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Do Christian phrases and idioms bother you?

Yes, completely
5
4%
No, not at all
62
47%
It depends on the context and phrase
64
49%
 
Total votes : 131

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Dyakovo
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Posts: 83162
Founded: Nov 13, 2007
Ex-Nation

Postby Dyakovo » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:47 pm

Swith Witherward wrote:Background: I was having a chat with one of my Christian friends last night when she sneezed several times in a row. My response was "ah, that's a sneeze" each time. I'm not prone to saying "God bless you" or "bless you". That lead to a curious conversation about "bible sayings" and Christian phrasing that are still in use today.

Etymology of a Sort: "Bless you" may have been based on one of a few old beliefs: during times of plague, "bless you" was meant as a warding phrase; people believed that the soul momentarily left the body, or a demon was expelled, or that the heart momentarily stopped; a person was going to fall into luck, and so it was a generic response wishing the "sneezer" good fortune. I stopped using it when a friend asked me "just who exactly are you asking to bless me?" Good point.

Other expressions are a direct pull from some English translations of the bible: "A drop in the bucket" stems from Isaiah 40:15; "A man after my own heart" is taken from Samuel 13:14; "At his wits' end" is Psalm 107:2; "Bite the dust" is Psalm 72:9; "Fight the good fight" is 1 Titus 6:12; "Going the extra mile" from Matthew 5:41; "[killed] like lambs at the slaughter" occurs in several passages throughout the OT and NT; "Like mother, like daughter" Ezekial 16:44; "[he's] nothing but skin and bones" Job 19:19-20; "The apple of his eye" Deuteronomy 32:10; "Twinkling of an eye" 1 Corinthians 15:52; "Woe is me" Psalms 120:5. Again, these vary by translation (KJV vs NIV vs Oxford etc). Some of them have fallen out of use and others still find footing in conversation. It can also be argued that some of these phrases occur in other cultures too thereby making them something more secular than Christian-based. Some countries have the "[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Samaritan_law]Good Samaritan Law[\url]" which releases a citizen from any malpractice claims if he responds to a disaster or accident and further complicates the victim's injuries.

Some of us really don't care where phrasing comes from. Others are anal-retentive and refuse to use anything associated with Christians. I'm an etymology buff and I tend to saver even the most archaic phrases as something delightful.


This brings me back to the conversation with my friend. She's been on the receiving end of some harsh commentary on several occasions for using more common phrases such as "The wages of sin is death" and "forbidden fruit".

My question (to my fellow atheists) is: as someone who does not embrace Christianity or believe in the Abrahamic God... how do you navigate around phrases associated with biblical passages or Christian beliefs? Do "Christian-oriented idioms" offend you? Do you feel that biblical-based expressions should not be used in secular context (non-Christian literature, displays, as advertisement, etc)?

For the record, I'm not offended and couldn't care less about how someone expresses themselves so long as they are civil, but I am curious as to how others feel about it. I see it as possibly a quandary for some more-militant people who wish to avoid anything and everything associated with a belief system.

The use of any of those doesn't bother me.
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Cabra West
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Founded: Jan 15, 2005
Ex-Nation

Postby Cabra West » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:29 am

My husband had quite an arguement with a colleague wa while back, when he said something like "for god's sake", and she then pounced on him declaring him a Christian after all for using that phrase.

We both do swear a lot, it's a nice form of stress-relief I find, and there's a limited repertoire of non-religious swearing... "shit" and "fuck" are quickly used up and lose power.

By the way, when I say "Bless you", I mean "I bless you". Not anyone else. no gods involved ;)
"I was walking along the bank of a stream when I saw a mother otter with her cubs. A very endearing sight, and as I watched, the mother otter dived into the water and came up with a plump salmon, which she subdued and dragged on to a half-submerged log. As she ate it, while of course it was still alive, the body split and I remember to this day the sweet pinkness of its roes as they spilled out, much to the delight of the baby otters who scrambled over themselves to feed on the delicacy. One of nature’s wonders: mother and children dining upon mother and children. And that’s when I first learned about evil. It is built in to the very nature of the universe. If there is any kind of supreme being, I told myself, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior."

