I am reading at present a fine novel by a writer I admire, and whom, for that reason, I will not mention by name. But this novel has an irritating feature. The word ‘God’ appears throughout as ‘god’. Now why is this? Is it because the author wants to let us all know that he is a member of the fashionable atheist minority? Or is it because he wants to irritate theists like me? If so, he has succeeded.
‘God’ should always appear capitalised. This is because that is the accepted custom, and because when we use the word ‘God’ it stands for a person. So too do phrases like ‘the Almighty’, ‘the Eternal Father’, the Persons of the Blessed Trinity and so on – all should be capitalised.
Those who deny the capital letter to the Almighty do so out of a desire to belittle Him, one assumes (oh yes, did I say the personal pronoun when used of God should also be capitalised?) This actually has a long history. Back in the day when anti-Semitism was openly espoused by writers and publishers, some used to deny the capital letter to the term ‘Jew’. I do not think anyone would do that nowadays.
While I am on the topic, there are other recent trends of which I disapprove mightily, and which also strike me as being incorrect. One such is to adopt the Christian form of numbering the year as 2013, but talking of ‘the Common Era’ and ‘before the Common Era’. One would like to know why the ‘Common Era’ – whatever that is – began at just the moment that Christ was born? If the exponents of CE and BCE wish to use the unlovely terms, why don’t they pick a key date (on which they can all agree!) at which the Common Era begins that has nothing to do with Christ? Why not go back to the Roman way of doing things, and dating the year from ‘ab urbe condita’, from the foundation of the City [of Rome]?
Still on the theme of innovations that people are trying to sneak in by the back door, another to beware of is the refusal to refer to God as ‘He’. Watch out for the few (and they are still thankfully few) who say at Mass “It is right to give God thanks and praise” instead of “It is right to give Him thanks and praise.” To refuse to address God as He is in fact to attack the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity. It is completely unacceptable theologically; but it is also downright ugly and silly. Particularly so is the use of the neologism ‘Godself”, as in “God reveals Godself to us.” Anyone using that is, frankly, a heretic, and, what is almost as bad, an abuser of the English language.
Heresy, and atheism, produce nothing beautiful. They can’t. They are stony barren fields. And the examples above are some of the ugly fruit of these intellectually incoherent movements.