Achoo - Bless you!

Michele - posted on 09/30/2011 ( 25 moms have responded )

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Is "bless you" really religious nowadays?
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44722587/ns/...
A teacher docked points for students saying "bless you" in class. He said it was because they were being disruptive, but then talked to a reporter about how the custom doesn't make any sense, becausse it was saying "God bless you" to help you dispel evil spirits.

On one hand, I can certainly see teens being obnoxious (now that I have one); on the other hand, I can see saying bless you as being polite.

But is it really religious or is it custom? Is anyone who is not religious offended by it?

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Brittany - posted on 10/01/2011

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Lying for, about or in the name of Jesus Christ is never OK!

"Fox News" is the biggest joke I have ever seen in the 24 years I have on the Earth. They lie, cheat, steal and manipulate. They make up stories and report false claims. They are ridiculous!

Don't get me started on Fox News LOL

Rosie - posted on 10/01/2011

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since it was a FOX reporter, i am assuming they probably asked him about it, and he replied....leaving out that they asked him in the first place. they're pretty keen at trying to make the religious look like they are being persecuted.

Elfrieda - posted on 09/30/2011

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One of my friends in university didn't want to say "bless you" because she thought it was too religious. She wanted to say something in some other language (Hindu?) that Buddhists say, because that's only only language that doesn't say something religious after someone sneezes.



I told her that the German response (Gesundheit) just means "I wish you good health" so that kind of disappointed her. I don't know what she ended up doing.



I highly doubt she would have been offended if someone said it to HER, though, because of course it's not meant to offend. She's more level-headed than that teacher seems to be. Although Dyan's right, probably they were just acting up.

Rosie - posted on 09/30/2011

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um, that's crazy. as much as i dislike religion, i don't see a simple bless you as anything other than custom. even if they say GOD bless you, i take it as polite, and that's it.

HOWEVER, i do think there has to be more to this. my guess is that the students were intentionally "sneezing" and saying bless you to be dumb-asses who were intentionally disrupting the class.

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[deleted account]

"FOX reporter" "trying to make the religious look like they are being persecuted. "

Yes, they do like to do that don't they? One more indication that lying for Jesus is perfectly ok in some eyes.

[deleted account]

It's culturally ingrained. I still say it as a hard atheist. I also say ,'god damn" and "Oh god" as invectives. I agree with Dyan's post. There is probably more to this. KNowing elementary school kids, they were probably screwing around with it.

Angela - posted on 10/01/2011

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I want to add if the teacher was upset about disruption why make a deal of the phrase and it religious origin. Why not just make being disruptive the issue.

Angela - posted on 10/01/2011

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I would say it is a custom especially in the USA. Over here you never hear it. I get werid looks and I think they think I am religious or something when I use it. But it is a habit. I use good health often as do the Dutch and Germans but say it in Dutch or German. I also used both in the States , I found both common.

Kellie - posted on 10/01/2011

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I though it went back to when the plague was happening, people said it to ward the plague off and it stuck?

[deleted account]

We don't believe in any god in our home but I do say "Bless you" when someone sneezes. There's no religious intent behind it when I say it (as I'm sure many people don't say it to be religious). It's merely my way of saying, "Hey, sorry you're sneezing...feel better." I don't see what the big deal is with kids saying it in school. It's not like they were laying hands on someone and trying to heal them by the power of Jesus.

And thanks Elfreida, for the definition of "Gesundheit". I never knew what it meant....just assumed it was German for "Bless You" lol

Krista - posted on 09/30/2011

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That's exactly it. By saying "Bless you", you could be saying "God bless you" or "Vishnu bless you" or "FSM bless you" or "The ghost of Elvis Presley bless you". That's why I don't get my knickers in a twist about it.

If someone says "God bless you", I don't get upset. They mean well, even if I don't believe in the entity that is evidently supposed to take time out from his busy existence to bless my temperamental sinuses instead of oh...feeding the hungry, let's say.

Brittany - posted on 09/30/2011

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Even though I am Catholic, I do say "Bless You" when someone, anyone sneezes. I have only had one person give me the What does God have to do with it speech.

I kindly replied to that person by saying, "Excuse me, I do not believe I said God Bless You, I believe I said Bless You but, if you wish to continue to be a miserable grump and try to oppress people who you feel are oppressing you, then I unbless you and hope you never stop sneezing. " After I said that she sneezed three times on the way out of the store.

And who said God does not have a sense of humor?

Tabitha - posted on 09/30/2011

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I told a lady in the store the other day "God bless you" after she sneezed, she replied rather disgusted..."what's god got to do with it?" I learned to only bless those that are close to me or that i know, because in all honesty it can really offend someone. It's no different than someone coming up to me and saying "im going to pray for you. I got sooo irritated with one lady that would tell me that all the time. After weeks of her telling me she was going to pray for me, I finally snapped and said "What the hell for!" she never talked to me again. I would just say to be cautious.

Sherri - posted on 09/30/2011

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We say bless you but I find it a sign of respect as well as the religious act behind it.

Jodi - posted on 09/30/2011

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We say "bless you". Simply because it is habit I think. Because it is habit for my husband and I, the kids have picked up on it. I just see it as a polite custom these days. I think it is silly that a student would get in trouble for it in class, unless they were going overboard with it.

Firebird - posted on 09/30/2011

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Well, the term bless you was originally religious. Because apparently when you sneeze, your soul can come flying out your nose or something stupid like that. Just kidding I don't know why people started saying it after a sneeze, and I'm not entirely sure why a devil would want to enter your body through your nose, but it was a religious thing, way back. But a student getting into trouble for saying it in class? That's demented.

Johnny - posted on 09/30/2011

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The ONLY time I am ever offended by someone saying "God bless" is when they are doing it in that sarcastic or holier-than-thou tone in which they really mean "you sinful, hateful heathen, god will smite you, ha!"

Krista - posted on 09/30/2011

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I don't use it (I use "gesundheit" instead), but I certainly don't get offended by it! Anybody who does really has a bit too much time on their hands, I think.

Lady Heather - posted on 09/30/2011

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I don't say it but it doesn't bother me if someone else does. I don't see how it's rude or disrespectful to hope the god you believe in blesses someone. If they were saying god damn you I'd be pretty pissed. Ha.

We say apple pie because for some reason my stepdad and his family say it (particularly bizarre given they are all french-canadian) and it just seemed to catch on. Freja has even started saying it. The sneezing kids in her kindergarten class are going to be so confused.

Johnny - posted on 09/30/2011

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I don't see it as religious at all. I will occasionally say, "bless you" but usually use the term gesundheit, which may have had religious origins, it is uncertain, but today means "good health".

[deleted account]

I think it's just a polite custom. However, if the teacher says they were being disruptive, I have no doubt they were. I went to Catholic School for 12 years and in high school some of the kids would literally scream "GOD BLESS YOU!!!!" at the top of their lungs when someone screamed for the sole purpose of being disruptive. So been there, seen that.

Becky - posted on 09/30/2011

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I think it's just become custom. I doubt many people attach any religious meaning to it at all any more.

Editted to add: Despite being "religious" myself, I am not actually asking God to bless a person every time they sneeze and I say, "bless you." It's just a habit!

JuLeah - posted on 09/30/2011

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I was taught it was an issue of manners. I don't really think the devil will enter a person's body if I fail to say, "Bless you" but it is rude not to ...just in case :)

It is custom, like Hello and How are you? Or Excuse me, if you pass close into their personal space

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