Lord Vetinari

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Meowfoundland
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Founded: Mar 01, 2010
Ex-Nation

Postby Meowfoundland » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:40 am

I really don't care. If people say those things, who am I to tell them not to?
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Transhuman Proteus
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Founded: Mar 24, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby Transhuman Proteus » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:54 am

I have no problem with them. The sentiments they express that are currently entrenched in the popular psyche is mostly what matters, they are far enough removed from religion not to need any belief in one to use them.

I also give gifts on Christmas.

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New England and The Maritimes
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Founded: Aug 13, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby New England and The Maritimes » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:56 am

It's cultural, not religious, so I don't have a problem with it and I use them all the time.
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Menassa
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Postby Menassa » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:02 am

New England and The Maritimes wrote:It's cultural, not religious, so I don't have a problem with it and I use them all the time.

But what about these words and phrases which are used commonly but they are also in the bible!?

seventy Exodus 1:1

women are not like Exodus 1:19

are the words Deut. 1:1
Last edited by Menassa on Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Maurepas
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Founded: Apr 17, 2009
Ex-Nation

Postby Maurepas » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:47 am

I say "Bless You", even as an Atheist(which, one of my friends, also an Atheist, takes some sarcastic offense at on occasion, which hilarity will ensue), it's just one of those things that are a part of the English Language, it's the common courtesy after a sneeze.

I don't see a problem with it anymore than when an Atheist curses "Goddammit" even though he or she doesn't believe in God.

Or a Christian acknowledging the day of "Thursday" despite not believing in Thor.

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Bottle
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Founded: Dec 30, 2008
Ex-Nation

Postby Bottle » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:27 am

Idioms work because of their cultural context. That's the whole deal with idioms.

If somebody uses the idiom "just a drop in the bucket," there isn't any particularly objectionable cultural context. If somebody uses "the wages of sin is death," aside from it being an innately more hostile turn of phrase there is also a lot more negative cultural context surrounding it.

Wouldn't you know it, atheists include context in language just like anybody else does!
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Transmaris
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Posts: 128
Founded: Sep 05, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby Transmaris » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:34 am

Swith Witherward wrote:My question (to my fellow atheists) is: as someone who does not embrace Christianity or believe in the Abrahamic God... how do you navigate around phrases associated with biblical passages or Christian beliefs? Do "Christian-oriented idioms" offend you? Do you feel that biblical-based expressions should not be used in secular context (non-Christian literature, displays, as advertisement, etc)?

For the record, I'm not offended and couldn't care less about how someone expresses themselves so long as they are civil, but I am curious as to how others feel about it. I see it as possibly a quandary for some more-militant people who wish to avoid anything and everything associated with a belief system.

When I was younger I cared.
These days, I really don't - atleast unless there's a a good reason to make a point.

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Varijnland
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Founded: Mar 17, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby Varijnland » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:34 am

Im not religious at all but I often find myself saying things like, "Thor's Hammer!" and " Oðin's Beard!" as well "bless you" and "oh my God!" it shouldn't bother anyone unless its offensive. Youve got to be a little pathetic to get but hurt if someone says "bless you" when you sneeze.

Retiring from NS, I wish you all the best in your future endevours :)

- Rasmus


P.S stay off drugs

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SD_Film Artists
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Founded: Jun 10, 2009
Father Knows Best State

Postby SD_Film Artists » Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:06 am

Varijnland wrote:Im not religious at all but I often find myself saying things like, "Thor's Hammer!" and " Oðin's Beard!" as well "bless you" and "oh my God!" it shouldn't bother anyone unless its offensive. Youve got to be a little pathetic to get but hurt if someone says "bless you" when you sneeze.


Been watching Anchor Man? ;)


But seriously, Christianity isn't the only religion to have an influence on western language and culture, so I don't see why this is a Christian thread.
Last edited by SD_Film Artists on Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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When anybody preaches disunity, tries to pit one of us against each other through class warfare, race hatred, or religious intolerance, you know that person seeks to rob us of our freedom and destroy our very lives.


