sacrilegously, it is offensive in the extreme, and I wince every time I hear somebody exclaim 'Jesus!' as an expression of surprise, frustration, or anger.
Then there are the variants. "Jesus H. Christ" is bad enough a distortion but the first time I heard somebody say 'Jesus f***king Christ!', my mouth fell open in disbelief.
Why do people do it?
I understand that most people who do this may not be Christians, but quite aside from the question of whether they believe in the Saviour and have a personal reverence for his holy name, there is the simple matter of basic good manners. Since when is it socially acceptable to take something that is sacred and revered in somebody else's religion and degrade it in conversation with that person? It simply shows contempt for the sensibilities of others. Surely well-bred people, even if they do not believe in God, have some respect for others.
Please tell me I haven't got that wrong as well.