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If a user chooses a user name that is also a divine name or a divine designation, then in order to address that user in a comment, one must write @xxxx and then state the information or question.

In so doing one has to, in effect, address a human but using a divine designation or divine name.

Many would consider this to be blasphemous.

Therefore I am asking if SE-C has the ability to, within this particular website, restrict the use of such user names.

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  • Is it just the appearance of the divine, like "child of God" that is in question or is it something irreverent like "God is my homeboy" or something truly blasphemous like "God is a man" that you are questioning? May 2 at 11:41
  • @MikeBorden I am being very specific indeed. When a user name is the title or designation of Divine Person then when that user is addressed, they are being addressed in the name of a Divine Person.
    – Nigel J
    May 2 at 14:34
  • @NigelJ would a good, real example be the user "One God the Father?"
    – jaredad7
    May 3 at 20:13
  • Would you find ”Yahweh the Tyrant” to be an example?
    – Ken Graham Mod
    May 3 at 22:34
  • @jaredad7 It is not my own place to comment publicly on the behaviour of other users. I am able to flag (privately) anything untoward.
    – Nigel J
    May 4 at 13:28
  • @KenGraham It is not my own place to comment publicly on the behaviour of other users. I am able to flag (privately) anything untoward.
    – Nigel J
    May 4 at 13:29
  • @NigelJ it is one thing to expose publicly the sins a man has kept private, but if you believe that someone has sinned in choosing a public username (or committing any public act), calling that sin out publicly is not immoral, and in many cases is necessary.
    – jaredad7
    May 5 at 14:19
  • I am sure they will know who they are @jaredad7 . . . . if there are any.
    – Nigel J
    May 5 at 15:11
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    Are you talking about my user name? May 7 at 22:41
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    @MikeBorden "something truly blasphemous like "God is a man"" This could be understood different ways. :) May 8 at 0:13
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    @OneGodtheFather Everything can be interpreted different ways, hence this stack :-) May 8 at 12:41

4 Answers 4

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Offensive or deliberately provocative usernames can be changed if necessary. If there was such a user the mods would consult with the Community Manager team to take the appropriate action.

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  • That does not answer my question. I did not ask about 'offensive or deliberately provocative names' in general. I asked very specifically about a divine title or designation being used as a user name such that users must address a comment to someone who has chosen such a title as their nomenclature and thereby address that person as if they were the one bearing the title.
    – Nigel J
    May 2 at 14:38
  • @NigelJ Those usernames are included in "offensive or deliberately provocative"!
    – curiousdannii Mod
    May 2 at 20:58
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    . . . . and you know of none to date ?
    – Nigel J
    May 2 at 21:04
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    @NigelJ I don't remember seeing any. Feel free to write a flag on such a user's post so that the mods are made aware of it.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    May 2 at 21:04
  • Thank you kindly.
    – Nigel J
    May 2 at 21:05
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You raise a valid point. Here is one example that comes to mind:

How would Jehovah's Witnesses feel if someone adopted the name Jehovah?

The principle applies to other Stack Exchange sites, for example:

How would Muslims feel if someone adopted the name/title of Allah?

How would Jewish people feel if someone adopted the name Yahweh (or YHWH)?

I, for one, would consider any of the above to be blasphemous.

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  • Thank you @Lesley . Your response is appreciated.
    – Nigel J
    May 2 at 8:54
  • If someone called themselves Jehovah's Witness, for example? How could that be a problem when the whole religion is called that? May 2 at 11:38
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    @Mike Borden Lesley will answer for herself, but I took that example to mean an individual calling himself, or herself, 'Jehovah'. It is saying, "I'm calling myself Jehovah, which is the name of God." And, to reply to that user on here, others would have to address them by the name 'Jehovah'. There are other names to which offensive use could be made, whereas calling ones-self 'Jesus' does not apply if that is their actual birth certificate first name. But to say one's name is 'Jesus Christ' would be offensive, as would be "God". I could never address any humans by those names.
    – Anne
    May 2 at 11:52
  • @Anne If someone had the user name 'Immanuel' on C SE, would you think they were literally claiming to be 'God with us'? May 9 at 5:14
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SE-C does have the right to restrict the use of certain words, and photos (avatars, even) that violate various government laws. There are some uses of language that result in censorship here, but the question is whether the use you detail would cause SE-C to do that, in such instances.

It is highly unlikely that any divine names being taken by individual users of the site, to apply to themselves, would be deemed blasphemous by SE-C. Even after flagging the matter up in this question, it would be surprising if SE-C removed such use of divine names, given that it would have to state in what sense they had decided it was blasphemous. It would be a pleasant surprise, though.

The point you make, that your only recourse is to never address that user in the comments boxes, is a good point.

My answer is that SE-C probably has the ability to restrict such user names, but the question is - "Would it?"

