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On Wed, Sep 15, 2004 at 07:11:42AM +0100, Ray Brown wrote:
> The verb used in the Greek text is 'eulogein' which is rendered in the
> Vulgate by 'benedicere' - both verbs literally mean 'to speak well of' 'to
> praise'. The verb is used both of God speaking well of or praising people
> or, indeed, anything created, and of people speaking well of and praising
> God. I don't see any problem with that.

Nor do I, but I would render that meaning as "praise" in English,
because to me "bless" has quite strong connotations of conveying
mystical benefits.

> While certainly some of these meanings would be inapplicable in 'AMERICA
> BLESS GOD', the 2nd and 6th meanings are surely possible: AMERICA EXTOL
> GOD AS HOLY/ AMERICA GLORIFY GOD.

Indeed.  And that is what I inferred as the intent when I saw the sticker,
but it is not what the message conveyed to me at first glance.

> Also I note the verb is subjunctive (as in 'Britannia rule the waves!') -
> so it's only an exhortation which one is free to follow or ignore.

It could also be construed as a mispunctuated imperative. :)

-Marcos