Why I don’t capitalise

When I saw someone writing about God capitalising the words He and Him for the first time, I was surprised and not in a good way. Coming from Germany, where capitalisation is very commonplace, I had come to like the English system, where capitals are only used for very special purposes. So I could see why people would do it but to me it just looked very, very strange. I never understood why, until I had a discussion with my housemate about it. Talking about it made me realise, that God for me is a friend, someone close to me and spelling his personal pronouns with capital letters seemed to put a lot of distance between us and not very helpful when trying to establish or maintain a relationship. Still, I wondered, was I being disrespectful? After all, God is a massively superior being and writing capitals when talking about him makes complete sense. Who am I to dispel with such a tradition, I thought.  Then, I was reading the German Bible, I realised something. To understand, I’ll need to tell you a little about German, so bear with me. In German, we have two ways of addressing someone; the formal way “Sie” which is spelled with a capital and used for people of a higher rank, older people or people we don’t know very well, and the much more informal “du” which is spelled lower case and used for people you know well. Both of those would simply be “you” in modern English. In the German Bible, every communication between God and humans takes place with the informal you; God uses it for us, people use it when talking to him. I don’t know, of course, whether the original Hebrew has the same distinction but the fact that the King James Bible, who was written at a time when English also had the same distinction, also uses to more informal version (thee and thou) leaves me to believe that it does. And if, in the Bible, God is fine with the informal address, surely he won’t mind if I don’t capitalise personal pronouns when talking about him?

What do you think? Am I being too fussy about it?


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