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#1 Posted by Krakn3Dfx (2488 posts) -

I've been at my current employer for going on 8 years and pretty early on it was apparent that when people sneezed here, most of the time no one said "god bless you" or "bless you" or anything really. I don't say anything myself, because I'm not a "Believer" and I think Gesundheit is something only German people should say when someone sneezes, or at all if truth be told, because most people don't say it right anyway, so it just comes across as uneducated. My wife says "bless you" because she's still got a little Catholic in her (insert joke about things being in my wife here), but I've mostly beaten the religion out of her as well (figuratively speaking of course). My son was pretty much just raised knowing there's organized religion and "daddy thinks those people are crazy, but as long as they leave him alone, more power to them". My wife thinks that even though she's mostly sure there's no "god" per say, there's merit to having your children raised by religious guidelines, that it's important to have those sort of rule sets in place to keep them on the right path. I just remember banging this girl from church when we were both 15 who got dragged to church by her parents but didn't believe in any of it either and had sex just to get back at them for making her go.

So, if you don't believe in a god that would somehow have direct control over the life of those around you based on whether or not they might sneeze, do you still say something in response when they do?

#2 Posted by Mikemcn (6980 posts) -
but I've mostly beaten the religion out of her as well

Because why should she have her own personal beliefs?

#3 Posted by SpaceRunaway (861 posts) -

I say "Bless you" because it's a cultural thing. And after they sneeze the second time I tell them, "You only get one".

#4 Posted by Krakn3Dfx (2488 posts) -

@Mikemcn said:

but I've mostly beaten the religion out of her as well

Because why should she have her own personal beliefs?

Come on, I said "figuratively". Mostly it just me saying, "Well, if that's what you want to believe," until she stopped.

Plus, she's still around, so I must be awesome in bed, right?

#5 Posted by Canteu (2821 posts) -

I don't say shit when someone sneezes. Motherfucker is just sneezing, it's a natural bodily reaction.

You don't say anything when someone farts, or coughs or blinks.

#6 Posted by TheKramer89 (423 posts) -

I just say "you're sooo good lookin'."

#7 Posted by WilliamHenry (1202 posts) -

I don't think saying "bless you" after someone sneezes really has anything to do with religion at this point. Its more just common courtesy these days.

#8 Posted by BoG (5187 posts) -

I'm pretty certain that the phrase has completely lost its religious meaning.

#9 Edited by CollegeGuyMike (388 posts) -

I just kind of nod, or say thanks to be polite even though I'm no form of 'believer' myself. No reason to give people shit over something simple like that.

#10 Posted by mnzy (2914 posts) -

The couple of times I've heard English speaking people say "Gesundheit", the pronounciation was actually pretty good. (I'm German)

#11 Posted by buzz_killington (3532 posts) -

I usually say "I bless you."

#12 Edited by BraveToaster (12590 posts) -

I know this is off subject, but I hate it when people loudly snort their mucus in restaurants. That shit is disgusting. Go to the bathroom and blow your fucking nose. No one wants to hear you do that while they're eating.

#13 Posted by forkboy (1135 posts) -

Sure, I'll say Bless You at times when someone sneezes. It's just the done thing. Much like I blaspheme on a regular basis without even really considering I could potentially offend someone. "God damn" is just something I say in situations where yelling "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKING CUNT" would be inappropriate. I don't believe in a god & don't want him damning anyone, nor am I damning this deity because I don't believe in it. It's just a thing I say.

Bless you is just an expression with no ulterior context when I use it. And presumably that's the case for most folk.

#14 Posted by believer258 (11785 posts) -

"Gesundheit" means "health" in Germany; as I've never been there and know nothing of the culture, I don't know if this is said when someone sneezes. But saying "health" doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

Two more things, and the first has already been said:

@Mikemcn said:

but I've mostly beaten the religion out of her as well

Because why should she have her own personal beliefs?

The second is that you seem a bit hostile toward religion. Just a bit. The whole thing about saying "bless you" or "God bless you" is a sign of courtesy, not necessarily belief; it's the same reason that you often hear "God bless y'all and have a nice night!" or something like that at rock concerts, or that someone might say "thank God!" if something that they were worried about gets taken care of just in time.

