Monday, February 21, 2011

The "God Language"

A friend posted the following on Facebook today:

"We may say all the right things and have the God-language down. We may sound very compassionate and very holy. But our true self is displayed not by our words or even our intentions. Our true self is displayed by our actions." Steve Scalici

It set me to thinking about something that has been bugging me for some time. The "God Language." It seems that we are besieged these days by God language. Everywhere I turn people are talking the "language." God does this and God does that. God causes this and God causes that. God saves this and God saves that. Athletes point at the sky and kneel after scoring a touchdown or riding a bull, or winning a game. Just yesterday young NASCAR driver, Trevor Bayne, thanked God for winning the Daytona 500. I have Facebook friends who never post anything but religious sayings, and their friends respond in a like manner with more God language. Everybody is praying for everybody. Kind of makes me wonder if they do anything else.

There is a siege afoot. It has reached epidemic proportions. Are all of these people really that good, or are they simply playing a game? Do they mean it, or has it become nothing more than a habit? Do they do it to fit in, or are they covering for some really bad behavior? In the case of politicians they do it to get votes, and they are often covering up some nasty habits. My guess is that it works the same with the average person. Some are very sincere and it shows. Others are simply playing a game. My late mother used to say that people who wear their religion on their sleeves "made her tired." I agree Mom. They make me tired as well, and I am getting very, very fatigued.


rainlillie said...

I see what you mean. I find it annoying when people who claim to have faith talk about it out of the clear blue. I also find it just as annoying for people who don't have faith to talk about that all the time too. I have both types in my family. Actions speak louder than words. Just look at folks like Pat Robertson, and the whole focus on the family crowd. Pat doesn't come across as the most compassionate man.

Doug B said...

Ralph, I honestly think I could take God talk if so much of it wasn't prattle. And if so much of it didn't come from the lips of hypocrites - those who don't live according to the principles they claim to believe in. The politicians have exploited religion to such a degree I would think the Bible God should have already rained fire upon them or at least given them a good case of hemorrhoids as he used to do in the good old days.

Diane J Standiford said...

I can and do/will speak God Talk, to be understood and communicate in the only language some seem to know. But time after time they put the foot of their actions in their mouth and all I hear is gibberish.

Keri Lofftus said...

I absolutely hate when a person speaks in nothing but God talk. In my experience, its about creating the appearance of being religious and faithful, rather than a reflection of reality.

Or, to let Jesus do the talking:

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (Matthew 6:5-6)

Stephen Fox said...


Couple items your audience and you may want to be aware of.

Charles Kimball has come out with a new book When Religion Becomes Lethal; a Sequel of Sorts to his 2002 When Religion Becomes Evil.

I heard his presentation on the earlier book in an audience that included among others, the nephew of Lester Maddox; his brother, another nephew was former chair of SC GOP.
Also in the audience that night was was Prez Clintons Sec Ed. Dick Riley, former Gov of SC.

Recently I have had correspondence with Harry Dent's daughter, Ginny Brant; whose God Language you may find offputting at the outset. Though I have several issues with her Father's politics, the daughter's adoration of Nixon's Southern Strategist who got caught up in Watergater, her tribute to his religious pilgrimage post Watergate comes through for me at least and authentic.
Though I continue to be troubled by her affection for the politics of Jim Demint; I offer her as an example of a labyrinth that may offer examples of faith turns, that though may not be easy for me and you to digest when intersecting the public square, can no more be said to be less than mine or your bent as say Rahm Emanuel to Karl Rove.
May have lost something in the analogy there, but you get my groveling with the matter here.
Hope things otherwise are well.


Ginny's site with some reviews and interviews is
Finding True Freedom is name of her book.