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    It is hard to imagine, on a site that shuns truth statements, the moderators taking on the role of defining and censoring what is and is not blasphemous. +1 May 2 at 11:43
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    @MikeBorden It is the community that defines things, not the moderators. If the community member believes that a user name is offensive, please flag it accordingly. As already mentioned: ”Offensive or deliberately provocative usernames can be changed if necessary. If there was such a user the moderators would consult with the Community Manager team to take the appropriate action.” We can not do this on our own.
    – Ken Graham Mod
    May 3 at 22:30
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    @KenGraham Yes, but who determines what is deliberately provocative? Obviously the person who flags it up is provoked but the mods and Community Manager have to make a judgement call, right? What if someone's user name is holyman and someone takes offense because only God is Holy, for example. May 4 at 11:18
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    @MikeBorden Or consider that someone's name might just be 'Jesus'. It's common in certain countries. 'Mohammed' also. 'Immanuel' is a title given to Jesus and a common name. 'Joshua' means 'Yahweh is salvation'. May 7 at 23:14
  • @OneGodtheFather Or someone might name themselves "The only true God" taken from John 17:3, for instance. and someone else might feel that, when they type that username, they are addressing a person as the only true God. May 8 at 12:48
  • @Mike Borden @ one is the way another participant on here responds to comments he gets from the one who has commented to you, Mike. I noticed this elsewhere. He will not even say @ One, with a capital 'O'! Of course, that person does not get notification that a comment has been left for him, so he's going to miss an increasing number of comments, such as this one, which is really directed at him as I wanted to flag up an earlier comment I made here, to Lesley. I drop it in below...
    – Anne
    May 8 at 13:51
  • @Mike Borden This was my earlier comment: "calling ones-self 'Jesus' does not apply if that is their actual birth certificate first name. But to say one's name is 'Jesus Christ' would be offensive, as would be "God"." Likewise, if a user called themselves "I Am" - that would be offensive to many. Just because a divine name is involved in a person's human name does not necessarily mean that person is to be viewed as divine, but when Christ calls himself the I Am, that was viewed as blasphemy back then. Given he is divine, God incarnate, it's not to Christians, of course.
    – Anne
    May 8 at 13:55
  • @Anne Getting out my decoder ring ... May 9 at 4:58
  • @Anne My user name is quoting scripture. I am obviously not claiming the title for myself - Nigel J knows this very well. May 9 at 4:59
  • @Anne It is like if someone had the user name "God so loved the world". Are they trying to claim to be that God who loved the world? Obviously not. May 9 at 6:45
  • @One It's possible to use a scripture phrase about God without applying it to oneself. Or, like Jesus saying, "Before Abraham, I Am" clearly claiming to be God, the one and only I Am. If your pseudonym is just quoting scripture, could you state Bible book, chapter and verse? Context is everything, as you know. Mark 2:7 has "one God" (who alone can forgive sins.) Eph.4:6 has "one God and Father" (and one Lord, Christ). Deut. 6:4 has the Shema, "one Lord [God]". James 2:19 has "one God" (who devils believe but fear). Where exactly in the Bible does your pseudonym come from, or is it an amalgam?
    – Anne
    May 9 at 9:32
  • Significantly a capital ‘O’ starts your pseudonym, as if part of a title instead of meaning a numeric one. Had lower case ‘o’ started it, the question of whether this was a title being taken by the person involved might never have arisen. But it reads like a title instead of a statement about God. I am supposing that this might have impacted on the sensitivities of those who refuse to use your full pseudonym. A “God so loved the world” pseudonym is obviously not one of the names of God whereas “God the Father” is, and many Christians would avoid even a hint of applying it to another.
    – Anne
    May 9 at 9:32
  • There is only one place in Scripture where the phrase "one God the Father" appears (1 Corinthians 8:6) and read in context Paul is saying that "for us there is only...". Given the context it is obvious that this phrase is used by the person in question as a statement of faith, just as Paul uses it, and not as laying a claim to divinity. Especially since this user has made his beliefs regarding the divinity of Jesus very clear. IMHO. May 9 at 11:36
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    @Mike Borden Thanks for flagging up where the phrase occurs. It's capitalisation of 'One' that makes it read like a title, for it's not capitalised in that verse. Further, a quote stopping short of the 'one Lord Jesus Christ' bit skews the sense of the partial quote, in that context. It may be a way of promoting a particular theological view, a sort of flag-waving exercise? Who knows? The user, obviously.
    – Anne
    May 9 at 12:47
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    @Anne Btw, using @ One (no space in between) seems to work to get a notification into my inbox. Perhaps one can use just the first word in a name as long as the context in unambiguous on SE. Problem solved for Nigel J? May 9 at 15:19
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Lots of people in the US get antsy about the use or misuse of the American flag as well, I don't know if it's considered blasphemy, but it's borderline. And I know a lot of Jews would be extremely unlikely to spell the name of God (not the tetragrammaton, but "God" as a personal name)

I think the whole point of the Incarnation is that we can know and love and understand God in a personal way, this doesn't make His name less holy, but because He's painted His truth on reality by becoming Man, He's pasted His name in the lexicon of human history.

So, as long as it is not blatant abuse, we, moderators can only judge (to the extent that we're able) the intentions of the person using the Holy name of God or a Divine Name or the Blessed Virgin Mary or any of the angels or Saints, rather than react to the scruples of another community user who may have a problem.

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    OED 'Scruples' (5) to be reluctant on conscientious grounds for what is fit and proper. Yes, indeed, as a Christian I have such conscientious concern for what is fit and proper. All the more so (and not the less so) since God is now manifest in flesh.
    – Nigel J
    May 3 at 8:16

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