Online
#15 Posted by liako21 (520 posts) -

i say jah bless because im a rasta

#16 Posted by Dagbiker (6964 posts) -

@SpaceRunaway said:

I say "Bless you" because it's a cultural thing. And after they sneeze the second time I tell them, "You only get one".

This, Bless You is no longer has a spiritual meaning, at least when said after some one sneezes, its a reaction you have when you realize on one else is going to say it.

#17 Edited by Intro (1206 posts) -

I'm atheist and say bless you and god bless you all the time, it's more of a good manner thing. Actually, it seems to be about good manners than religion to almost everyone. I also put my hand on my chest when someone's reading the Pledge of Allegiance, even though it says "under god." It's just the respectful thing to do around people.

#18 Posted by Sumbog (483 posts) -

I say stop sneezing on me, or bless you

#19 Posted by crusader8463 (14419 posts) -

I don't say anything because I think it's stupid to do so. It's just a sneeze. People do it. No need to say anything.

#20 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

I am in no way religious and I say "Bless you".

#21 Posted by jjnen (661 posts) -

This whole thread smells like obnoxious self-righteousness. You know you're just as bad some religious people with your anti-religious attitude right?

I'd probably use bless you but since english isn't something I even use daily I don't really know. But who the hell cares since it's just about good manners. Can you use phrases like "oh my god"?

And for claritys sake I'll just say that I agree with you, there is no god.

#22 Posted by Penzilneck (423 posts) -

I don't believe in God, but still have the common decency to give him a nod when I pass him in the hallway on my way to work, awkward as it may be. He's had a tough few years recently. Poor guy.

#23 Edited by Mikemcn (6980 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@Mikemcn said:

but I've mostly beaten the religion out of her as well

Because why should she have her own personal beliefs?

The second is that you seem a bit hostile toward religion. Just a bit. The whole thing about saying "bless you" or "God bless you" is a sign of courtesy, not necessarily belief; it's the same reason that you often hear "God bless y'all and have a nice night!" or something like that at rock concerts, or that someone might say "thank God!" if something that they were worried about gets taken care of just in time.

You're absolutely right. In any religion "bless you" is a sign of goodwill, and outside of religion it just generally con-notates well wishes for the person doing the sneezing.

#24 Posted by Animasta (14669 posts) -

I say bless you because I am not an obnoxious militant atheist scumbag

#25 Posted by S0ndor (2716 posts) -

Fortunately, I don't have this problem. Most European countries use some variation on Gesundheit.

My problem is with the word "welcome" whenever I'm in Hungary. You see, the Hungarian language doesn't actually have a word for welcoming people. Hungarians just say "isten hozott", which literally means "god brought you here." If you ask me, it's borderline retarded to say a thing like that. Of course people say it mostly because it's ingrained in our culture, but when you think about it I think it sounds kinda ridiculous.

#26 Posted by Mr_Skeleton (5140 posts) -

It's just being polite.

#27 Posted by forkboy (1135 posts) -

@Intro said:

I'm atheist and say bless you and god bless you all the time, it's more of a good manner thing. Actually, it seems to be about good manners than religion to almost everyone. I also put my hand on my chest when someone's reading the Pledge of Allegiance, even though it says "under god." It's just the respectful thing to do around people.

Yeah, but in fairness respect is over-rated. I'll respect someones right to do X, but in a free society they also have to put up with my opinions on X if I so wish to pass it. Such as "a pledge of allegiance to your nation is a very very silly thing." Now I'll shut up & listen respectfully to the national anthem but I'm not going to put my hand on my heart & belt it out either.

#28 Edited by TruthTellah (8754 posts) -

I have never met any religious individual who says "bless you" in response to a sneeze for a religious reason. It is purely a cultural thing. A nicety. I believe in God, but it doesn't mean I believe saying "bless you" after a sneeze has any sort of power over anything. That's silly. I say it because it is the courteous thing to do. I might say "good luck", too, but it doesn't mean I believe in luck. It's a well-wish. In the case of a sneeze, "bless you" is a well-wish for someone's general health and comfort.

