Oh My God, Bless You!!!
Just imagine the title in a valley girl voice and you’ll get the proper delivery. Also the hilarious image provided is a sneezing cat. Enjoy the hilarity while we delve into filler phrases like OMG.
We say ‘bless you’ when someone sneezes, slip in ‘God’ before damning something, use ‘Jesus!’ as an interjection. We unintentionally use religious terminology and get their songs stuck in our heads.
It also happens with ‘like’, which I’m sure lots of other people have the same trouble with. However, there is no religious reference or subtext in saying ‘like’ by accident. As an anti-theist, I’m trying to completely obliterate ‘God’, ‘Jesus’, and ‘bless you’ from my casual vocabulary. I refuse to meet them on their terms.
Not only do I think we, as atheists/agnostics, shouldn’t be using these terms, but we should come up with our own substitutes!
There’s a lovely episode of South Park, in which Cartman freezes himself because he can’t wait for the Nintendo Wii to come out. He ends up in the year 2546, where everyone is an atheist. In this episode, every time someone would use ‘God’, they instead say ‘Science’. SCIENCE DAMMIT. OH MY SCIENCE. SCIENCE FORBID.
It’s an excellent and hilarious replacement! If I can catch myself before I say ‘God’, I usually replace it with Science. Or another of my wide vocabulary of curse words.
Instead of saying ‘holy crap’ or ‘holy guacamole’, say SECULAR CRAP OR GUACAMOLE. Jen McCreight at Blag Hag likes to say ‘unholy’, but secular is amusing to me because it completely breaks the usual pattern.
Saying ‘bless you’ after sneezes: It’s easy to replace ‘bless’ with ‘excuse’ if you feel it’s necessary to comment on the sneeze. My partner likes to shout BEGONE DEMON as a satirical reference to one of the origin stories of the term. It might just be best to not say anything, IMO, because it’s a biological function over which we have little control. You don’t comment every time someone blinks, do you?
So, there are a few ways to work around the words ingrained in our culture. Many of them are quite amusing. FOR THE LOVE OF SCIENCE, share any amusing substitutes you have for these terms, that we may all escape the subtle tyranny of religion!
Images from thegeminigeek.com and evolvefish.com