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  • Writer's pictureJane Leder

HGTV & God (A Post Back by Popular Demand)

Well, it happened again: the blog I wrote almost three years ago about the apparent kabash on taking the Lord’s name in vain on HGTV shows like “Fixer Upper” and “The Property Brothers” generated yet another reader’s comment.  Frankly, I am amazed.  I’ve written blogs about teen suicide, aging, siblings—meaty topics that I expected would move readers and encourage their opinions.  Sure, I do hear from some of those who have found their way to my blog, but nothing like the number of people like A. who responded today:

“Thank you! What a relief to see this post. This Gosh stuff has been irritating me for a long time. Really guys?! Do they think God is a bad word!!! grrrrr . . . “

Or Bon:

“Haha, I have been on an HGTV binge the past few weeks and noticed this too. I wasn’t sure if it just seemed strange because of my sacrilegious Canadian ways.”

Or Don

“Oh, my gosh!  I thought the same things about God being coached away.”

Or Julie

“I could not agree more.  I think God would approve of using his name to express joy as well as dismay!  Drop the ‘Gosh.’  Drop “Oh, my word!”  What does “Oh, my word!” mean, anyway?”

To be fair, I did receive a comment from Lisa H. who is “a Christian” for whom God is a “HUGE part” of her life.  Instead of slamming me or the other readers for our point of view, she explained her “take” in a calm, honest manner so unlike most of the discourse taking place around here in the last three years.  If only there were more Lisa Hs!  The world would be better for it.

What an interesting perspective!! I actually googled info about this because I noticed it only in Fixer Upper. However, I was appreciative of it. I was looking to see if Chip and Joanna required this of their “guests” on the show. You see, I am a Christian and religion is a HUGE part of my life. However, I say “oh my gosh” because I feel like most of the time when people say “oh my God” they are taking the Lord’s name in vain and using it too casually…since I feel like it has become so casual that even atheists say it for something to say. I love God and never want him removed from anything…media, school, etc. I just don’t say it out of respect and honoring his holy name. I never saw the perspective that there are people thinking that God was being removed by substituting the word “gosh” in. I didn’t see it that some of the people who are using this phrase to proclaim their thanks to God. Thank you for the new perspective and hopefully you can see mine. It’s so good to learn different perspectives.

Lisa mentions Chip and Joanna, the hosts of “Fixer Upper” (now reruns only) on HGTV.  I thought I’d give them a google (Can I say that?), and look what I found—the most recent Instagram post from Joanna:

Walked into Emmie’s bathroom this morning and my heart stopped for a second when I thought she had sharpied all over her vanity. And then I took a moment and really read what she wrote and thought, “Well that isn’t the worst thing to be permanent”. Then I touched it and realized it was erasable. I stared at her question and loved the thought of it and that that’s how she talks to God. May her faith always stay childlike and may I remember what she seems to already know. That God is the most relational and the most kind, and always near.

The question in question:  “Hi, God, how are you doing today?”  (I took the liberty of adding the correct punctuation.  I mean, if you’re messaging God, you’d better get it right.)

So, there’s a partial answer, Lisa H.  Joanna, and by, extension, Chip share a strong faith in God that supports all that they do in life.  If I were a betting woman, I’d wager that they do ask the home buyers on their show not to take the Lord’s name in vain.  For them—and from what I can gather the other hosts on HGTV—”Gosh” not “God” rules.

Alas, I could never be a guest on HGTV, even if the Property Brothers or Chip and Joanna offered to build the house of my dreams.


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