Why do people use ‘Jesus’ as a swear word?
I now have somewhat of a coherent answer. But to get the answer we must first consider that Christianity might be true. For the sake of argument, let’s say it is. If Christianity is true, then, every man, whether he believes it or not has ‘God’s imprint’ in his heart. This is where the argument of moral value comes from in the case of Christians; they claim it is upon every mans heart, so that he can know what is right and what is wrong; the conscience. Now, for the sake of time, and because I don’t want to, I will avoid a 200 page paper on moral values. The point is, men ought to know what is right and what is wrong. In the book Human Universals by D. Brown he concludes that throughout history, in every culture there are things which they have found ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.
The name Jesus, according to Christianity is God’s name revealed to man. Thus, if Christianity is true, ever man will not only know in his heart that God exists, but that Jesus is His name. Not only that, if Christianity is true, then everything else is not true. So as it stands, we are left with two facts.
Fact 1) In his heart, every man knows God exists, even if he denies it.
Fact 2) Every man knows Jesus is God’s revealed name.
Thus when we examine the actual state of society from the standpoint that Christianity is true, we can understand why people use Jesus as a swear word, especially when they claim to have no belief in Him at all. Jesus even said in John 7:7 “The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil.” He knew the world would hate Him, and He also knew the world would hate His followers. 1 John 3:13 says “Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.” And from this we can see why people why people use Jesus as a cuss, because they hate Him. But again, does it seem strange to hate Santa, or Zeus? No one is saying these names in a serious offensive way because no one truly believes in them. Again I say, man knows Jesus is God whether he admits to it or not.
I make the following comparison:
There is a man you wish to render unconscious because he is about to kill you, but he is frozen to where he stands by some strange coincidence of glue falling to the floor preventing him from moving. You run up to him and begin to flick his chest your hardest with your finger. But the man about to stab you is confused, and shakes his head. He raised his knife, and is about to strike when a brilliant idea comes to you. You reach in your pocket, grab your brass knuckles, and punch him in the side of the head your hardest. He falls to the ground like a rag doll and you have won.
Now, consider this. If a person is steaming with putrid rage and volatile hatred towards something, they’re going to go for the most devastating thing they can say or do to express their anger, and damage with the most extreme cause they can. In the case of a swearing Atheist, they often will conjure up Jesus Christ (among others) as a swear word to express their anger. But why? Why is it that they use a name to which they associate with a man who a) didn’t exist, or b) existed, but wasn’t God.
My conclusion is that all men, whether they acknowledge it or not know that Jesus is God, and by using His name in vain they know deep down that it is the brass knuckle to the face of God, and the only way which they can express something to the extent of being satisfied with their words. Thus, they know that in doing so they have offended the God of the universe, even though they deny Him, and there is a subtle morbid satisfaction in that for them.