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Monday, April 7, 2008


Roman Catholic Dutch Bishop Martinus Petrus Maria Muskens, created quite the stir last August when he suggested that all religions use the Muslim term for God, Allah. He made his suggestion to promote understanding between faiths. He went on to say that the name is "a very beautiful word for God [so] shouldn't we all say that from now on we will call God 'Allah'?"

Today in the LA Times Rabih Alameddine says That Allah is just the Muslim Name for God so we should call the Deity Allah in non Muslim Contexts.

I think these guys are on to something. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all 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 we can unify language with regards to terrorists, isn't it even more important to come up with a common name for the creator of the universe?

Where these guys stray is using the term Allah for God. Allah has much, too much baggage for the non-Muslims. And I am sure that the 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.

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.

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 now be allowable since God will have a new name.

And 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.

Think of 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--are named Jesus and there is no confusion.
There it is--my case all laid out. I think that the Bishops idea is 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 and 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.


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Susan Duclos said...

OMG, HCdl, one of my contributors has this things about calling God, Steve. Ya'll really should talk..LOL

Anonymous said...

That's cute. Perhaps we should consult with Bob himself. He might not like Bob, but might prefer something simple, like "I AM" Again three letters, and yes a nasty space between them.

If I've read my Bible correctly, I don't think God ever gave himself a name. When Moses asked him, "Who shall I say sent me?" God simply said, "I am ... that I am".

So I'm not sure the name is really that important, whether we call him God, or Lord or Almighty, or Heavenly Father, Abba, ...

But not Alla, as you say, too much negative baggage.

Rafi G. said...

that's great! thanks for the laugh!

Michael said...

I'd've chosen "Elvis," but "Bob" works.

And did you ever read Douglas Adams' Mostly Harmless?

Unknown said...

Elvis was a king but not King of the Universe...and he had too many letters in his name. Plus do you really want to wear blue suede shoes to Shul every holiday?

rabbi sedley said...

Thank B-b there is someone like you brave enough to tackle the burning issues of the day with the humour they deserve. This blog was a B-bsend.
The only slight problem is that frum Jews won't know now whether they are speaking about Bab, Bub, Bib or the Holy B-b himself.
So good I wish I could rec it twice.
Thank you
Rabbi Sedley

Anonymous said...

Uhh, Spree. It's OMB not OMG!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, 'Bob' is taken. Have you not heard of the "Church of the Bob"?

How about Bab? It will remove aforementioned "only objection".

Bob said...

That's quite a burden to lay on a guy.

Anonymous said...

Interesting, isn't it, that once again we have Muslims demanding that non-Muslims conform to their sensitivities and their practices.

And that is setting aside the debate over whether Muslims in fact worship the same deity as Christians and Jews claim to worship. Given the fundamental conflicts between the Qu'ran and the contents of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, I respectfully submit that the claim that we do is open to serious dispute.