There's no reason to berate someone just because they are performing a common social nicety.

#29 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -

@Canteu said:

I don't say shit when someone sneezes. Motherfucker is just sneezing, it's a natural bodily reaction.

You don't say anything when someone farts, or coughs or blinks.

This is exactly what I've always thought. What exactly makes sneezing different than coughing that warrants a "bless you" or anything else? I assume it has some historical background to it that just became part of society over time and lost any "meaning" but hell I'm way to lazy to look at wikipedia and find that out.

Either way, I also say nothing when someone sneezes. If they sneeze 2+ times, though, I usually chuckle or if their sneezes are completely insane (like someone I knew in high school) I may laugh harder.

#30 Posted by bushpusherr (777 posts) -

I'm an atheist, and I don't say it, but that's just because I don't feel the need to acknowledge when someone sneezes. I don't get offended or anything if anyone says it. Also, a lot of the legends surrounding the origin of the phrase are total nonsense, so I don't think it has any religious backing in this day and age.

Along the same lines, I still say "God knows" when I really mean nobody knows. Things like this are just figures of speech.

#31 Posted by forkboy (1135 posts) -

@Rappelsiini said:

This whole thread smells like obnoxious self-righteousness. You know you're just as bad some religious people with your anti-religious attitude right? I'd probably use bless you but since english isn't something I even use daily I don't really know. But who the hell cares since it's just about good manners. Can you use phrases like "oh my god"? And for claritys sake I'll just say that I agree with you, there is no god.

Does it? It just sounds like someone asking a question about the usage of a phrase to me. Not everything has a sinister under-current. The use of language & the way words take new meaning over time is interesting.

#32 Posted by habster3 (3595 posts) -

I say "bless you" all the time and I don't have any religious beliefs.

Back when I was a Christian, I said "bless you" all the time but thought nothing of it; even then, it was more of a secular term to me

#33 Posted by DrPockets000 (2859 posts) -

I say "bless you" to allow them to reclaim their soul that they lost while sneezing. It also protects them from evil fried chicken vagina gremlins that to horrible things to your pubic hair.

#34 Posted by Dagbiker (6964 posts) -

@Zenaxzd said:

@Canteu said:

I don't say shit when someone sneezes. Motherfucker is just sneezing, it's a natural bodily reaction.

You don't say anything when someone farts, or coughs or blinks.

This is exactly what I've always thought. What exactly makes sneezing different than coughing that warrants a "bless you" or anything else? I assume it has some historical background to it that just became part of society over time and lost any "meaning" but hell I'm way to lazy to look at wikipedia and find that out.

Either way, I also say nothing when someone sneezes. If they sneeze 2+ times, though, I usually chuckle or if their sneezes are completely insane (like someone I knew in high school) I may laugh harder.

Basicly people beleved when you sneezed your soul was trying to escape, so when you say bless you it stuffs it back in.

#35 Edited by gamefreak9 (2358 posts) -

@Mikemcn said:

but I've mostly beaten the religion out of her as well

Because why should she have her own personal beliefs?

yeah this... you sound like a terrible parent and i'm ashamed to have you be part of the community.

The fact that you won't show people courtesy not because you didn't notice, or because its not your style but because you don't like the words associations is just sickening to me and spells close-minded moron.

#36 Posted by joachimo (200 posts) -

It depends who's sneezing, if a good friend of mine sneezing I couldn't give two shits - but if its a stranger who's in my general vicinity of the sneeze I might just give him the old "prosit" which is the Norwegian saying for sneezing.

#37 Posted by PolygonSlayer (425 posts) -

I say "prosit" because I'm Norwegian :)

Not having English as my primary language this is just a natural response for me :) Not fully sure of the meaning, but I think it comes from German and has something to do with 'good health'. Which makes more sense to me than trying to "drive out" demons or something lol

#38 Posted by TruthTellah (8754 posts) -

@Zenaxzd said:

@Canteu said:

I don't say shit when someone sneezes. Motherfucker is just sneezing, it's a natural bodily reaction.

