Monday, January 23, 2012

In the Name of God, go!

It was recently reported that on the first day of the now on-going impeachment process, someone said with gusto and unction: “In the Name of God, go!” It is not often that such an injunction is heard – especially in the secular sphere. God was invoked and His name was used. Even for this reason alone, it is but proper to consider the different significance and nuances of this admittedly sacred and solemn invocation made on the occasion of a basically political exercise. It can be readily noted that the cited supplication can be intended as a blessing, an insult or curse.

A sacred mission with the needed blessing – this is one of the ordinary and usual intentions behind the proclamation. The agenda is difficult and may even be dangerous. Hence, nobody less than God Himself is called upon to accompany the agent. Nothing less than His Holy Name is invoked as an imperative not only for someone to undertake a mission but also to be successful in doing so. This is the right and proper finality behind the supplication “In the Name of God, go!” The truth of the matter is that the supplication finds its proper importance and significance when missionary rites are held for the propagation and promotion of the Faith.

A big and blatant insult with the proper ridicule – this is another conceivable objective behind the supplication. Among other things, it readily forward the following insinuations conveyed to the addressee: Get lost – you are a shame! Disappear from sight – you are disgusting! Be gone for good – you are an insult! Just as a coin has two sides, so too such a supposedly august prayer as “In the Name of God, go!” can be meant either as a fervent supplication of an insulting address. Which is what? It is not hard to reach the right conclusion when the appeal is taken into its proper context.

Finally, a curse or malediction levied against the addressee – this is the other very negative implication of the admonition. This is when the command becomes a blasphemy. It is calling God for something evil. It is invoking His Name in the context of condemnation. This is when the otherwise noble and ennobling order becomes a profanity, an impiety, a sacrilege even. Just for the record, a curse is a scourge upon the subject-object thereof; the latter’s malediction and scourge. The mandate “In the Name of God, go!” can be for anything but to shout an insult, to propel a curse.

Question: What would the command, directive or charge then mean? Answer: Said in the context of a partisan political skirmish, it is not hard to know what it meant.