"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain..." Exodus 20:7 KJV
I was taught as a child that this commandment was simple: you don't say the words "Lord," "God," or "Jesus" unless you're talking about the bible, about your faith, or praying. If you didn't do that, you were fine on this commandment.
I really did think it was that simple, as a child. As I got older, my understanding changed, because I actually thought about it. It isn't just saying taboo words that breaks the commandment. It's claiming that your actions are justified because God is on your side when you know you're doing evil.
What does that mean? That means that attacking someone in God's name is breaking the commandment. I do not mean self defense--I mean out of the blue: invading another country without provocation, claiming "God told us to invade, destroy, and rape those not killed, and sell them into slavery because they follow a variation of our faith differently from us."
Does this mean I think the fights between Catholic and Protestant in England was breaking this commandment? Yes. Same with Ireland more recently.
I couldn't tell you if Islam still follows the Talmud (the first five books supposedly set down by Moses), but if they do, their extremists break this one all the fucking time.
So do individuals.
The person who claims to be a Christian and then cheats their clients (builders, etc.) takes God's name in vain.
The person who makes $60-80K/year by sitting on the side of the road with a sign saying "For God's sake, please help," is taking His name in vain...but far worse than the first guy.
The people who claim to be Christians and squat in a property that the homeowner cannot afford, but refuse to vacate despite being repeatedly told to, are absolutely breaking that particular commandment--with malice. Especially considering the way they've also borne false witness against the blogger whose house they're attempting to steal (commandment 9), the way they apparently covet the house (commandment 10), and are using the legal system to aid them in their theft (commandment 8). (The whole filthy story is here--and is what prompted this particular post. If you want to help, there's a fundraiser here.)
I cannot say what will happen to those who break this commandment. It's above my pay grade. However, the second half of the commandment reads "for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain," so I'd bet that the payback will be...rather warm...for those who've broken this one.
I would think that Christians would be far more careful about this.
After all, the real ones are.
15 minutes ago