Charlie Brooker wrote:It's spider season. Every year, right about now, thousands of the godless eight-legged bastards emerge from the bowels of hell (or the garden, whichever's nearest) with the sole intention of tormenting humankind. Spider season is like a live-action version of the videogame Doom.

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Varijnland
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Posts: 2760
Founded: Mar 17, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby Varijnland » Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:16 am

SD_Film Artists wrote:
Varijnland wrote:Im not religious at all but I often find myself saying things like, "Thor's Hammer!" and " Oðin's Beard!" as well "bless you" and "oh my God!" it shouldn't bother anyone unless its offensive. Youve got to be a little pathetic to get but hurt if someone says "bless you" when you sneeze.


Been watching Anchor Man? ;)


But seriously, Christianity isn't the only religion to have an influence on Anglophone language and culture, so I don't see why this is a Christian thread.

No, but something tells me I should watch it.

Retiring from NS, I wish you all the best in your future endevours :)

- Rasmus


P.S stay off drugs

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Big Jim P
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Postby Big Jim P » Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:25 am

When I say "bless you", I am not specify who or what is blessing you (although in fact it is me doing so). Ohter than that, about the only thing I do is pluralize "gods" (as in "Gods damnit!" etc.).

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Ifreann
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Postby Ifreann » Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:27 am

Big Jim P wrote:When I say "bless you", I am not specify who or what is blessing you (although in fact it is me doing so). Ohter than that, about the only thing I do is pluralize "gods" (as in "Gods damnit!" etc.).

I've been trying to get used to saying "gods" instead of "god". The way I see it, one god is good for damning things, more can only be better.
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What do we have that they should want?
We have a wall to work upon!
We have work and they have none
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My children, my children
And the war is never won

The enemy is poverty
And the wall keeps out the enemy
And we build the wall to keep us free
That's why we build the wall
We build the wall to keep us free
We build the wall to keep us free

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Big Jim P
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Postby Big Jim P » Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:29 am

Ifreann wrote:
Big Jim P wrote:When I say "bless you", I am not specify who or what is blessing you (although in fact it is me doing so). Ohter than that, about the only thing I do is pluralize "gods" (as in "Gods damnit!" etc.).

I've been trying to get used to saying "gods" instead of "god". The way I see it, one god is good for damning things, more can only be better.


Indeed.

I've been doing it most of my adult life.
Last edited by Big Jim P on Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Everbeek
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Founded: Jun 12, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby Everbeek » Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:50 am

I never say "for god's sake", I always say "for fuck's sake", for the rest I don't care much
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Big Jim P wrote:
Everbeek wrote:I never say "for god's sake", I always say "for fuck's sake", for the rest I don't care much


Fucking created most of us, so fucking IS god.

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Big Jim P
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Postby Big Jim P » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:26 am

Everbeek wrote:I never say "for god's sake", I always say "for fuck's sake", for the rest I don't care much


Fucking created most of us, so fucking IS god.

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Everbeek
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Founded: Jun 12, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby Everbeek » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:17 am

Big Jim P wrote:
Everbeek wrote:I never say "for god's sake", I always say "for fuck's sake", for the rest I don't care much


Fucking created most of us, so fucking IS god.


Can't argue with that :clap:
The Awesomeness Formerly Known As Campinia
Cromarty wrote:Antifa, the Internationale and the Red Fleet are encased in the largest glass house in existence, and they're not throwing stones, they're firing boulders from catapults.

Big Jim P wrote:
Everbeek wrote:I never say "for god's sake", I always say "for fuck's sake", for the rest I don't care much


Fucking created most of us, so fucking IS god.

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Khadgar
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Ex-Nation

Postby Khadgar » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:18 am

I find "Bless you" offensive because it's thoughtless. Just a trained reaction. Rather like saying "I'm sorry" when you're really not. Cheapens the words and the sentiment. "How are you?" is a conversation opener, it's not some idle thing to be said when you really don't care. Am I meant to ignore the question or answer it as the asker rarely actually cares I often ignore it.

