AIM Slogan Stoned For Blasphemy

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It sure is getting easy to blaspheme these days. An AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) user lost his religion about the company’s new slogan, an apparent scrambling of the letters AIM into I AM.” The user calls the slogan “blasphemy” and a “vulgar sin of offence.”

MATTHIAS: Look. I don’t think it ought to be blasphemy, just saying ‘Jehovah’.

CROWD: Oooh! He said it again! Oooh!…

OFFICIAL: You’re only making it worse for yourself!

MATTHIAS: Making it worse?! How could it be worse?! Jehovah! Jehovah! Jehovah!

CROWD: Oooooh!…

–from Monty Python’s Life of Brian

As reported by WorldNetDaily, Ian Millar demanded in a letter to AOL CEO Jonathan Miller and corporate communications officer John Buckley that they immediately change the name of their marketing program. Millar found the slogan, which begins a sentenced finished by the name of the product (i.e., I AM INTANT MESSAGING or I AM VOICE CHAT), to be blasphemous as an English translation of the Hebrew name of God.

This is not to be confused with the Japanese supermarket “I am Potato,” which has nothing to do with this situation other than being almost as funny.

Yahweh, or I AM since Exodus, “is the Creator and Savior of the world,” wrote Millar. “He alone is to be worshipped. To take His name in vain, or use as a common thing is blasphemy, a vulgar sin of offense. Perhaps you have not read the Third Commandment, since they have removed it from so many public monuments in the last decade. But breaking it as a means of marketing your products offends the mind of everyone who worships Him.”

WorldNetDaily seems to concur.

“America Online is now acting like God – using what some consider to be His very name in a marketing pitch for e-mail, voice chat, video chat, instant messaging, text messaging and other forms of communication,” the writer of the article said.

Christian apologist writer Dave Burchett, who dropped AOL for spiritual reasons, didn’t find a case for blasphemy accusations, even if he did find AOL “annoying.”

“I think this early outrage at AOL is a bit of a stretch,” writes Burchett on his site. “Their I Am campaign looks to me like a clever (to them) word scramble of AIM. The ads say things like I Am Instant Messaging or I Am Voice Chat.”

Scholars aren’t in accord though with the translation of the name Yahweh, however. The name Yahweh has several disputed translations from “I AM” to “I Will Become” to “He Causes to Become” and “He Who Causes To Exist.”

AOL did not return requests for comments.

Other religious movements centered around I AM: The I AM Foundation and the “I AM” Activity.

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AIM Slogan Stoned For Blasphemy
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