Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The OMG phenomenon. It bothers me. I probably shouldn’t be shushing little kids at the park but one young lady’s repeated use of OMG almost pushed me over the edge recently. I admit it, I am one of those moms who feel language is of utmost importance, but this phrase irks me in so many ways. I asked my friend what she thought, “Oh, I hate it,” she replied, “but you can’t parent other people’s kids.” Yes…but…what if this little girl was wandering the playground repeating the “f” word. Surely, then, some well-meaning adult would have explained the inappropriateness of her words, or as some of my relatives would have shouted in my childhood, “Hey you! Watch your mouth!”

Yet, we are so tolerant of OMG. Does its prevalence somehow make it more palatable? It’s not so bad, after all, right? I suppose I should be happy they are at least thinking of God. After all, I am not overhearing cell phone calls with people saying, “oh my Buddha,” or “oh my Allah,”. See, even the heathen OMG users know who’s in charge, right? I mean everybody uses it. (My mother’s sarcastic voice from my teenage years announces in my head, “and if everyone jumped off a bridge, you would to?”)

Is no one willing to call it a sin? In today’s Christian community, that’s judging, right? And judging is wrong, right? The book of Titus is a call to follow truth, regardless of what is going on in your society. Titus 1:16 states, “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.” I think when Christians use OMG they are denying God with their actions.
I have yet to find a good op/ed piece critical of the OMG phenomenon. Perhaps I am reading in the wrong circles. Perhaps I just need to “get over it.” Sigh.

I talk to my children about it. That it is really God’s name and names are important. My seven year old says, “Well, I wouldn’t like it if people kept saying, “oh my Mark!” I would think they were talking to me even if they weren’t talking to me. That would bug me.” Yes, it’s inappropriate speech, but more than that, it’s WRONG, especially according to the standard of the God I serve. It’s sinful to use God’s name is such a crass, disrespectful manner. (oops, I used that S-i-n word again. That makes my “I’m a Christian, I love everybody” part of me cringe). “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” Exodus 20:7, also known as the second commandment. Apparently, society at large has also outgrown this commandment while I choose to keep it and have my children keep it as well.

Think of when Jesus cried out in agony, “OMG, why have your forsaken me?” We have so cheapened his Father’s Holy name. Even the classic hymn, “OMG, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the works Thy hands have made…” has been polluted. God’s name should really be reserved for God. Please consider who OMG refers to and regard him with reverence, especially if you profess a faith in Christ. Thanks.


  1. I totally agree.

    There have been some books that we've read that use that phrase but the person actually IS crying out to God, and I hate that I have to explain to my kids (because they hear that phrase said so much EVERYWHERE), "This person is actually praying. He/she isn't using God's name the wrong way here."

  2. I give kids one language warning in my home. INCLUDING that phrase. After that...see you tomorrow. They learn fast.