You don't say anything when someone farts, or coughs or blinks.

This is exactly what I've always thought. What exactly makes sneezing different than coughing that warrants a "bless you" or anything else? I assume it has some historical background to it that just became part of society over time and lost any "meaning" but hell I'm way to lazy to look at wikipedia and find that out.

Either way, I also say nothing when someone sneezes. If they sneeze 2+ times, though, I usually chuckle or if their sneezes are completely insane (like someone I knew in high school) I may laugh harder.

Acknowledging when someone sneezes or coughs comes from a time when even a small cold might kill someone. So, you're kindly noting that you hope their health remains well.

#39 Posted by joachimo (200 posts) -

@PolygonSlayer said:

I say "prosit" because I'm Norwegian :)

Not having English as my primary language this is just a natural response for me :) Not fully sure of the meaning, but I think it comes from German and has something to do with 'good health'. Which makes more sense to me than trying to "drive out" demons or something lol

The German word "prosit" means toast.

#40 Posted by Breadfan (6589 posts) -
#41 Edited by Jolt92 (1551 posts) -

I think it's cultural. I say things like "oh my god", not often, but I do it and I'm agnostic. It's just a saying to me and has nothing to do with being a believer or not.

Edit: I also say "prosit" when someone sneezes.

#42 Posted by Teoball (591 posts) -

Where I'm from we say "Prosit" which if wikipedia is to be believed means "may it gain you".

#43 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

I've never understood that concept (this includes saying that German word). What's the point? "Yes, I am aware that you sneezed and am acknowledging this awareness." Is it, like, a warning to others in the vicinity?

#44 Posted by TruthTellah (8754 posts) -

@forkboy: I think he's referring more to his insistence on "beating" the religious faith out of his wife and focus on even the slightest possible religious undertone in a common nicety as a threat. There's an odd silliness to it all. While there is certainly an interesting topic regarding origin of the phrase in response to a sneeze, the focus isn't on origin but on the idea that "bless you" is somehow related to religious belief in a threatening way that needs to be beaten out of someone.

#45 Posted by joachimo (200 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

I've never understood that concept (this includes saying that German word). What's the point? "Yes, I am aware that you sneezed and am acknowledging this awareness." Is it, like, a warning to others in the vicinity?

Old folk tales speak of when you sneeze, its your soul trying to escape and saying "bless you" or "prosit" will help the individual keep it in.

#46 Posted by AlexanderSheen (4967 posts) -

@PolygonSlayer said:

I say "prosit" because I'm Norwegian :)

Not having English as my primary language this is just a natural response for me :) Not fully sure of the meaning, but I think it comes from German and has something to do with 'good health'. Which makes more sense to me than trying to "drive out" demons or something lol

In Hungary we say "egészségedre", which means kind of the same thing as "good health".

#47 Posted by jjnen (661 posts) -
@forkboy The tone I got from the post was "I'm better than religious people". Maybe I'm reading too much into it and the question is valid as any other but this all seems a bit stupid to me.
#48 Posted by CrazyBagMan (839 posts) -

I do believe in God but don't say "bless you" because it comes from a stupid superstition.

#49 Posted by TruthTellah (8754 posts) -

@joachimo said:

@Video_Game_King said:

I've never understood that concept (this includes saying that German word). What's the point? "Yes, I am aware that you sneezed and am acknowledging this awareness." Is it, like, a warning to others in the vicinity?

Old folk tales speak of when you sneeze, its your soul trying to escape and saying "bless you" or "prosit" will help the individual keep it in.

Though, that only accounts for a small portion of the population that have ever used it in that context. Knee-jerk well-wishes following sneezes have been around for centuries in many different cultures, and "bless you" has almost always been a more general well-wish regarding health.

#50 Posted by Intro (1206 posts) -

@CrazyBagMan said:

I do believe in God but don't say "bless you" because it comes from a stupid superstition.

That makes no sense to me.