Do you or should you use such phrases and words despite being Atheist? I'm not sure, but I am very guilty of using them anyways, mainly cause of the culture I grew up with in the US. A smidgen of me enjoys knowing that it is meaningless to me but pokes at the offending religion that is Christianity. I really should be a better person and just drop them from my vocabulary completely, yet I have the thought that it would just look like I am justifying or giving power to that religion over me. Your thoughts?
Mordekhai, you're absolutely correct on tailoring your response to your audience. When I first started practicing law, I was working in an extremely poor, and uneducated area of the state. I recalled an anecdotal story of my legal hero, Clarence Darrow, when a judge threatened him with contempt of court for cursing during a trial.
Judge: "Mr. Darrow, why do find it necessary to curse?
Darrow: "Well, your honor, there are so god damned few words in the English language everyone understands, it's a hell of a shame not use them all."
I quickly realized that asking a question to a client such as, "What was the motivation behind your purported behavior?" would get me a blank stare, like I was speaking Mandarin Chinese. On the other hand, if I asked, "Why the f&^k did you do what they said you did?" would get me a rational response.
I like that story Pat. Definitely something to think about.
Darrow? Bloody good show!
I bastardize my English when it's necessary. And you also see the need of it!
Not only do I use God Damn it! and Jesus (though I use the Homer pronunciation "Jebus") but I use expressions such as "Oh, he walks on water" or "This is gospel". Then again, I'll also say "His only weakness is Kryptonite". Borrowing phrases from different mythologies does not bother me.
I'm 99% on my way to unlearning "bless you" when someone sneezes. I'm looking for a better alternative than "Gesundheit" if anyone has one.
I still say "God damn it" occasionally. I'll agree that it's disrespectful toward believers, but habits are hard to break.
Use Spanish "Salud!" for sneezers. It means the same as German "Gesundheit!" but sounds, I dunno, snazzier?
Oh yes god damn it is one of my favorites.
I don't even think of those phrases as religious— they are so common. When I need something not so ordinary, I like to use Jesus H. Mahogany Christ and Holy Mary, Mother of God. However they have to be said with just the right rhythm and tone to get the full effect.
What's the point of atheism if you don't blaspheme once in a while?
Christian in the office complained that everytime she mentions Jesus someone accuses her of being a "bible thumper." I sooooo wanted to say that yelling "Jesus Christ!" doesn't really make you a bible thumper!
My daughter says (she's always trying to edumacate hur mummy!) that using "God Bless You", "God, damn", etc. is simply a social norm and means nothing. I like to say "Gods bless you" when that particular co-working sneezes! Wonder if she notices. . .
During certain intimate moments, "oh god" and "oh jesus" just seem natural. I grew up Baptist.
I use oh my god a lot. try to say oh my gosh but not really used to that :S