Why is God’s Name is treated so disrespectfully?
I suspect it probably has a lot to do with the way religious people’s behavior. If people acted with more reverence, God’s Name would be more hallowed and sanctified, but today we see that it is quite the opposite.
Rabbinic legend has it that the world shook when God told the Israelites not to falsely use His Name. The allegorical and moral significance of this statement ought to be clear especially in light of what happened to our nation on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center. Jihadist Islamic fanatics believe that their faith entitles and commands them to inflict pain and death upon any non-believer who refuses to accept their doctrine of religion.
Paradoxically, God’s love can serve as a mighty life force and be the most profound wellspring of compassion and planetary evolution, biggrin.gifand yet it is also capable of transmuting itself into a diabolical death-force, capable of annihilating all life. Faith, the sweetest refuge and consolation, may harden, by a perverse miracle, into a sword – or its modern equivalent – a chemical or biological weapon of mass destruction – or even a nuclear bomb. Religious hatreds tend to be merciless, unyielding, undying, absolute, and are seemingly capable of spontaneous generation.
The misuse of God’s Name continues to be a source of anxiety for many of us today–and for good reason.
The third commandment teaches us that God’s Name must induce a sense of reverence for life in the mouth and heart of one who uses it in conversation. This verse reminds us that religious people must be careful that their behavior brings no disgrace upon them or their faith. Nothing dishonors God’s Name like the person who exploits it for his own personal and deceitful purposes.
I hope this answers part of your question.
Rabbi Dr. Michael Samuel