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Big Jim P
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Postby Big Jim P » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:25 am

Khadgar wrote:I find "Bless you" offensive because it's thoughtless. Just a trained reaction. Rather like saying "I'm sorry" when you're really not. Cheapens the words and the sentiment. "How are you?" is a conversation opener, it's not some idle thing to be said when you really don't care. Am I meant to ignore the question or answer it as the asker rarely actually cares I often ignore it.


Yes, it is a trained response. The easy way to tell if I actually care about you after I say "Bless You" (I do that rarely enough) is this: If I ask "are you OK?" afterwords, then I actually give a shit about you.

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The Daktanese Technocracy
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Founded: May 12, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby The Daktanese Technocracy » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:00 am

Depends. I know one Christian family who uses them ALL THE DAMN TIME EVERY FEW SECONDS and it annoys the hell out of me. However, if it's stuff like "Oh my god" or "bless you" or something like that every once in a while, I don't mind at all.

Although, I don't know why people say things after you sneeze. I mean, we don't say anything if they burp or hiccup, other than maybe laughing at it.
"I remember the first time I died. Facing down my foe was to be expected. Even inevitable. Resurrected, my soul awoke and my battles were fought harder. Death became my friend. I remember the first time I died. But dying gets easier; it's how you die that leaves your mark. Prepare to die..."

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Ceannairceach
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Left-Leaning College State

Postby Ceannairceach » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:40 am

I tend to use the German or Spanish phrase in response to sneezing, but I did that before I was an atheist anyway. As to more common phrases, I find the Bible to be a piece of historical literature regardless of its theological intent, and as such the use of its terms is acceptable to me the same way that I'd use terms from other literature.

@}-;-'---

"But who prays for Satan? Who in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most..." -Mark Twain

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Ceannairceach
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Left-Leaning College State

Postby Ceannairceach » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:41 am

The Daktanese Technocracy wrote:Depends. I know one Christian family who uses them ALL THE DAMN TIME EVERY FEW SECONDS and it annoys the hell out of me. However, if it's stuff like "Oh my god" or "bless you" or something like that every once in a while, I don't mind at all.

Although, I don't know why people say things after you sneeze. I mean, we don't say anything if they burp or hiccup, other than maybe laughing at it.

If I see someone burp, or even fart, I say "excuse you," and for hiccups and coughs I say "You alright?"

@}-;-'---

"But who prays for Satan? Who in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most..." -Mark Twain

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Dyakovo
Post Kaiser
 
Posts: 83162
Founded: Nov 13, 2007
Ex-Nation

Postby Dyakovo » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:29 am

Varijnland wrote:Im not religious at all but I often find myself saying things like, "Thor's Hammer!" and " Oðin's Beard!" as well "bless you" and "oh my God!" it shouldn't bother anyone unless its offensive. Youve got to be a little pathetic to get but hurt if someone says "bless you" when you sneeze.

If I sneeze and someone says "bless you" to me and then I sneeze again, I'll tell them not to bless me because I'm allergic to religion... :)
Don't take life so serious... It isn't permanent...
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Grave_n_Idle: Maybe that's why the bible is so anti-other-gods, the other gods do exist, but they diss on Jehovah all the time for his shitty work.
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Menassa
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Postby Menassa » Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:17 pm

The Daktanese Technocracy wrote:Depends. I know one Christian family who uses them ALL THE DAMN TIME EVERY FEW SECONDS and it annoys the hell out of me. However, if it's stuff like "Oh my god" or "bless you" or something like that every once in a while, I don't mind at all.

Although, I don't know why people say things after you sneeze. I mean, we don't say anything if they burp or hiccup, other than maybe laughing at it.

Wouldn't "Oh My God," be a violation of said third commandment?
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Radical Monotheist
Their hollow inheritance.
This is my god and I shall exalt him
The NS Steam Thread
Jewish Discussion Thread בְּ
"A missionary uses the Bible like a drunk uses a lamppost, not so much for illumination, but for support"
"Imagine of a bunch of Zulu tribesmen told Congress how to read the Constitution, that's how it feels to a Jew when you tell us how to read our bible"
"God said: you must teach, as I taught, without a fee."
"Against your will you are formed, against your will you are born, against your will you live, against your will you die, and against your will you are destined to give a judgement and accounting before the king, king of all kings..."

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