Have A Blessed Day.
Most times, I can ignore this. I just go my own way, don’t acknowledge it. Occasionally, I kinda shake my head as I walk away. However, last week at Mickey D’s, the cashier told me to “ Have a blessed day”. I looked the cashier straight in the eye and said, “ And you have a good day “.
Like I said, most times I ignore this, as I mostly understand it is kind of generic saying, like saying bless you when someone sneezes. However this time, it irritated me, like sand in my swim trunks or a rock in my shoe. I thought it was kind of innocuous, not acknowledging any dieties or gods, but still hoping the person to have a good day.
The cashier said “ I will with god”, to which I said “ I will without god”. Got a stunned look, needless to say. I was with a friend who is a lukewarm christian at best. She knows I’m an atheist, always said she didn’t care. She actually comes to me on occasion to ask about biblical passages. Go figure. Anyway, she accused me of attacking this girl specifically and christianity in general.
As I tried to explain this to her, I could see her eyes kinda loose focus. Her mind was made up. Nothing I could say or do would change this, so I stopped. Still friends, really hasn’t changed our relationship.
Still, this got me to thinking. I know I wasn’t out of line, just gave back what I was given. But did I accomplish anything? No. Will it change anything? Again, no. Am I also closed minded about some things, tune out some things, take umbrage when it is not meant that way? Sometimes, yes. Probably less than the religious people I know, but it is still within me, this capacity to snark, put down, feel superior just because I find no convincing evidence that I can accept for a divine prescence in the universe, not to mention in my own life.
So, what to do? Logic and reason seem lacking to most people, hell, to all of us about something. I’ve met a scientist at the balloon facility here, who is thoughtful, logical, rational, doesn’t accept things without good evidence, who believes in UFO’s, as in them having visited and continuing to visit us. I don’t see it.
I think it’s an emotional thing. As much as most of want to think we are rational, and we probably are moreso than most, we still react emotionally. Which is probably a good thing, mostly. What I mean by that is, anything taken to the extreme, pure logic or pure emotion, would not be optimal for the continued survival of our species, or our own psychological health. We would not be able to function either way, caught like the proverbial deer in the headlights. These two sides of us, when in some semblance of balance, are an asset. They allow us to function daily, to make decisions that require thought and reason, but to also look at a rainbow and go “ Wow”.
Well, this is getting kinda long, so I’m gonna wrap it up. Just some thoughts I wanted to get down that I have been ruminating on, and felt like sharing with you guys. No definitive answers, but that’s the way it mostly goes. Will give me time for continued reflection. Who knows, I might get an answer I can get behind someday. Probably not, but here’s hoping. Be well.
Tony, I appreciate this post. Sometimes I think we're all expected to be accommodating of people's religious beliefs. For the most part I am. If they want to believe in a fictitious invisible friend and find comfort in that, fine. Good for them. But please don't expect me to step into your fantasy world.
In North America, there is an accepted freedom of religion. I've always smiled and nodded or something when people say such things to me as have a 'blessed day.' I'm at a point now, though, where it's really starting to grate on me. There is an expectation that we behave with civility to believers, but the same doesn't seem to hold true for them.
On Facebook, I've got many friends who are believers and a few who are thinkers. The believes post all kinds of things about God, Jesus and the blessings that come from being a Christian. I glance at them and move on. Yet, I've been unfriended by good Christians for posting something about evolution.
Don't get down on yourself for having an ability to snark. I think that's in all of us to some degree. Eventually the frustration boils over and in this case, the cashier was the straw that broke the camel's back. So you snapped. You're human. And besides, God will forgive you! :)
Thanks for sharing, Diane. I'm starting to suspect this can be a common experience for atheists and free-thinkers. Maybe in cases like that faced by Tony, we can start responding with something like: "And may Sagan open your mind." or "Darwin bless you."
Hey Diane, and all you guys. I want to say thanks for posting your responses. I've been kinda busy, this is the first chance I've had to respond.
Like I said, this just got me to thinking. Why? Why is it ok for others to espouse platitudes that will be accepted without a second thought even by those who, to be generous, are minimal christians at best? Why the deference and acceptence when things like this are said, yet my very minor statement got a response (albiet from one person only who happened to be with me). I did not raise my voice, pontificate, pound the counter, foam at the mouth, or grab the nearest baby and chow down singing the baby back ribs song from Chili's. I'm a laid back kind of person (only eat babies on special occasions. lol!!!)
I think christian privilege might be part of the answer, as you have stated. Also, I've noticed an emotional response to most things. Once you get the old limbic up and running, it's Katie bar the door, run for the hills! Everything is an attack, even if you say to someone " Those are really nice shoes you have " you get attacked. This really causes a wall to communication, to understanding to be raised that can't easily be breached. So mostly, I'm left with the politics of compromise. One way, of course. You say what you want, and I keep my mouth shut. Works for them.
I'm not trying to be confrontational, not really my style. I'd rather deflect with a joke, or even change topic, particularily if I genuinely like the person. There is more to them than an irrational belief, more that I am drawn to, than that. Most of my friends know where I stand, and it's ok most of the time. Cathy and I are still friends, hasn't changed our friendship as far as I can tell. It's just sometimes, I get frustrated beyond my high tolerance for BS, so I speak up. Anyway my friends, thanks for all the responses. Peace to all, and be well.
Tony I think you were spot on with your response, you offered a cordial, warm, well meaning response to her and she became defensive, it's ridiculous of her and your friend to take offense. If after all she is so 'secure' in her faith, why would she be 'offended' by your lack of faith? For instance a few years ago, a cashier at Pier One told me Merry Christmas as I was checking out, I pointed out that my last name was Jewish and she turned red and apologized. She was very sweet about it and absolutely mortified that she might have insulted me, she was simply saying Merry Christmas to patrons out of habit, there was no moral judgment attached to it. That's the proper way for the cashier to handle themselves, after all rule number one is, "The customer is always right" even when they're completely wrong.... Your cashier should have responded with a "Thank you" and should have simply moved on to the next customer.
Knowing how many Christians feel about Muslims I think the best reply is "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great). That's friendly enough, while still being off-putting to Christians so it gives them a dose of their own medicine.
I don't have a problem with your reply to the cashier. Businesses are in business to serve the public and not convert people. I think you should have asked to speak to the manager. The customer is always right, you know. The manager, if a christian may have become angry, but he also may have asked his workers to leave off the bless yous. Otherwise, you can frequent another establishment. Thank you for your post. And as others have said, you can come here for the support you deserve.