A Catholic weekly newspaper in Malaysia this week lost its latest legal battle over the right to use the word ‘Allah’ for God in its local language edition. In a case that has sparked nationwide debate over which religion has exclusive rights to the word Allah, a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal ruled unanimously that the government’s efforts to ban the use of the word in Christian publications will continue. Apparently more than 60 per cent of Malaysian Christians only speak Bahasa Malaysia, and the word used for God in the Bahasa Malaysia Bible (Al-Kitab) since its translation in 1731, is ‘Allah’. …
I think these guys are on to something– maybe we should change the word EVERYONE uses for the Lord. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone called God the same thing? Over the last few years so many countries
have adopted a common name for things. For example a terrorist that
kills Jews is called a militant. If anyone criticizes Obama they are known as a racist.
If we can unify language with regards
to terrorists and criticizing the American President, isn’t it even more important to come up with a common
name for the creator of the universe?
Where the Malaysian Christians stray is
using the term Allah for God. Allah has much, too much baggage for the
non-Muslims. The Muslims don’t like it when Christians use the word. I guarantee that Muslims would not want to use the
term God, it would almost be like converting. So I think we should come
up with a new non-denominational term for the Lord. My Suggestion is
BOB would be a perfect name for God. First of all you
wouldn’t have to perform major redesign of the Bible, both Bob and God
have three letters so the new name would fit in perfectly. Obviously
the Koran would have to be changed but we could sell it based on the two
fewer letters in the name and how much paper and ink costs would be
saved. The switch to Bob may even reduce global warming.
God’s new name would make our Maker seem so much more
approachable and real. If we make the change I guarantee that you wont
see a Time Magazine cover that asks “is Bob Dead?” And think about the
people who have the habit of using the word “Dammit” after the word God.
Their favorite expression will no longer be blasphemous since God will have a
For you politically-correct types think about the people who suffer from dyslexia. No
longer will they have to be embarrassed by saying to their friends…”I
swear to dog” because Bob spelled backwards is–BOB.
how the kids will feel so much more comfortable going to a house of
worship praying to Bob. How much easier it will be to have a personal
connection with their Deity, Bob is so warm.
The only objection I
can find is that Bob is also a name for people. Things could get a
little confusing. Human Bobs might start to wonder why every time
someone hears a sneeze they call out Bob Bless You and why the famous
Marlon Brando movie is renamed the Bobfather But as far as I’m
concerned, that’s a small price to pay, and in the end, It really
shouldn’t be a problem. I have two Hispanic friends who are very
Catholic–and are named Jesus and there is no confusion.
There it is–my
case all laid out. I think that the Malaysian courts would find this suggestion a Bob-send. After
all now that we can all agree to what to call God–maybe–just maybe we
can stop trying to figure out what what to call God –and instead listen
inside of us to try to hear the voice of God, Bob or Allah that is
within us all–I’ll bet you Bob would prefer it that way.